The IJsseldelta National Landscape consists of a polder (a piece of reclaimed land) that is surrounded by the villages of Kampen, Genemuiden, Hasselt, Zwartsluis and Zwolle. The Zuiderzee and mankind have been fighting over this area for centuries. Sometimes pieces of land were swallowed by the water and other times the Dutch once again reclaimed the farmland. Eventually, man had the better end of the stick, but an open landscape with house mounds, creeks, gullies and a peculiar allotment pattern still remind of the years of struggle between man and nature.
Three Hanseatic towns full of culture and history, water sports paradises and the varied nature of the IJsseldelta National landscape – all within a 30-kilometre radius!
- Experience the history of the Hanseatic League on a reconstruction of the Kamper Kogge, a Medieval ship.
- Enjoy the unique natural surroundings of the IJsseldelta National landscape, home to Mastenbroek, the oldest polder in Holland
- Visit one of the many cultural and historical events held in the area, such as Christmas in Oud Kampen
One region, three dynamic Hanseatic towns: the IJsseldelta
When Rotterdam and Amsterdam were still little more than bog and swamp, settlements in eastern Holland were already growing into towns – rich merchant towns that were part of what was known as the Hanseatic League. The IJsseldelta is home to no less than three of these towns: Zwolle, Kampen and Hasselt. In the late Medieval period, Kampen had a direct connection to the sea via the river IJssel, and cleverly engineered ships allowed the people of Kampen to trade with settlements as far as Finland and Russia. Its membership in the Hanseatic League allowed the town to grow into an influential merchant town, and its former wealth – both financial and cultural – can still be seen and felt today. The Hanseatic towns embody tales of labour, trade and long naval journeys, and their imposing historical buildings, harbours and fortifications make them into true, 'living and breathing' open air museums.
Water sports and historical and cultural events
The carpet town of Genemuiden and water sports paradise of Zwartsluis are also great crowd magnets in the area. The rivers IJssel and Zwarte Water supplement the culture and history of the Hanseatic cities with a host of opportunities for water sports fanatics, while you can more or less step directly from the water into town to enjoy some gastronomic and cultural surprises, such as delicious local produce and unique events like Christmas in Oud Kampen.
National Landscape IJsselDelta
Nature shows great variation in the IJsseldelta National landscape. The area’s natural and cultural history stretches back thousands of years and has left its marks on the land. The IJsseldelta is the perfect place to breathe in fresh air, walk and cycle along twisting dikes and gaze miles and miles across the wide, open landscape of Holland’s oldest Polder – a living testament to the Dutch battle against the waters. In fact, the IJsseldelta is also referred to as “miniature Holland”.
Editors’ tip: In 2015, a Medieval shipwreck was found at the bottom of the river IJssel. A real Kogge! Kogges were the ships that brought Kampen and other Hanseatic towns their great wealth. The ancient Kogge will be lifted from the river on the 10th of February 2016, and brought to a wharf for archaeological research. What kinds of experiences did this ship have? What did Kampen look like back in the day? A replica of the Kogge is moored in Kampen’s harbour – take a tour, or better yet, a cruise!
For more information visit: www.ontdekdeijsseldelta.nl
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