The goal of the Hanseatic League, which was founded when Amsterdam was still a tiny settlement, was to expand commerce and spread knowledge.
Dutch cities like Zwolle, Kampen, Hattem and Deventer were members of this league, and this chapter in their history is still clearly visible in the many 14th and 15th-century monuments. In other words, when in Holland, a visit to at least one Hansa town is almost compulsory. Discover the Hanseatic town of Kampen with a rich history and over monuments.
Hanseatic League - Wikipedia
Zwolle is a lively Hanseatic city with a Medieval centre, many shops and plenty of culinary treats. Historic Hanseatic town on IJsselmeer lake with many monuments and excellent restaurants. Visit the many historic buildings, museums and cafes and restaurants in this old Hanseatic town.
IJsselmeer and North Sea Tour.
The Lelystad-Zwolle railway connects the Hansa towns
Pearls of the East. Throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, the Dutch Hanseatic Towns were centers of prosperity and wealth, commanding the premium trade of salt, food, drink, cloth and other products with Hanseatic ports across Europe. The same can be said of year-old Hattem , whose cultural highlights include the Anton Pieck Museum.
For a true sense of Hanseatic wealth, visit Hasselt , which looks and feels a lot like a miniature Amsterdam thanks to its canals, bridges and small alleyways. Zutphen is equally historic, but with its beautiful waterside location, it easily balances medieval looks with modern shopping.
The Hansa towns
In Hanseatic times, Doesburg was the most important fortified city in Holland. Today, its medieval grandeur pairs nostalgia with exceptional cultural offerings. Likewise, the fortified Elburg , which measures a mere meters by meters, was a crucial fishing village. Now its vibrant past can be explored inside atmospheric museums situated next to boutique shops and restaurants. And in Harderwijk , centuries-old churches sit perfectly with modern attractions like the Dolfinarium theme park and surprising culinary delights.
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The km-long River IJssel was a vein of trade, flowing through the provinces of Overijssel and Gelderland. Get a true taste of history and Dutch culture and cuisine by exploring these Hansa Towns inside and out by way of enlightening walking and bike tours. Explore the preserved waterfronts and harbors, see centuries of history unfold during guided tours of monuments, escape into surrounding woodland to experience Dutch nature at its finest, or feel the wind blowing through your hair as you cycle past the open fields near the IJsselmeer lake. Stop off along the way to taste local delicacies or treat yourself to exclusive fine dining experiences.
You can even embrace the merchant lifestyle by taking a cycling holiday along the Hanseatic Route , heading out on two wheels in daytime, then relaxing at night as your boat cruises to the next town.
The Dutch Golden Age. These towns form an integral part of Europe's cultural identity, which is why the Hansa network was added to the list of 32 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. The Hanseatic League was a defensive alliance of towns that supported one another at a time when trade missions were particularly dangerous due to robberies, looting, and murder. In the Middle Ages , the Hanseatic League grew into a powerful confederation, with Deventer and Kampen as its main cities.
Merchants crossed the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in cogs to trade in rye, malt, textiles, stockfish, and fur. The Hanseatic League owed its success to its international orientation, pragmatic approach, close collaboration, and level-headed merchant mentality. Many of the Hansa history can still be seen today. Visitors associate the Hansa towns with cultural history, trade history, beauty, and fun.