Picturesque Hanseatic city
Between the northern edge of the Veluwe and the River IJssel lies scenic Hattem. This 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 only a stone’s throw away.
Hattem is one of the Hanseatic Towns in the Veluwe region with its own distinctive charm and identity. Just as in the other Hanseatic Towns, the glorious history of the mediaeval Hanseatic League has left traces and transformed the town into a delightful tourist attraction. Small and compact Hattem is surrounded by magnificent areas of vast water meadows along the River IJssel, the richly forested Veluwe and the polder landscape to the north. You’ll find many authentic dainty shops and welcoming cafés in the heart of the town. And despite its size, Hattem has not one museum, but three!
A rich history
Hattem is located at the northernmost point of the Veluwe, lies at the foot of the Gaedsberg or Godesberg (mountain) on the border with the River IJssel and the water meadows. The rich history dates back to the beginning of the 9th century. Hattem gained its present form in the 14th century, after city rights were acquired in 1299 from Count Reinald I from Gelre. The street plan and parts of the old city wall are still intact. During the Hanseatic period, Hattem became best known for its bricks, extracted from the IJsselclay, hence the nickname “Attemer kleikloet’n”. 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 goods 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 (guided) city walk past cultural-historical highlights and discover what remains of the Dikke Tinne castle.
Picturesque Hattem and its beautiful surroundings attracted many painters in the early 1900s, who tried to perpetuate the Dutch clouds above the IJssel. Jan Voerman was one of them. He enjoyed painting the clouds above the IJssel and his hometown Hattem. His paintings can be seen in the Voerman Museum Hattem. His son´s work is also presented in the museum. Voerman junior caused a furore with aquarelles in Verkadealbums. The well-known Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck was very charmed by Hattem. It was here where he recognized a bit of the atmosphere from his own work. No wonder the Anton Pieck Museum found a place here, designed by the master himself. In the museum you will find an overview of the work of this nostalgic painter. And there is more to see and enjoy in this Hanseatic city, such as the Dutch Bakery Museum. The history of bread and pastries is displayed in the museum. The bakers bake several times a week, sometimes in the 200 year old oven. There are demonstrations and tours throughout the year.
Besides the museums, the Andreaschurch, the Dijkpoort and the city hall are definitively worth a visit. The city center has many historic buildings and city farms. The flour mill ´´De Fortuin´´ on the Molenbelt is still in operation and supplies flour to the Bakery Museum. The square, with terraces and restaurants, is the beating heart of the town. Visitors can enjoy carillon concerts in the summer. Various events are organized in Hattem every year, for dates and times, see events.
Surrounded by nature
Hattem is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves. Located at the northern edge of the Veluwe, nature reserve ´t Veen is around the corner. There you will find heather, Junipers and drifting sand. Nearby is the Wiessenbergse kolk, which is an ideal area for waterfowl and beavers and of course the vast water meadows and the IJssel with the ´Kleine Veer´ which is a ferry that takes cyclists and walkers to Zwolle and back.
There are beautiful campsites in the woods, but also a harbour and a motorhome parking suitable for short stays are located close to the city center. The Tourist Information Point offers various walking and cycling routes which lead you through the beautiful nature reserves, woods, meadows and along the IJssel.
Do not expect large high street chains in this town, but do enjoy the many shops and fabulous restaurants. Fashion, art and antiques and craftsmanship can be found in a radius of 300 by 250 meters. The service is as it used to be: with personal attention and time for a chat. After shopping, you can relax on one of the terraces or restaurants that Hattem has. Free parking facilities in and around the city are sufficient.