In the early Middle Ages, when Amsterdam was still an insignificant town, trade in the Hanseatic cities flourished.
An alliance of merchants from the German cities around the Baltic Sea, the Low Countries near the North Sea,
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden along with 200 cities, were united by the powerful Hanseatic Treaty. People were
working very hard, and this brought the population wealth and prosperity.
They became powerful, fortified cities with impressive city walls, beautiful merchant’s homes, and astonishing
trade offices. In the Netherlands, these cities are situated along the bends in the river IJssel and the former
Zuiderzee. Over a distance of 84 miles you’ll find nine beautiful cities:
Harderwijk, Elburg, Kampen, Hasselt, Zwolle, Hattem, Deventer, Zutphen and Doesburg
Cities with canals, squares, narrow medieval alleys, charming towers and city gates, cosy terraces, interesting
museums and trendy shops, all worth a multi-day visit. Restaurants, cafes and hotels are now established
in the beautiful merchant houses. Feel free to walk around and enjoy the tourist sites without being run
down by bikes. Amsterdam is only an hour and a half drive away, which makes it a great day trip.