Kampen

Kampen

The Town of Kampen is a beautifully preserved town. In the 15th century it was a mighty Hansa town on the River IJssel, a busy trade route between the Rhine and the Zuiderzee.

Kampen, specialized in herring trade, had more ships than all the other towns in the north of the Netherlands put together. In the 16th century it gradually went into economic decline because the River IJssel estuary silted up. Today, Kampen is the home port of a large “brown fleet”, traditional Zuiderzee ships that used to carry cargo and now enjoy a second life as charter ships for sailing holidays. The harbour also boasts a replica of a kogge ship, a cargo ship introduced by the Hanseatic League. Kampen kogge ships carried salt from Portugal to the Baltic, for example. Visitors to Kampen are spoilt for choice of things to see: the old Town Hall from 1543 including a court room, the 17th-century Nieuwe Toren carillon tower, Gothische Huis Town Museum, Tobacco Museum, Pesthuis (Plague House), Broederpoort and Koornmarktspoort (town gates) and seven churches.