Enjoy our included full-day excursion, exploring some of the old Hansa Towns. See Hattem, heritage town of the Veluwe and home to centuries-old monuments, narrow streets and alleyways lined with characteristic buildings. Continue to Kampen, famous for its Cog Wharf with its fishermen’s cottages and medieval centre. Explore the defence structures that once kept the city safe. Finally, we visit Harderwijk and its many faces: the Hanseatic town; fortified town; and university town. See the stunning frescoes of 'de Grote kerk', the fisherman’s cottage, the stained-glass windows of the Catharina Chapel and much more.
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, Harderwijk 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. Most of these are found by the water’s edge, as waterways represented crucial transport routes, and possess a rich history and unique façades. In other words, when in Holland, a visit to at least one Hansa town is almost compulsory.
Hattem - As well as its unusual museums, including the Bakery Museum – it’s also well worth visiting the church, Grote Kerk, the Dijkpoort and the town hall, which is made up of a combination of old properties. Hattem’s wide-ranging shops in charming streets and alleyways ensure the town is full of life. Fashion, art, antiques and craftsmanship can all be found within short walking distance. The service is as it was in the old days: personal attention and always time for a chat. After spending time shopping, the many cafés, restaurants and terraces are a good place to relax: a ritual in which artisan ice cream and chocolate should always play a part.
Kampen - Kampen has an ancient tradition of commerce and shipping, and you can tell. This Hanseatic town has over 500 monuments, including the Church of St Nicholas, the Gothic house, the town gates and a replica of the Medieval merchant ship De Kamper Hanze Kogge. From Korenmarktpoort gate, head to the old Vispoort gate on IJsselkade quay, close to the old town hall, where the fish market has been held since the 14th century.
Harderwijk - Harderwijk’s ancient inner city has about 100 national monuments and was declared a protected cityscape. So there’s plenty to see! A stroll through the city will take you past the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk church, a three-nave church from the 14th and 15th centuries. Be sure to take a look inside as well, to admire the 16th-century paintings. The Medieval city walls are also absolutely worth a stroll. There you will find the Vischpoort and Smeepoort gates, and about two kilometres of ruins. Ambling on in the direction of Markt square, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the former town hall, which was built in Medieval times and rebuilt in neo-classicist style.
- Included meals: Breakfast