Texel Roads increasingly important for grain and wood trade

Construction of a medieval dike, drawing Fred Maarschall.

Southeastern Texel was still uninhabited when Columbus sailed west in 1492. There was no village, and no harbour; just a low dike bordering the polderland. But that dike did protect the ships that lay anchored on the Roads: the hulks, carracks, caravels and cogs.

As the free Dutch trading cities were gaining ground on the cumbersome Hanseatic network, more ships used Texel Roads. They brought wood from Norway and grain from the countries around the Baltic Sea. Directly north of Skil, along the wadden dike, remnants of the medieval dike are still visible in the Ottersaat lake. The row of half-decayed poles show where the dike could once be found. More than fivehundred years ago, on the road where you are standing, there was a beach with a view of the Roads full with late medieval sailing vessels.

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