Overijssel, the Hanze province on the IJssel.
If you listen carefully to the name, you will hear what the running heart of the province is namely the river IJssel. This runs like a red thread through the province. History also shows the great importance of the IJssel, which throughout history was seen as a blessing and at the same time as a curse.
Over the centuries, the link between the land behind the IJssel and the west where the national authority was located has been a difficult one. It was only at the end of the Middle Ages that an attempt was made to make the link with the West. The first bridges were then laid at the cities of Deventer and Kampen.
Religion in Overijssel
Overijssel has always been a province where people more or less lived in a sort of isolation far from the western authority. The inhabitants of the province have also benefited from this isolation. That was until the 80 year war broke out. Then it became painfully clear that the province was rather isolated from the rest of the country.
The Spaniards ran through the province and the east in particular has long been under Spanish regime where Spanish troops marched through the province. The Spaniards also took with them that the population in these parts became largely Roman Catholic. Many residents of Overijssel are still Roman Catholic.
Overijssel is an area where the combination of culture, nature and historic cities can best be reached by bicycle or on foot. It will be clear that the IJssel plays an important role in discovering the province.
Hanseatic cities such as Deventer and Zwolle were built and developed on the river IJssel.
Giethoorn the Venice of Overijssel
But Overijssel also has beautiful picturesque places such as Giethoorn, which is also called the Venice of the north and not without reason.
National park the Weerribben
Overijssel also has beautiful nature areas where the Weerribben National Park is perhaps the most beautiful. The park is a collection of lakes, ponds, swamps and canals interspersed with beautiful peatlands, reed lands and beautiful forests. The park dates from the 14th century and was created by peat extraction. The beautiful reed landscapes are different in appearance every season. This water-rich area has an incredible amount to offer for water lovers and especially for animal lovers.
The area offers a place for various rare animals such as otters and black terns, but also cormorants and egrets can be found here. Actually, there is only one really good way to explore this area and that is over the water. In Giethoorn you can rent whisper boats, rowing boats and canoes to discover the area in peace and not in the least sense. The area is full of water birds and insects and if you are very lucky you might come across an otter.
Lots to do in Overijssel
However, Overijssel offers more than just culture and history. You will also find Slagharen pony park and Hellendoorn adventure park in Overijssel. Places where you and the whole family can enjoy everything these parks have to offer.
In addition, Overijssel also has some respects in the culinary field. In Zwolle you can enjoy a 3-star meal at restaurant De Librije. The Librije has been awarded 3 Michelin stars.
The region is known for its game dishes, but also the farmer’s meal Endive stew is not at all strange here and after a cold winter walk through the area that is a delicious meal.
Staying overnight in Overijssel
Anyone who wants to know what it’s like to be in a prison is also possible. Almelo has a renovated prison converted into a hotel where the room exudes its own style and atmosphere.
Sleeping in Overijssel does not have to be a problem with accommodations such as Villa 53, the Witte Huis or the Hof van Salland, to name just a few.
Culture and History
For the history and culture lovers there is of course the Rijksmuseum Twente in the city of Enschede. The museum is filled with more than 10,000 art objects from multiple periods, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. At Rijksmuseum Twenthe you will find a large collection of 18th century paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael and Salomon van Ruysdael, Medieval books and religious objects, paintings by late 19th century impressionists and works
by important 20th century artists such as Karel Appel and Armando. A painting that you should not miss is ‘The Lute Player’ by Jan Steen, a pearl from the Golden Age that shows an everyday scene. The painting shows a man sitting at a table and watching a woman play the lute. In a 17th century painting, music was often presented as a remedy for a broken heart.