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Dutch Reformed church in Maartensdijk
The town centre (dark green) and the statistical district (light green) of Maartensdijk in the municipality of De Bilt.
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In 2001 the village of Maartensdijk had 4395 inhabitants. The built-up area of the town was 0.84 km², and contained 1744 residences. Including the surrounding countryside, the statistical area "Maartensdijk" has a population of 5010.
Maartensdijk was a separate municipality until 2001, when it merged with De Bilt. Until 1812 Maartensdijk was called Oostveen which is pronounced as 'oastfain'. Oostveen means "east fen". A fen is a wetland characterized by sphagnum moss, peat and an alkaline or neutral pH. Rendering this wetland into agricultural land was initiated by Bishop Godebald van Utrecht (1114–1127) when the Kromme Rijn ("Crooked Rhine") was dammed in 1122 at Wijk bij Duurstede. The same Bishop Godebald gave land development contracts to those who would completely drain this land and make it arable; Oostveen was a large section of this area. The oldest settlement in the area is the village of Voordorp, which gradually became known as Blauwkapel because the chapel's interior was entirely blue. The name Voordorp has been revived and applied to a new northern district of the city of Utrecht. Blauwkapel still exists and is part of the Waterline and Fort defense system established to protect the provinces of Holland from inland invaders by flooding the land strategically and building fortresses where flooding was not feasible. Such a fort, the largest in this defense systems surrounds the old chapel. As land reclamation of Oostveen moved northward, a new settlement arose on the Oostveen lands that was dedicated by the dean of the Utrecht cathedral "in protectione et iustitia Sancti Martini". This settlement was the seat of the gerecht or canton of Oostveen, and in 1812 was renamed Maartensdijk.
- Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Bevolkingskernen in Nederland 2001 . Statistics are for the continuous built-up area.
- J. Kuyper, Gemeente Atlas van Nederland, 1865-1870, "Maartensdijk". Map of the former municipality in 1868.
- Dutch Wikipedia about the municipality or area of Oostveen
- [permanent dead link] Information about the history of Maartensdijk/Oostveen[permanent dead link]
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