1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/South Holland

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SOUTH HOLLAND, a province of Holland, bounded W. by the North Sea, N. by North Holland, E. by Utrecht and Gclderland, S.E. by North Brabant, and S. by Zeeland. It has an area of 1166 sq. m., and a population (1905) of 1,287,363. Its south-eastern and southern boundaries are defined by the estuaries called the New Merwede, the Hollandsch Diep, the Volkerak, the Krammer, and Grevelingen, and the province includes the delta islands of Goeree (Goedereede) and Overflakkee, Voorne and Putten, Rozenburg, Yselmonde, Hoeksche Waard, and Dordrecht. The natural division into dunes, geest grounds, and clay and low fen holds for South as well as for North Holland. Noordwyk-on-Sea, Katwyk-on-sea, Scheveningen, and Ter Heide are watering-places and fishing villages. The Hook (Hoek) of Holland harbour, built at the mouth of the New Waterway (1866-1872) from Rotterdam, is the chief approach to Central Europe from Harwich on the east coast of England. At the foot of the dunes are the old towns and villages of Sassenheim, close to which are slight remains of the ancient castle of Teilingen (12th century), in which the countess Jacoba of Bavaria died in 1433. Among other places of interest are Rynsburg, the site of a convent for nobles founded in 1133 and destroyed in the time of Spanish rule; Voorschoten; Wassenaar, all of which were formerly minor lordships; Loosduinen, probably the Lugdunum of the Romans, and the seat of a Cistercian abbey destroyed in 1579; Naaldwyk, an ancient lordship; and 's Gravenza.nde, which possessed a palace of the counts of Holland in the 12th century, when it was a harbour on the Maas. The Hague, situated in the middle of this line of ancient villages, is the capital of the province. The market-gardening of the region called the Westland, between the Hague and the Hook of Holland, is remarkable, and large quantities of vegetables are exported to England. On the clay and low fen cattle-rearing and the making of the Gouda cheeses are the principal occupations. Flourishing centres of industry are found along the numerous river arms, including Maasluis, Vlaardingen, Schiedam, Rotterdam, Gorinchem, and Dordrecht. Here also are some of the oldest settlements, such as Vianen on the Lek, Leerdam on the Linge, and Woudrichem or Woerkum at the junction of the Maas and Merwede. Woudrichem guards the entrance to the Merwede in conjunction with Fort Loevestein on the opposite shore. Vianen is supposed to be the Fanum Dianae of Ptolemy, and was the seat of an independent lordship which passed to the family of Brederode in 1418, and later to the princes of Lippe-Detmold, from whom it was bought by the states in 1725. There is a fine tomb of Reinoud van Brederode (d. 1556) and his wife in the Reformed Church. The lordship of Leerdam arose out of a division of the lordship of van Arkel and descended to the house of Egmond. It was raised to a countship in 1492, and passed by marriage to the family of Orange-Nassau. The Reformed Church contains the tomb of John, last lord of van Arkel.