The Dutch Hanseatic Towns, which evolved back when Amsterdam was still little more than a small town, were aimed at expanding trade and sharing knowledge. Most of them are situated on the water, because that was key from a transport perspective. They have a rich heritage, and many splendid merchant houses and unique facades can still be seen to this day.
History is all around you in the Hanseatic Towns, and the Hanseatic mentality is still there too. The Hanseatic League was an alliance between towns that sought assistance from each other at a time when there were few laws and when piracy, robbery and murder turned trade expeditions into dangerous ventures. The Hanseatic League became a powerful confederation in the Middle Ages. Some 200 towns, from Russia to France, were affiliated. There are a total of nine Hanseatic Towns in the Netherlands, and the four in the Other Holland are covered in more detail here.
Anyone who has ever been to Doesburg will agree: you just can’t get enough! The town is brimming with old buildings. This Hanseatic Town has more than 150 monuments and numerous museums; you’re spoilt for choice. A town walk is a great way to explore, of course, and a visit to one of the museums or to De Waag – the oldest restaurant in the Netherlands – comes highly recommended. If you’re fit enough, why not go up the Martinikerk church tower – you’re rewarded with a fabulous view!
As you stroll through the historic town centre, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time. The layout of the narrow streets has hardly changed since mediaeval times, making it a perfect place to wander around. Doesburg is also renowned for its mustard, which has been produced and traded here since 1457. Needless to say, mustard-based dishes are a firm fixture on local restaurant menus and you should definitely not miss the chance to sample the renowned mustard soup!