A lovely city, I'm proud of it. A city that has everything I need for me. To live in, to live, but also to go to for relaxation.
I once loved everything that had to do with the Hanseatic region (an old covenant between cities in which trade agreements were established) De Hanze made Deventer great.
Deventer is old, very old. I was once involved in excavations as an amateur archaeologist at the Scheg (Skating rink and sports centre in Deventer). We have seen different time periods pass there in the different layers. My own first find was a musket ball. I didn't have one yet, and I found it myself. He was carelessly thrown back by one of my fellow amateurs. Away first find. But later we witnessed the discovery of an old farm. Delicious, regular shadows in the sand (dark discolouration) were the only visible. But here so has already lived in the time of the hunters and peasants civilization.
Also finds from Roman times can be found here. They only came to the Rhine, it is often said. Well, then I can say that every now and then they would like to go abroad and abroad, these boys had less and less. Apparently, this region was already loved back then.
Back to the Hanseatic. Around 1400 Deventer was part of this Hanze. Together with Zwolle, Kampen, Hasselt, Hattem, Zutphen and Doesburg you had a nice bunch of Hansecities at a glance. In the present time I often use the name Hanze to know if a city is worth a while. If it was a member of that Hanseatic, you'd be fine.
And no, not only in the Netherlands. The old capital of the Hanseatic region was Lubeck in Germany, but also Bergen in Norway, London in England and, well, let's take Venice in the list. (yes there are many more).
In Deventer, this ancient glory is well preserved. Every year this old atmosphere is beautifully placed in the Walstraat (during the Dickens festival, a different time, but the atmosphere really radiates nostalgia). Unfortunately, this year is not going on, but that street is still worth it. You will find, among other things, the old women's prison (now a museum) Walk a little further, you will find the Bergkerk on a hill. We Dutch find everything that transcends our little country soon beyond a mountain so hence the name. Behind that mountain church is the old barracks, where I was once summoned for my military service. Now it has become a shopping center. Lovely to wander around.
Further into the centre, I think you will come to one of the icons of Deventer, the Waag. A stately building in the middle of a lovely square full of terraces. It is already a museum, but just behind it is also the toy museum. So you have plenty to watch. On this square (in a very special building) is also the Tourist Office. If you have the chance to be able to look inside the building behind this tourist office, then you are lucky. A full-fledged church is almost hidden in the city. A real gem.
Churches really have Deventer in abundance, you may have passed the old synagogue along the way from the Boreelkazerne to the Brink. Also this one is very good with its separate façade.
But now that we move a little downstream along the Ijssel, we arrive more and more in the area where I prefer to come. First of course on the old market with the imposing Lebuinus (now and then you can climb the tower giving a great view over the old town). Behind that Lebuinus is also the old St. Mary's Church, part of which has no roof anymore. It now functions as the very atmospheric terrace garden of the arsenal (a locally chic restaurant).
You walk through the Lebuinus. In the Noorderbergstraat. Delicious, here is not the hustle and bustle of the city, but the atmosphere. Small alleys, a true monastery (with monastery garden) the old Athenaeum library (Deventer had one of the first universities in the Netherlands). The old Burgerorphanage (now a great place for performing arts). Even a great hotel (Guild hotel) With the grandeur of a rich past can be found on this side of Deventer.
Well, when you're going into Deventer, park your car in the parking garage behind the Hema. Why? You can drive all the way to the roof and enjoy the view over the rooftops of Deventer. (saves you a lot of climbing if you prefer not to climb the Lebuinus tower).
I can tell you so much more, but who knows, maybe you can find out for yourself.