Kampen – Things to do in the former Hanseatic City

Categories: Travel reports, Europe, Netherlands

After we had visited the Hanseatic city of Deventer in the morning as part of our river cruise with VIVA Cruises, a second stop in the city of Kampen on the banks of the IJssel was on the agenda for the afternoon. The historic old town with its 3 city gates, several churches and an old town hall from the 14th century can be easily explored on foot and on your own.

Kampen Netherlands header image

Things to know about Kampen

Kampen is a former Hanseatic city on the banks of the IJssel and originated around the year 1000 from a village along a dike. In 1236 Kampen was granted town rights. The favorable location on the river brought prosperity to the city in the Middle Ages, because good money could be earned with trade and industry. Over time, Kampen developed from a simple settlement into a thriving trading town and even became one of the leading cities in northwestern Europe. Today, about 55,000 inhabitants live here.

A recommended tour of the city can be downloaded here as a .pdf version.

Kampen, Netherlands, Map

The location of the city of Kampen in the Netherlands

The Cruise port of VIVA TIARA in Kampen

With our ship VIVA TIARA we docked on the city side directly at the IJsselkade near the Lampetpoort, so that the city center of Kampen was almost at our feet. We had 4.5 hours to explore the city, because our layover time was from 4 to 9 pm.

Pier, Kampen Netherlands, Viva Cruises

The landing stage of viva TIARA in Kampen

The sights in Kampen

During our walk through Kampen we were able to discover some historical sights. After all, there are over 500 monumental monuments in the city, beautiful houses with special facades and three of the original 20 city gates.

The 3 city gates

The three still existing city gates of Kampen were our highlight in the city, because with their turrets and shutters they are visually a real feast for the eyes. They are the only city gates left over from the original 20 gates of the former city wall. The remaining gates as well as a large part of the city wall were demolished over time because they have lost importance.

The Koornmarktspoort borders on the Koornmarkt and is the oldest of the three still existing city gates. It was built at the beginning of the 14th century and was formerly used, among other things, for a prison and as a base for soldiers.

The Cellebroederspoort was moved in 1465 from the city canal to its current location on the park side at the end of the Cellebroedersweg. In the 17th century, the gate received its present form.

The Broederpoort is located on the park side at the end of the Broederweg, where originally there was no city wall, but only an earth wall. The Broederpoort was – like the Cellebroederspoort – implemented in 1465.

Around the Kornmarkt

The Kornmarkt is one of the largest squares in the city and is mainly characterized by the St. Nicolaas Church, which is also called Bovenkerk by the inhabitants. The large, Gothic basilica with cross plan is the oldest building in the city and at the same time the dominant in the cityscape of Kampen. Around the church there are still small shops and cafes as well as the Theological University.

The Old Town Hall and the New Tower

A real gem in the old town of Kampen is the old Stadhuis, built in the 14th century, which really impressed us with its onion-shaped turret and beautiful façade decorations. Most of the old town hall was rebuilt after a severe fire in 1543. The Stedelijk Museum has been located in the new town hall next to it for many years.

Diagonally opposite the town hall is the New Tower (Nieuwe Toren), which has shaped the cityscape since 1664. At first we thought that the tower belonged to a church, but that was actually never the case, but it always stood on its own as a symbol of urban wealth. In the alleys of Kampen, the glockenspiel of the tower, which counts a total of 48 bells, is regularly heard.

The Buitenhaven & the Museum Ship “Kamper Kogge”

The Buitenhaven is located on the northern edge of Kampen city centre. In addition to small, private boats and yachts, the museum ship Kamper Kogge built between 1994 and 1998, is located here in calm waters. The model for this medieval ship was the wreck of a cogwheel ship from the 14th century found on the bottom of the IJsselmeer, i.e. a cargo ship from the time of the Hanseatic cities. In 2004, the Kampener Kogge sailed past several Hanseatic cities in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. By the way, the ship is the oldest reconstructed ship in the Netherlands. Internationally, there are only four more, roadworthy cogs.

Other sights in the Old Town

During our city walk we passed other pretty houses and interesting sights. On the one hand, the Gothic, Hanseatic merchant’s house from the 15th century in the Oudestraat and the smallest house in the city with an area of 20 m² in the Botervatsteeg (“Het kleinste huisje van Kampen”) should be emphasized.

Since it unfortunately rained a lot during our city tour, we walked through the city relatively quickly. Nevertheless, we were able to discover small, winding alleys, beautiful churches and other photo opportunities.

A map with all sights in Kampen

On the following Google MyMaps map we have drawn all important sights & photo spots of the Hanseatic city of Kampen.

Kampen Netherlands Attractions Map

Google MyMaps Map of the sights in Kampen

All travel reports of our river cruise on the Rhine

For one week we were on the Rhine with VIVA TIARA from Düsseldorf and got to know some of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. From the pretty harbor towns of Deventer and Kampen, we continued to Enkhuizen and Hoorn, where we crossed the largest lake in the Netherlands - the Ijsselmeer. From here, our ship took us to the two metropolises of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, on to Dordrecht and the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk, and finally to the city of Nijmegen.
Reiseberichte VIVA Cruises auf dem Rhein VIVA Cruises - Our cruise ship VIVA TIARA
Deventer - Sights & Photo Spots of the Hanseatic City
Kampen - Things to do in the former Hanseatic City
Enkhuizen - Historic harbor town on the IJsselmeer
Hoorn - Things to do in the historic town
Amsterdam - The most beautiful photo spots & sights
Rotterdam - The most beautiful sights & photo spots
Dordrecht - Sights & our walking tour in the city
Kinderdijk - The 19 windmills of Kinderdijk in Holland (UNESCO)
Nijmegen - Sights of the oldest city in the Netherlands
Düsseldorf - Sights & the most beautiful photo spots