Discover our city's history

Lelystad is the capital of Flevoland Province. The community of Lelystad is situated in the Eastern part of Flevoland. It has a surface of 295mi² (765km²), of which 17mi² (45km²) water area. The town major, since 2016, is Ina Adema.

Eponym of the city
Lelystad was intended to be the main city of the IJsselmeer polders. Therefore, the city was named after the founder of the Zuiderzee project, engineer Cornelis Lely (Amsterdam, 23 September 1854 – Den Haag, 22 January 1929). Cornelis Lely was a Dutch engineer, an expert of hydraulic engineering as well as a minister, governor and politician. In 1891 Lely developed a plan for the closure of the then called Zuiderzee. In 1932 the Zuiderzee indeed was closed by means of the Afsluitdijk (closing dyke) and the IJsselmeer was created.

Construction of Lelystad actually began before the Eastern part of Flevoland was drained. In 1950, Perceel P (allotment P) was created, a working island in the midst of the IJsselmeer. The workers inhabiting that island had to create a building pit for the Wortman water pump station which was then used for draining the Eastern part of Flevoland. Perceel P, the oldest part of Lelystad, today is called Lelystad Haven.

Construction of Lelystad
Construction of the remaining part of the city began in 1965. And the first inhabitants arrived in September 1967. However, development of Lelystad proceeded slowly, mainly due to poor connections to the mainland which persisted for years. Another problem was a decision making process regarding  the Markerwaard polder which took years to produce results. Plan was to let this polder become the urban hinterland of Lelystad.
An own identity It was mid of the nineties when a major course change took place at Lelystad. From that point on, renowned architects were attracted and involved to give the city an own identity and more confidence. Old residence quarters got restructured and the city centre was completely renewed. Also, the coastal area of Lelystad got a new impulse due to construction of high quality residence quarters and new recreational facilities there.

Coat of arms of the community of Lelystad
By Royal Decree of 11 September 1979, number 2, the community of Lelystad was given a coat of arms whose description is as follows:‘In hexagonal form, of gold; a central shield in azure, with a lily in silver; the shield covered by a golden crown of three leafs and two pearls, held by two golden sea lions with silver tails whose ends gule, like their claws'. The coat of arms was designed by mayor G.A. Bontekoe, the former mayor of Ooststellingwerf.

Flag of the community of Lelystad
The community flag was designed by the association for vexillology and heraldry at Muiderberg. Here is its description: 'Royal (prince) yellow; with a hexagon centred at the imaginary transition between field and fly, in cobalt blue, standing on one of its corners; upon it, the white lily of the community coat of arms (filling the hexagon as much as possible) surrounded by four cobalt blue lines which are positioned clockwise, touching the upper and lower side of the hexagon and elongated towards the side of the flag. The hexagon features a middle line corresponding to one third of the flag height; the angles of the blue lines have a thickness corresponding to one tenth of the flag height'.

More information?
Would you like to know more? Visit the Nieuw Land Erfgoed (new land heritage) museum.