In the old days when Amsterdam and Rotterdam were still tiny settlements, 9 towns in the eastern part of The Netherlands were already very prosperous, being trading ports of great importance.
The cities of Deventer, Zwolle, Kampen, Doesburg, Harderwijk, Elburg, Zutphen, Hattem and Hasselt are located along the river IJssel or the shores of the IJssel Lake and belong to the most scenic cities in the country.
In old days these beautiful towns took part in the so-called Hanseatic League. This league of towns was formed in the 14th century as a powerful trading network that connected Portugal to the Baltic states. The city of Hamburg in Germany is probably known as the most famous Hansa city.
By the 16th century, the League collapsed allowing Amsterdam to become Europe’s most important trading centre and launching Holland into it’s famous Golden Age.
If you wish to learn more abot these gorgeois towns, please read the Blog by Esther de Beer .
In our days the Dutch Hansa towns have remained historical highlights, cities filled with amazing monuments and a vibrant culture.
The city of Deventer still holds 2300 buildings from Hanseatic times. Taking a stroll through the centre is like travelling back in time. Year round the city hosts great festivals which are famous throughout the whole of the Netherlands. The possibilities for shopping here are simply endless!
Since most of the Hansa Towns were so wealthy, they were often a good prey for intruders and attacks. No matter which of the Hansa Towns you’ll visit, you will notice they all still have remnants of city walls, towers and town gates and surrounding canals. The impressive rectangular fortification of Elburg protects the whole city centre and measures only 250 by 350 meters.
You may enjoy the Dutch Hansa Towns by joining the attractive 8-days Cycling & Sailing Tour ‘Castles & Walled Towns’
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Picture: © NBTC