Visual presentation of Deventer (made by KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines)
Deventer, as we know it today, is a dynamic town, firmly rooted in history and surrounded by a unique landscape. The borough of Deventer consists of the city of Deventer together with the villages of Diepenveen, Schalkhaar, Bathmen, Lettele and Okkenbroek. There are well over 98,000 people living in Deventer; a great part of them inhabiting the districts around the city centre. During the last few years a great deal of large-scale new housing estates were realised in the district of Colmschate; hard work is being done on the completion of the district called the Vijfhoek (meaning pentagon). Furthermore the town council has an urban renewal programme concerning the edge of the town centre, known as the ring of canals-project, and the shopping centre ‘De Boreel’. Business is booming in Deventer and several large companies enjoy the thriving trade and industry; in other words, it is great to live and work in Deventer. Anyone living in Deventer can enjoy culture, nature and sports to the fullest. Some important recreational facilities were developed: De Scheg (a sports complex), the Deventer Schouwburg (theatre), Theatre Bouwkunde, pop-stage Het Burgerweeshuis, Film house De Keizer and cultural centre De Leeuwenbrug. Deventer is certainly also a hospitable town when it comes to education, since there are over 5,000 students living and studying there. Deventer’s countryside is characterised by a unique variety of villages, farms and acres, country estates and woods. Deventer likes to be called a Hospitable Hanseatic City. Therefore visitors are always welcome; either to experience the great history of this town, to enjoy the many events or to take walking or cycling excursions.
Deventer, a medieval Hanseatic town on the river IJssel. A town on a river always has a certain atmosphere: vivacious, frivolous, even exuberant; life is good when you are living near a river! It is as if the flowing water provides the town with some sort of reviving elixir. Maybe that is the reason why Deventer bursts with vitality; a lively town with a historic ambience and beautiful surroundings. It is that same river IJssel which has been an important factor in creating the surrounding landscape. Deventer, Diepenveen, Schalkhaar, Bathmen, Lettele and Okkenbroek have a lot to offer and therefore welcome you to this hospitable Hanseatic town on the IJssel.
For centuries Deventer has had the reputation of being hospitable. Since Deventer is one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands it does not come as a surprise that the oldest brick private house is to be found there, in the Sandrasteeg to be precise. Deventer was a prominent member of the Hanseatic league. In the Middle Ages merchants from every corner of Europe flocked to this town to attend the annual fairs. It is in this period that the present town centre finds its origin. Several historic monuments, such as, for instance, the beautiful building ‘De Drie Haringen’ (The Three Herrings), recall the old Hanseatic days of yore. Over the last thirty years the city of Deventer has devoted a lot of attention to the renovation and conservation of the historic town centre. The old street pattern is virtually unchanged and hundreds of monumental buildings have been restored, often furnished with newly decorated windows or new facades. But there are definitely new buildings as well; some of which are designed to blend in with the historic background, others that are completely modernising.
The best way to get to know the Deventer city centre is to start in De Waag. In this monumental building on the Brink the Historical Museum and the Tourist Information Office have been accommodated. On the ground floor you will find any information on Deventer, such as the various walks in the historical city centre and, of course, other information on where to find nice little shops, where to go for a meal or what hotel to choose and when there are special events. If you want to go for a walk or a cycling trip in Salland, this will be your starting point too! The Historical Museum is housed on the second and third floor of De Waag. It offers a permanent exhibition of Deventer’s rich history. If you want to get to know Deventer well: combine a visit to the museum with one of the city walks.
North and East of Deventer there are several villages, namely Diepenveen, Schalkhaar, Bathmen, Lettele and Okkenbroek, and also the hamlets Averlo, Loo and Frieswijk. For anyone who is interested in cycling or walking tours, who loves nature and looking for culture in the countryside, these are the places to be. Country estates like Nieuw Rande, De Kranenkamp or Oostermaet are worth seeing in any season. Monuments like the church of Diepenveen, which dates back to the fifteenth century, the former town hall in Schalkhaar or the many authentic old farms can take you back to days gone by. There are several guidebooks and maps for walking and cycling tours available at the Tourist Information Office in Deventer.
There are many interesting things to be seen in Deventer. In the first place there are the museums: the Historical Museum Deventer and the nationally well-known Toys & Tin museum. But there is much, much more; far too many sights to squeeze into one single day. There is, for instance, the Great Church (also known as the Lebuïnus Church) and its tower, the beautifully historic City Hall, het Bergkwartier (the district surrounding the Bergkerk, a church placed on a hillock), het Noordenbergkwartier (a very old quarter), the Broederenkerk (another great church), the Etty Hillesum Centre, the Vogeleiland, and so on. And always there is the river IJssel, making the location of this town and its surroundings unique. A visit to Deventer is not complete without taking a stroll or just relaxing by the riverside. A foot-passenger ferry can take you quickly across the river to yet another wonderful scenic area (consisting of a park called Het Worpplantsoen and the Ossenwaard). On this side of the river one can also find an authentic windmill, De Bolwerksmolen.
Deventer lives up to its reputation of being a hospitable Hanseatic city. You will easily feel welcome here. There is something here for everyone; for those who like to go out shopping, there are various stores and many typically quaint and cute little shops conveniently arranged in the town centre. On the edge of the city centre a unique total concept is offered, ‘De Boreel’, which comprises large-scale shops, a cinema with 4 halls, a fitness centre and restaurants. Besides, De Boreel has 600 underground parking spaces.
Deventer is still a market-town; every Friday and Saturday there is a market on the town square De Brink. Proof of Deventer’s hospitality can be found in the many bars and restaurants, situated around the town square De Brink, Het Grote Kerkhof (the Great Church square), or in the before mentioned Bergkwartier. That hospitality is of course not limited to the town centre, the surrounding quarters like Keizerslanden and Colmschate, and also the nearby villages bid you a warm welcome!
A few times a year, during the big festivities, Deventer is even more hospitable than usual. There is the 'Deventer Summer Fun Fair' (first week of June), the Inter-national Street Theatre Festival 'Deventer On Stilts' (for three days in early July), and of course, the ‘The Deventer Book Fair, the Largest annual book market in Europe’ (held on the first Sunday of August). Furthermore there is the arrival of St. Nicholas by boat on December 5th, a typically Dutch tradition, and around Christmas there are Season’s festivities like the Charles Dickens Festival.
Whenever one thinks of Deventer, the traditional Deventer Cake springs to mind. For over five centuries this cake has personified Deventer’s hospitality. Het Deventer Koekhuisje (the Deventer Cake shop) on the town square De Brink has always plenty of Deventer Cake in store, so why not try a sample of this delicacy?
VVV Deventer [Tourist Information Office]
De Waag - Brink 56
Phone number: 0031-570-710120