|History of Petten, Holland
In 1989, Petten celebrated its 1250th year of existence anniversary.
The name "Petten" refers to the three (fresh water) wells (Dutch: putten) which were
once located there. There was already mention of a sand dike in 1388 between Petten
and 't Oghe (Callanstoog). In the St. Elizabeth's flood (1421), Petten was entirely
washed away and the sand dunes were damaged. A "sleeper" dike was built behind the
dunes in 1432 and from 1506 active "coastal defence" took place, with pile heads of
beams from Norway and Sweden and stone from Vilvoorde. Even so, more than 100
houses were washed away in
1625, plus the church of Petten. The construction of the Hondsbossche zeewering
began in 1793.
Petten belonged to the nobility of Petten en Nolmerban (year unknown), and then
became a municipality. In 1929, the municipality of Petten was incorporated into the
municipality of Zijpe. During WWII (the Second World War), the entire town of
Petten was "broken up" in 1943 by order of the German Wehrmacht (Army) because
of the construction of the "Atlantic Wall". The church of Petten was demolished in
After the war, a whole new town was built from 1946 (inland and away from the
coastline), designed by the architects Van de Ban and De Vassy (who already bore in
mind the development of "tourism").
During this time (1946) Petten lost its self-governing position and was joined together
within the municipality of Zijpe. In 1955, the foundation "Reactor Centrum
Nederland" (RCN) was set up, that went on to build a research - reactor (Petten
nuclear reactor). Since 1976, the foundation is called the Energy research Centre of
the Netherlands (ECN).
As of 2006, Petten is now a seaside resort located near the Hondsbossche sea wall.
Around 1500 people live in the village of Petten year round (municipality Zijpe).