Hattem: picturesque Hanseatic city

There lies a city on the river IJssel, on the edge of heather and wood, it is surrounded still by moats, and walls are covered with moss.

Between the northern edge of the Veluwe and the Ijssel is scenic Hattem. The Hanseatic city has been a source of inspiration for painters for centuries, which is not surprising: the town is not only ‘photogenic’, but it is also nestled in beautiful surroundings with woods and water a stone’s throw away.

Dutch skies

Its location on the IJssel means that Hattem offers an uninterrupted view of the famous Dutch skies. Many painters found (and continue to find) their inspiration here. Jan Voerman was one of those painters. He loved to paint the clouds above the IJssel and his hometown of Hattem. His paintings can be admired at the Hattem Voerman Museum. The museum also shows pieces by his son. Voerman junior gained success with watercolours in Verkade albums.

Anton Pieck was also charmed by Hattem. An overview of the work by this nostalgic painter is displayed in the Anton Pieck Museum. And there is even more culture on offer in this Hanseatic city, including the Dutch Bakery Museum.

Fortified trading town

As a Hanseatic city, Hattem flourished in the Middle Ages. This is still apparent from the impressive merchant’s homes in the old town centre. In those days, it was important to protect yourself and your wares properly. High walls, a town moat and guarded gateways provided extra security. Many locations give clues to Hattem’s history as a true fortified town. Parts of the original town wall have survived, just as the fourteenth century Dijkpoort.

Did you know that there was once a castle with seven-metre thick walls in Hattem? Take a town walk past cultural-historical highlights and discover what remains of Dikke Tinne castle.


Do not expect large high street chains in this town, but do enjoy the many shops and fabulous restaurants. Once every two years, Hattem hosts a chocolate festival. At any other time, you could visit chocolate studio A3, at the foot of the Dijkpoort. Don’t worry about calories, they’ll disappear during a town walk or bicycle ride through the beautiful areas surrounding Hattem.