The Oudebildtdijk or ‘Old Bildt dike’, is a historic dike that runs along the Wadden Sea coast of northwest Friesland. This remarkable dike with its traditional dike houses and substantial farmhouses is the longest road in the Netherlands.
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The Oudebildtdijk or ‘Old Bildt dike’, a historic dike that runs along the Wadden Sea coast of northwest Friesland, has quite a story behind it. This remarkable dike with its traditional dike houses and substantial farmhouses is the longest road in the Netherlands, with house numbers running from 1 to 1229. Here, the ever-changing panorama of spectacularly beautiful cloudscapes, sunsets and starry skies inspires a sense of awe.
Along the dike there are many art galleries because artists have been attracted to this wide-open landscape for centuries. To this day, artists continue to find inspiration in the nature, history and culture of
this wonderful region with its own unique character. The Oudebildtdijk was the first dike to be built as a summer dike until around the year 1200. Later, in 1505, the dike was raised to its current height. The municipality and region in which the dike was built was originally known as Het Bildt, which later became part of the municipality of Waadhoeke.
In 1505, dike builders from the provinces of South Holland and Brabant helped the Frisians raise the height of the dike. This was how the local Bildts dialect became more mixed. It took 800 dike builders a year to build the Oudebildtdijk. A century later, the Nieuwe Bildtdijk or ‘New Bildt dike’ was constructed a few kilometres further north. The old dike then became a second line of defence. But the sea was a constant foe. Day in, day out, and especially in bad weather, it threatened to reclaim the hard-won land.
The only time the Oudebildtdijk failed was during the All Saints Flood on 1 November 1570, when 3,181 people drowned in Friesland. The dike is still officially classified as a coastal defence structure and may not be dug into between 15 October and 15 April, which is roughly when the storm season begins and ends.