Many are in full agreement: Philippine is the best place in the Netherlands to enjoy mussels. It is nothing short of remarkable, as Philippine is no longer a seaside town. It's history dates back to the 16th century.

Philippine was once a mussel harbour, connected with the Braakman. The port sheltered dozens of mussel cutters owned by the fishermen from Philippine and Boekhoute (BE). The estuary was dammed in 1952, ending centuries of fishing history. Today, Philippine’s many mussel restaurants serve as a reminder of that illustrious past.


In the early 16th century, Philippine was reclaimed by Jeronimus Laureijn, who wanted to turn it into a port city capable of competing with Antwerp. It never came to that, due in part to Laureijn’s premature death and the Eighty Year War (1568–1648). The stronghold was further expanded during the war, adding a castle, bastions and a portal that led to the Braakman. None of those fortifications remains today.

Fishing and mussel farming developed in the 19th century; the supply waters and port were at risk of siltation, but Philippine truly flourished after a new connection to the sea was opened in 1900. At its heyday, in 1911, as many as 130,727 bales of mussels were unloaded in the port.

To learn more about Philippine’s rich history, visit the website of the Society for the Preservation of the History of Philippine.


See Philippine through the eyes of the locals.
In a series of videos, they explain the history of this unique town.