The view of small towns and hidden gems will be front and center if people are thinking of running through a list of what not to do when visiting the Netherlands. Contrary to popular belief, Zutphen is no less well known than other Dutch towns. Exploring the charming new tourist attraction of Zutphen is worth the traveler’s time. Zutphen, located on the IJssel and Berkel rivers, is home to many attractions in the Netherlands. This Hanzestad, also known as Torenstad, has a long and illustrious history dating back to the days of the Roman Empires 1,700 years ago.
This is due to the huge historic structures and diversity of towers that make up the city’s landscape. The stunning architecture serves as the backdrop for a charming mix of cultural venues, shops, restaurants and activities. One might be amazed by many of the unusual activities and places they can discover in this unknown place. People might even want to go back to Zutphen one day to relax and slow down.
What to see in Zutphen
Church of St. Walburga And Librije
St. Walpurgis Church, dating from the 11th century, is the largest and oldest church in Zutphen. Monuments commemorating the former Counts of Zutphen, a striking chandelier, a lavish copper fountain, and a memorial to the Van Heeckeren House are all within the current Gothic structure. One of the largest collections of wall and ceiling art from the 1500s in Holland can be seen here, with the earliest works dating back to around 1400.
The 16th-century Librije, or chained library in St. Walburga’s Church, has undergone very few changes over the years, with its naturally lit reading room. It is one of five surviving medieval libraries across Europe. Vintage books are still tied with chains to their old wooden tables, a centuries-old tradition. The practice dates back to when it was a public library to protect books from theft.
Luther’s Hofje or Luter’s Court
Luther’s Hofje was built to help underprivileged members of the church. The fourteen houses that once made up this courtyard each had a window, a door, an oven, a box bed, a closet and an attic. It was believed to be all the room the poor needed. Dark brown interior paint was used because it was cheaper and made it harder to see when the paint was fading.
The yard has undergone a noticeable change since 1910 when new housing legislation came into effect, with the number of housing units increasing from 14 to 7. The emblem of the Lutheran church is a white swan which can be seen above the door.
Berkelpoort is one of the most important structures in Zutphen. It is a water gate that is part of the city wall of Zutphen. It is erected on the small river of Berkel. The Berkelpoort, whose origins date back to the 14th century, was built to connect the two districts of Zutphen on either side of the Berkel River. Zutphen once had two water gates, but the second was destroyed in 1774.
The Bourgonjetoren tower was built around 1457. This structure was equipped with cannons to guard the coast and protect Zutphen from Burgundian attacks. The walls of the tower are four meters thick and twelve meters high. About two centuries older than the turret is the surrounding wall.
Eight shooting apertures are visible at the tower. The largest gun, about five meters long and weighing over 10,000 kg, was hidden behind these openings but was never used. 1741 saw the addition of the tower dome.
The Stedelijk Museum Zutphen, which explores the historical background of Zutphen, is one of two museums that make up the Musea Zutphen, the city’s first museum. The Henriette Polak Museum, specializing in contemporary classical artwork and sculpture, is the second museum. A visit to one or both of these galleries is a must while visitors are in Zutphen.
What to do in Zutphen
Explore the city on the water
Tourists can explore this historic Hanseatic village on the banks of the IJssel by canoe on the beautiful Berkel River. A brief canal cruise in Zutphen takes guests to several neighborhoods in and around town, and lasts between 60 and 75 minutes. Additionally, tourists can rent kayaks between April and September.
Take a walking tour
Zutphen has plenty of attractions to see and it is a lovely town to explore on foot. Tourists can choose to walk around and explore the city on their own, or they can take a guided walking tour that showcases everything from the city’s most amazing landmarks to breathtaking courtyards. Visitors can see historic fortifications while strolling through charming downtown shopping districts, attractive courtyards, and defenses that date back hundreds of years.
If visitors wish to shop in Zutphen, they should go to Beukerstraat. There are both big brands and smaller boutiques and concept stores. Everyone will find their happiness. As well as finding adorable boutiques in Korte Beukerstraat and Lange Hofstraat, be sure to explore the side streets near Beukerstraat.
The Spittaalstraat is the next major shopping district that tourists should visit in Zutphen. This Zutphen street is well known as the “specialty street” of the city. There are excellent shops, concept stores and eating establishments.
Zutphen is a quintessential Dutch city with a stunning cityscape and spectacular attractions to explore. So start planning a vacation in the Netherlands.