To the north of Zwolle, on the Zwarte Water, is the Hanseatic city of Hasselt. A characterful town with atmospheric facades, leafy streets and hidden spaces. Discover the special link this Hanseatic city has with Amsterdam. Or walk, like a traditional pilgrim, one of the pilgrimage routes that converge in Hasselt.
Hasselt is a true pilgrimage place. Even in medieval times, the Hanseatic city was an important religious centre. Pilgrims also find their way to Hasselt nowadays, with two routes converging: the Jabikspaad from Friesland and the Jacobspad from Groningen. The pathways join the international pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Hasselt is one of the oldest pilgrimage places in the Netherlands. Worshippers have been coming together every second Sunday after Pentecost at the Heilige Stede (Holy Site) of Hasselt since 1355.
As is usual for a genuine Hanseatic city, Hasselt is a water town. The Zwarte Water intersects the town. As well as this river, Hasselt also has an old town canal, where the contours of the old fortified town can be seen. The canal district has Amsterdam allure with names such as Baangracht, Heerengracht, Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht. Little Amsterdam in the head of Overijssel. Water has always played an important role in this Hanseatic city. One remnant is the Stenendijk, the oldest masonry sea wall in the Netherlands.
You can discover all the special sight of Hasselt during a city walk, including the historical Stenendijk, fortifications, bulwark, canals, town hall, churches, town gateways, and lime kilns.
There are plenty of pubs and restaurants near Hasselt’s authentic canals. They are a perfect rest stop to digest the wonderful impressions of the Hanseatic city. There is something for everyone, whether you are a gourmet or a vegetarian. What’s more, a number of restaurants serves typical Hanseatic dishes, and most places use regional produce. One of the oldest cafes is De Compagnie. They have been serving drinks since 1700 and food has been available for a few years. It is situated at the water’s edge, so come and moor your (hired) boat.
As well as Hasselt itself, the surrounding area is also worth a visit. The Hanseatic city is enveloped by nature. There are various nature areas in the Ijsseldelta National Landscape. One of the sight on the northwards cycling route along the Zwarte Water is the special landscape of Olde Maten at Zwartsluis. Further along, there is a green labyrinth: Weerribben-Wieden National Park - Wieden. Spersed with water, with a varied feast of flora and fauna. There are various routes for endless cycling, hiking and sailing.