The Hanseatic cities have something unique: they are old, but also new, historic and modern and also authentic but certainly innovative! A unique atmosphere that we also call the Hanseatic Vibe. In this article you can read more about the history of the Hanseatic cities and how this forms the basis for many modern initiatives.
History of the Hanseatic Cities
Let's start at the very beginning: the origins of the Hanseatic Cities. We'll take you back in time to the year 1356. This was the year that the Hanseatic League was established between several cities in Northwestern Europe. A fun fact about the Hanseatic League is that it was actually never officially founded. In fact, there is no document, in which the founding of the alliance is named. The Hanseatic League was therefore created gradually and it is highly likely that not all of its contemporaries knew of its existence. For some 400 years, the powerful network numbered as many as 200 Hanseatic towns. Through the alliance, the Hanseatic network could travel more safely in each other's company and there was also free exchange of products. A thriving economy and vibrancy within the Hanseatic cities resulted from this alliance. While the Hanseatic cities formed powerful trading centers, cities, such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam were still only small villages.
The Dutch Hanseatic Cities](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/182874-1623164602/C680X310/2019kaart-hanzesteden-perkament.jpg)
After the Middle Ages, other competing trade networks emerged. The Baltic Sea trade and the Dutch East India Company, for example. This and the many changes caused by the Reformation caused the Hanseatic League to collapse towards the end of the sixteenth century.
Discover the Hanseatic history yourself
The Hanseatic history can still be found in all nine Dutch Hanseatic cities. Authentic mansions, centuries-old monuments and shining bodies of water are proof of the special Hanseatic League. Reason enough to plan a weekend to the Hanseatic Cities. Discover for yourself how each Hanseatic city has turned its rich history into the present!
River IJssel](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/197769-1637315449/C200X200/12023-Marketing-Oost_IJsseldelta_Nathaly-en-Jean-Paul_8A3A7666.jpg) The river IJssel is one of the components of the Hanseatic heritage. The river is 125 kilometers long and connects seven Hanseatic trading posts of the Netherlands. A bike tour or walk along the IJssel is a unique way to discover the Hanseatic cities and learn more about their history. Each Hanseatic city has its own charm and special Hanseatic history. Below we tell you where you can find the most special and history-rich places per Hanseatic city.
Elburg and its Vischpoort
Elburg joined the Hanseatic League in 1367. The enormous prosperity that this alliance brought with it meant that a "new" Elburg had to be built. In 1392 Elburg received its current, rectangular ground plan. This is still today one of the most special features of the Hanseatic city. Another special element of the Hanseatic history that can be found in Elburg is the Vischpoort. The gate was built at the beginning of the 15th century and is the only remaining part of the city walls of Elburg. The gate forms the entrance to the Hanseatic city.
Museum Elburg is the place to be if you want to learn more about Elburg as a Hanseatic city. The museum is located in a former monastery and connects the history of the Hanseatic city in a special way to the present. Highly recommended! That Hanseatic city Elburg does not stand still, you will see when you visit the city. The combination of historical sights, modern boutiques and cozy restaurants make this Hanseatic city authentic in a modern way.
Hattem & Zwolle: from then they make trendy
What Hanseatic towns Hattem and Zwolle have in common is that they both have a medieval center and have an insane museum collection. In the Hanseatic city of Zwolle, in addition to the city wall, canals and mansions, you will find, for example, Museum de Fundatie. This museum brings together culture and history in a modern and innovative way. Do not skip Waanders in the Broeren when you're in Zwolle. This Gothic monastery church is now transformed into a beautiful bookstore. Also outside the center, beautiful developments are taking place, such as the historic railroad area which is being transformed into a high-tech innovation center.
Tip: walk through the center of Zwolle and you will understand exactly what we mean by the Hanseatic Vibe. The beautiful buildings interspersed with modern restaurants make this city innovative and trendy, but authentic and nostalgic it certainly is! Not to mention the hip concept stores in Zwolle. The best shopping streets in Zwolle provide unique shopping experiences, do not skip the Sassenstraat, Diezerstraat and Luttekestraat for example.
Hanseatic city Hattem](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/164093-1636965571/C200X200/11490-Marketing+Oost_Hattem_DJI0218.jpg) In Hanseatic city Hattem they show off the Anton Pieck Museum. This picturesque town is characterized by its merchant houses that mark the streetscape of the inner city. The city canal, the Dijkpoort and city wall prove once again that Hattem was a real fortified city that experienced the glory days of the Hanseatic League. Modern stores, such as chocolatiers and small boutiques make this city authentic, yet trendy.
An innovative Hanseatic city? Harderwijk!
Harderwijk undoubtedly has the most diverse mix in terms of past and present. You will find numerous ancient monuments, but also trendy beach pavilions and special museums. The picturesque squares in combination with hip stores and trendy coffee shops and restaurants show that Harderwijk has not stood still in recent times. Culture, shopping, good food and relaxation ... You're all right here!
Hanseatic city of Harderwijk](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/181645-1622101103/C680X310/01-stadstuin+Muntplein+Harderwijk.jpg)
The old churches and the city garden that can be found in the Hanseatic city of Harderwijk are our favorites. The graceful architecture from the Hanseatic period makes you can't stop looking. But you will find many more special monuments from the Hanseatic era! Harderwijk has more than 100 different monuments. How about the old city wall and authentic mansions? The innovation of Harderwijk comes not only to the restaurants, but also to the theme park of the city: the Dolfinarium. As you probably understand now, the Hanseatic Vibe in Harderwijk is indispensable!
Deventer, Doesburg & Zutphen: historical and contemporary
Also in Deventer the Hanseatic Vibe is abundantly present. In the Hanseatic city of Deventer you'll find not only the oldest stone house, but also the oldest library and the oldest city park in the Netherlands! Those history-rich spots are combined in Deventer with innovative and trendy concepts. For example, unique events are organized here throughout the year. The proud fortified city now has a beating festival heart. By the way, do not skip the City Hall of Deventer! Here you will find a unique interpretation of the oak windows: no fewer than 2,264 fingerprints of various Deventer citizens. This 'Deventer Framework' is spread across the inside and outside walls of the historic building.
The Harbour Quarter also allows us to call Deventer an innovative city. In the Havenkwartier industrial heritage, creative entrepreneurs, art and culture, hospitality, construction and housing come together, on the site of an inner harbor that is still working. Public activities are regularly organized in the Harbour Quarter. The cozy shopping streets with trendy concept stores, such as Walstraat, Lange Bisschopstraat and Kleine Overstraat, complete the city.
Hanseatic city Doesburg](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/181415-1621947502/C200X200/historische+binnenstad+hanzestad+doesburg.JPEG) Hanseatic city Doesburg was the most important Hanseatic city of the Netherlands. Today the city is a gathering place of then & now. Medieval elements alternate the innovative and culturally rich offerings. The medieval streets of Doesburg hide a number of special cultural-historical treasures. What is not hidden are the cozy terraces, modern museums and the unique Hanseatic Vibe.
The same goes for Zutphen. Zutphen has a fine balance between its historical elements and modern stores. Enjoy a drink by the water and take a tour through Hanseatic City Zutphen with one of the locals. This is the best way to discover the history of the city. That history and modernity go well together is confirmed by the Broederenklooster in Zutphen. The thirteenth-century dormitory has been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel with a restaurant. Pay a visit and see for yourself!
From old masters to new street artists
Street art in Deventer](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/198339-1637929568/C200X200/Street+Art+wandeling.jpeg) Art lovers will enjoy the Hanseatic cities. With the stories about centuries-old artists and their beautiful works of art, you learn a lot about history. But nowadays artists also live it up in the Hanseatic cities. You can see this everywhere. Stroll through the streets of Doesburg, Deventer and Zwolle and admire beautiful street art of creative people. Have you spotted any beautiful street art?
Hasselt & Kampen have a bit of everything!
We round off the list with the Hanseatic cities of Hasselt and Kampen. Hasselt is still rich in history. For example, Hasselt is a true place of pilgrimage and you can walk a pilgrimage route from this Hanseatic city. Like many other Hanseatic cities, Hasselt is also a real water city and has a ring of canals. Every year the W.G. van de Hulst Festival is organized in the center of Hasselt. This event brings together the history of the Hanseatic city with cultural and literary elements. We recommend that you visit this event.
Hanseatic city of Hasselt](https://www.touristserver.nl/img/183538-1623922894/C680X310/Foto+Hasselt+origineel.JPG)
Hanseatic city Kampen is known for the monuments that can be found here. In fact, there are 500 of them! Just like the skyline of Kampen, the crafts in Kampen are remarkable about the city. The crafts from the Hanseatic era have been modernized somewhat, but certainly not less interesting. Visit De Olifant, an old cigar factory, the smithy or one of the popular beer breweries. A beer in the Stomme van Campen also totally fits the Hanseatic Vibe. Culture, crafts, Hanseatic history and innovation... Kampen, just like the other eight Hanseatic cities, offers the perfect mix of culture, history and above all innovation!