Goes is situated in the province of Zeeland and has 36,616 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest town in Zeeland. The town lies within Zuid-Beveland and is bounded by the Oosterschelde and the Lake of Veere to the north. The municipality of Goes comprises the actual town of Goes, the surrounding villages of ‘s-Heer Arendskerke, ‘s-Heer Hendrikskinderen, Kattendijke, Kloetinge, Oud-Sabbinge, Wilhelminadorp and Wolphaartsdijk and some hamlets and quarters. The location next to the water makes the area very suitable for water-related tourism. There is also a lot of agriculture and nature. Within the community borders lie parts of several nature reserves such as Middelplaat, Zepe Duinen, Zuid-Bevelandse Dijken, Weel and Deessche Watergang.
Under the protection of the castle Oostende (11th century), Goes developed into an important port that was awarded city rights in 1342. The first bulwarks date back to 1417 and can still be recognized today. At the time the most important means of existence were the salt trade, treatment of madder, cloth manufacturing and trade with England. Madder is a plant (Rubia tinctorum) and in Holland it is only to be found in the provinces of Zeeland and South-Holland. The colour madder is produced from the roots of the plant. This colour was originally used in ancient times by the Egyptians, Persians and Indians and also the Greeks and Romans.
The town of Goes is still surrounded by ramparts which were built during the sixteenth century by prince Maurits. The gothic town hall is situated on the Big Market Square and its present rococo style dates back to the years 1771-1775. Behind the market lies the Great Church also known as the Maria Magdalena Church built in the fifteenth century. This is a gothic church which is home to an organ from the seventeenth century. Other historical buildings are the Manhuis, a number of renaissance buildings, the Waterkorenmolen (17th century) with a domed tower, and the round stone flourmill with gallery (1801).