IJsseldelta National Landscape
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”.