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Zwolle is a municipality and the capital city of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, 120 kilometers northeast of Amsterdam.Zwolle has about 120,000 citizens.Archaeological findings indicate that the area surrounding Zwolle has been inhabited for a long time.A woodhenge that was found in the Zwolle-Zuid suburb in 1993 was dated to the Bronze Age period.During the Roman era, the area was inhabited by Salian Franks.The modern city was founded around 800 A.D. by Frisian merchants and troops of Charlemagne.The name Zwolle is derived from the word Suolle, which means "hill" (cf. the English cognate verb "to swell").This refers to an incline in the landscape between the four rivers surrounding the city, IJssel, Vecht, Aa and Zwarte Water.The hill was the only piece of land that would remain dry during the frequent floodings of the rivers.Zwolle was established on that incline.A document mentions the existence of a parish church dedicated to St Michael.That church, the Grote or Sint Michaelskerk (big or Saint Michael church), was renovated in the first half of the 15th century and exists to this day. The church contains a richly carved pulpit, the work of Adam Straes van Weilborch (about 1620), some good carving and an exquisite organ (1721).On August 31, 1230, the bishop of Utrecht granted Zwolle city rights. Zwolle became a member of the Hanseatic league in 1294, and in 1361 joined the war between the Hanseatic League and Valdemar IV of Denmark. In the 1370 Treaty of Stralsund that ended the war, Zwolle was awarded a vitte, a trade colony, in Scania, Sweden. Zwolle's golden age came in the 15th century. Between 1402 and 1450, the city's Gross Regional Product multiplied by about six.

Besides the Grote or Sint Michaelskerk (the latter which houses a majestic Baroque organ built by Arp Schnitger), there are several other historic monuments in Zwolle. The Roman Catholic Onze Lieve Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming-basilica (Our Lady Ascension) dates back to 1399. The church tower, called Peperbus (pepperbox), is one of the tallest and most famous church towers in the Netherlands. The modernized town hall was originally built in 1448.Mention should also be made of the Sassenpoort (one of the old city gates), the city walls, the Mosterdmakerstoren (mustard makers' tower)(the complex where local mustard used to be made), a guild-house (1571), the former provincial government offices, a Dominican monastery, and a museum of antiquities and natural history.In the western part of the city, west of the railway station, there is a quarter of Art Nouveau buildings, concentrated mostly on Koningin Wilhelminasrtraat, Princes Julianalaan, and Prins Hendrikstraat. These three-store living houses were built in 1900s by variuos Dutch architects. Eleven of the buildings are protected by the Dutch government (rijksmonumenten).Zwolle is a hub in the national highway network, and gateway to northern Netherlands. This is reflected in the high traffic volumes in and around the city. The A28 serves Zwolle with 4 exits, and runs from Utrecht to Groningen. It is being widened to 8 lanes across the IJssel River and 6 lanes from Zwolle to Meppel in 2010 and 2011. The motorway initially opened between 1964 and 1970.Another motorway, the A50, interchanges with A28 just west of the city, offering a route for southbound traffic to Apeldoorn and Eindhoven.

How to Reach

By Train

Zwolle railway station the first train in Zwolle arrived on June 6, 1864.Today the city has rail connections in seven directions.(viz. Kampen, Leeuwarden, Groningen, Emmen, Enschede, Arnhem/Nijmegen and Amersfoort).A rail connection with Amsterdam via Lelystad will open in 2012. For more information see Hanzelijn.

By Ferry

Zwolle is located on or near three rivers (Zwarte Water, Vecht, and IJssel), several canals (the now disused Willemsvaart, Nieuwe Vecht and Overijssels Kanaal and the modern Zwolle-IJssel Kanaal). There are some water-related industries in Zwolle, mainly in the Voorst industrial area.

By Road

Zwolle is a hub in the national highway network and gateway to northern Netherlands. This is reflected in the high traffic volumes in and around the city. The A28 serves Zwolle with 4 exits, and runs from Utrecht to Groningen.It is being widened to 8 lanes across the IJssel River and 6 lanes from Zwolle to Meppel in 2010 and 2011.The motorway initially opened between 1964 and 1970. Another motorway, the A50, interchanges with A28 just west of the city, offering a route for southbound traffic to Apeldoorn and Eindhoven.The N35 highway starts in Zwolle, and runs as a non-motorway to Almelo and Enschede, and forms the eastern section of the ring road of Zwolle. The ringroad is mainly a 4-lane road, with numerous traffic lights. It forms a full ring, and also exists out of the N337 highway that runs to Deventer. Other sections of the ring road are unnumbered. Parts of the ring road were widened to six lanes in 2010. Other numbered highways running from Zwolle are N331 to Hasselt, N758 to Nieuwleusen, N340 to Ommen and N764 to Kampen.

By Car

Due to nearby rivers, there are several major bridges in and around Zwolle.The most important bridge is the IJssel Bridge where the A28 motorway runs across.It was completed in 1970 and carries over 115,000 vehicles per day.Adjacent to this bridge is the older IJssel Bridge, which opened in 1930 and was destroyed twice during World War II.A third IJssel Bridge is the railway bridge which carries the railway line from Zwolle to Amersfoort, and from 2012, to Lelystad. There are several bridges across the Zwarte Water River, including two 4-lane bridges, a 2-lane bridge, and a bus/bicycle bridge.There is also a bridge across the Vecht, which carries A28 motorway.Another local bridge is adjacent to this bridge. A third bridge carries rail traffic to Leeuwarden and Groningen.Numerous local bridges exist around the historic city center.

By Bus

The city bus transportation is provided since August 29, 2010 by Syntus Overijssel.The regional lines to and from Zwolle are provided by Syntus and Connexxion.

Key places to visit
Museum Foundation, Ecodrome expedition, Peperbus Tower, St. Michael Church, International Guitar Festival, Liberation Overijssel, Sasse Donk Festival


Places to Visit

Museum Foundation

is a museum of art in the Dutch province of Overijssel.The museum collection has been divided into two locations the Palace of the Blijmarkt, housed in a striking building in Zwolle.This neoclassical building was built between 1838 and 1841, designed by the architect Hague Edward Louis de Coninck.It served as a courthouse and later offered shelter to include the Provincial Planning Agency.From 1994 to early 2001 the museum was the Stadshof - for -naive and outsider art - established.In 2004-2005, the Centre designed by architect Gunnar Daan converted into full-fledged museum building.In the 14th century created manor Nijenhuis, usually 10 minutes southwest of the railway station in the village Heino.It is located on the territory of the municipality of Olst-Wijhe.Before the Second World War the castle owned by art collector Nijenhuis Hannema Dirk, who is also from 1958 until his death in 1984 lived.In 2004, the Nijenhuis after restoration open to the public.Before that, the sculpture around the Nijenhuis has from time to time to visit.

Ecodrome expedition

is a park in Zwolle Zwolle, where one can discover nature and culture. It has several attractions such as the swamp by canoe expedition, a journey, the Expedition and Expedition Jungle Ice Age, a dark ride . The park is operated by Libema.The pavilion Ecodrome Expedition comes from the Floriade in 1992 in Zoetermeer.The pavilion was there in use by the Ministry of Environment as "National Environmental Pavilion Ecodrome".Floriade after that it became a symbolic sum of one guilder made available to a community who could do something useful.The municipality of Zwolle was interested and a few years later in Zwolle and put a park around it.At the spot where now the parking lot of the Ecodrome located, was once a Jewish cemetery.The graves are cleared and the remains were reburied at the Jewish Cemetery on the Kuyer House Avenue.

Peperbus Tower

is a Late Gothic tower in Zwolle belonging to the Basilica of Our Lady of Assumption.It is actually the nickname of Our Lady Tower but nowadays he always referred to as the Peperbus.The tower owes its name to its shape resembling a pepper-pot.With its height of 75 meters is the striking tower seen from afar.The Peperbus is to climb to the first intercourse that at 51 meters height.This equates to 236 steps.The second deal is closed to the public and is 65 meters.The Peperbus was built between 1454 and 1463.He was however completely stump up. Because the tower of the Grote of St. Michael Church in 1669 was burned down, a new representative tower in Zwolle.In 1727 onion was therefore a cap on the tower.In 1815, the upper portion of the tower was destroyed by fire. The tower was restored and provided with the current domed roof in neoclassical style.From 2002 to 2005, the Peperbus thoroughly restored, because over the years, many structural defects in the tower arose.On November 2 2004, four new bells placed in the carillon of 51 bells with Peperbus making it one of the largest carillon in the Netherlands.

St. Michael Church

is a church on the Grand Place in the Overijssel city Zwolle.The present church was built in the period 1406 - 1466 built on the spot where first a small Romanesque church that was descended from about 1200.Over time, the church converted into a three-aisled hall church in the style of the Lower Rhine Gothic.On 17 December 1682 overthrew the high 15th century tower.This was due to several lightning strikes in respectively 1548, 1606 and 1669.This tower was severely weakened. Zwolle then lost the highest tower in the country.This was between 115 and 120 meters high. This made it is higher than the Utrecht Dom Tower (112.5 meters).At the site of the tower in 1686 was an octagonal vestry built.The organ was destroyed and only in 1721 a new organ was placed in the church.Sightseeing in the church are the four-manual organ which was designed by the famous North German organ builder Arp Schnitger.It was built by Franz Caspar and Johann Georg Schnitger.The organ was delivered on 30 September 1721.The cabinet is made by Jurriaan Westermann, an Amsterdam-based architect.Another attraction is the pulpit from the hand of Adam Straesz between 1617 -1622.

International Guitar Festival

is a five-day music festival that from 1969 annually in the Netherlands Zwolle held. The festival includes master classes, themed concerts, a weekend ensemble for amateur players, builders and a music scholarship and a competition.The situation of the guitar repertoire and his late sixties was one of isolation. Isolated with a dual cause. Firstly, the rediscovery of classical repertoire for guitar with other instruments not yet taken place and also knew the former conservatory teachers the guitar as a serious concert instrument. They had their own training during the guitar itself does not know and continued to distance itself too. The guitar teacher at the conservatories were therefore not the available ensembles perform because of lack of interest of everyone, except for the guitar students.The first festival was led by van der Staak itself. It took three weeks and took place in a small theater in Elburg. The course consisted include: preparation of performances in public, assistance with the daily study, and recitals by students training in ensemble playing. In 1970 the festival moved from Elbrug to Zwolle.

Liberation Overijssel

is a festival every year in the Wezenland Park in the Dutch town of Zwolle is held to celebrate Liberation Day.The festival brings the celebration of freedom playful attention through music and other cultural activities.In recent years, each year an additional topical implemented the concept of freedom.This is done in collaboration with other festivals and Liberation National Committee in April and May 5th.Since the first edition of the Liberation Overijssel, various locations for the event.This happened because the sites were too small for the increasing numbers of visitors.Since 2006, the Liberation in the Park held after the Peat Wezenland this became too small. Almost the entire Wezenland Park is used for the festival.There's two main stages at two different fields and also elsewhere in the park are various stages and activities. In 2009 the festival achieved a visitor record of 160,000 people.Never before were there for a Liberation in the Netherlands many visitors.In 2011 it was decided by the municipality of Zwolle that no dance event would take place.In 2010, this resulted in serious security problems on which visitors were trapped.

Sasse Donk Festival

was named in 1971 by Prince Mans I (prince of Eileuvers, the oldest carnival in Zwolle) was introduced.Its slogan "A Eileuver have a good drink because he comes from Sasse Donk" referred to there.This slogan came from a different tradition in Sasse Donk drinking a Blue Hand.The name refers to the nickname Blue Fingers and consists of brandy and brown sugar.The carnival in Zwolle has many traditions.During today's carnival there are some real Zwolle "artists" as Aunt Chicken and TreeBuuts mostly in the city center.The same is true for many (carnivals) that all groups in their own way add to the carnival Sasse Donks.Examples are the BV party & Reflection, The Virus, RD & CV (a draft beer and a cola vieux).Among others these groups organize small-scale carnival events.Carnival Group Mommerie organizes the annual Theatre concert Monday carnivals The Mirror.Sasse Donk is especially known for its exuberant way the carnival dress.The smock or over many years ago has been replaced by (often self-designed and self-made) costumes.Many carnavalisten are already months in advance and preparing to make it a sport to surpass oneself with respect to previous years.

Right Time to Visit

November - May
July - October


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