What follow is a narrative of a sight-seeing tour of Hattem, The Netherlands. It was evidently written by someone within the local Tourist Agency. The Tour covers places of interest and history. The walk is about 1.5 hours. Reading this narration takes about 20 minutes. There is a lot here so be prepared to scroll down and down and down.
1. We start our walk at the back of the Grand Church, at the choir side, at a building that used to be a gentleman's residence and that housed the French School in the 19th century. During both World Wars, the Central Rationing Office occupied the building. Today, the house bears the name "French School" again and serves as both a cultural centre and a local pub. The wing at the church side dates from the 16th century. The right-had wing around the corner and facing the herb-garden dates from the 17th century. Especially interesting are the beautiful and original windows at cellar level.
2. Walking back past the front door of the French School, we notice the house in the Kerkhofstraat (Churchyardstreet) with the sign "De Tinne". This used to be the residence of the famous Dutch patriot-leader Herman Willem Daendels. Daendels later served as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia)
The lower part of the house dates from the middle-ages. The part around the corner, at the right-hand side on the small square dates from 1618. The exterior of the house has some interesting features as well, such as the bricklaying above the windows and at the back, the typical renaissance facade. The lions on the gate carry the Daendels family crest.
3. The stretch of Kerkhofstraat where you are now standing is locally known as the Warme Land (the Warm Land). An explanation of this nickname could be the face that after suffering from cold Northeastern winds in the winters of the past, one entered the town and then found shelter. Another explanation is that this area was named after the colonial past of Daendels and his father-in-law Van Vlierden, who resided also in Hattem.
4. The rear part of Kerkhofstraat number 8 is built on the foundations of an ancient tower. This tower, the Explorer's Tower, was partly apart from the town wall, therefore the rear part of the current house is not in line with the rear parts of the other houses. This town wall can also be found inside the "Backhuys" (Bakery), once stables with a public bar.
When you look through the round window in the door you can still see the shooting hole in the corner. The "Backhuys" now forms part of the Dutch Bakery Museum "Het Warme Land". Other parts of the Museum are Opoe's Gelag (Granny's Bar) next door and the restored in-town farmhouse opposite, at the corner. The Museum shows all aspects of baking and bakeries and also features a small shop, an original milling stone and an 18th century oven which is still be used on Saturday mornings.
In the cellars you are shown how people used to deal with nutrition in days gone by. Also in the cellar are the remains of a former defending tower (The Hoenwaard Tower) and its fortifications. The presence of these fortifications led the Museum to adopt "Survival of Man" as general theme for the Museum. The Dikjpoort (Dyke Tower) also fits into this theme.
5. We continue our walk by crossing the Ridderstraat (Knight Street). We go through the little gate next to number 25 Ridderstraat to have a look at the river-polder called "Hoenwaard" from the town wall. This polder was given to those people of Hattem who lived within the city walls in 1401 by Duke Willem, to be used as common meadow.
The term "who live within the city walls" was taken literally until shortly after World War II, resulting in a considerable number of animals living within the city walls during the winter months. A number of in-town farmhouses can still be seen. Imagine the scenes in town when in April the cows and other animals were chased out of the town again, into the common meadows. It was only in 1955 that the first farms were built in the common meadows and the livestock started to disappear from the town.
The busy main road in front of you is the Bevrijdingsweg (Liberation Road), constructed in 1953. This road liberated the town centre from a lot of traffic. Behind the road you can see the Apeldoorn Canal, built in 1829.
6. Now, let's turn around and walk back to the Ridderstraat named after Ridder (Knight) Joris, who defeated the Dragon. In 1411 a chapel was built in his honor a bit further down the street.
Coming out of the gate we turn left and walk out of the Ridderstraat and into the Nieuwe Weg (New Road), "new" in 1645 that is! At the corner we turn right and walk down the steps behind the bus stop rising high above the city wall is the Tall House, a 17th century gentlemen's residence. The town wall dates from the Middle Ages but also carries a plaque with the year 1582 inscribed.
At the foot of the wall the Greet Heart Society has made a garden containing only original Dutch plants and flowers. At the corner of the wall there used to be a defense tower; the foundations can still be seen. Via the old tower stairs you can reach the teahouse at the top. You are then in the garden of the Tall House. Continue your walk either on top of the wall or at the foot, both ways leading to the Daendels Gate.
7. Go through the Daendels Gate and through the second gate and you find yourself in the Adelaarshoek... (Eagle's Corner). The name of this street is pictured in the left hand corner. The old building on the left is the last remaining part of the duke's Castle. This remaining part was a part of the front section and was called the "Ghosthouse" by the locals. The blind wall which faces you as part of the outer wall and is no less than 1.40 metres (55 inches) think.
The other buildings on the left side of the street were all built in 1899 after a large fire destroyed all the original buildings.
We continue our walk through the small gate at the left and then reach the former inner yard of the Castle. Walking past the new small houses you will reach a circular area paved with bricks. This is part of the reconstruction of the foundations of the former castle and shows where once the large tower was located. Adjacent on the right you will see recreations of the foundations of a part of the square main building and of one of the two small towers.
The real foundations are several metres below but have been examined by archeologists. The diameter of the large tower was 21 metres with 7 metre think walls. The castle was aptly named Dikke Tinne). The buildings rose some 20 metres above the ground and thanks to these dimensions the castle was unique in our country. The castle Fat Tinne in this form was built in 1404. The main building was set in its own moat; the grey-blue stones you see today try to create the impression of a moat. The moat went right up to the reconstructed quay you see when looking in the direction of the Ghosthouse. After 1580 the town became owner of the castle and the town wall was built against it, making the castle part of the fortifications. The main building was demolished in 1778 to enhance the town's financial state of affairs by selling the bricks. The three old houses you see leaning against the town wall are built on a part of the old jeu-de-boules place and newly-built houses, both in old world style and in contrasting modern style.
8. We'll continue our walk by going back to the Adelaarshoek (Eagle's Corner) via the small gate. Almost immediately at the right you will find a nice gentleman's residence built in 1626. Commonly known as the "house of Love" the origin of this nickname is unknown.
9. Next, we turn right into the Korte Kerkstraat (Short Church Street), known by the locals as the Zaksteeg (Sack Alley). At the end of the street, on the left, is the former vicarage dating from 1632. Opposite is the Christian reform Church, formerly in use as a school building. By walking through the Van Raalte Gate we enter the public herb garden of the Franse School (French School). You are welcome to pick some herbs to take home with you.
Back into the Korte Kerstraat we find a small alley half way down the street at the right-hand side. We walk into the alley and come back on the church square. We walk by the Franse School, around the church and turn left into the Kerkhofstraat (Churchyard Street). Notice the beautiful long facade of the first houses; this used to be one house, now it is split up into three houses. The front door of number 5a is new!
10. We walk past the Post Office and come to the Town Hall. The original Town Hall was built in 1619 and enlarged in 1770. At that time the current entrance and windows were constructed. The lantern and its support on the corner of the building form a nice touch. The part of the building around the corner, with the balcony and the identification 1625 was used as the Court of Justice; after 1875 this building was converted into a weighing station. During the last restoration phase over 10 buildings were combined into one. During opening hours of the town Hall you are invited to step inside and see for yourself that all original buildings can still be identified.
11. The Markt (Market) is dominated by the church and its tower. Left of the tower is the former weighhouse with the guardshouse above it. The building dates from 1621. In the old days a stately staircase outside the building led to the guardhouse.
The verse in the stone commemorates the disaster year of 1672 and around the corner on the left is a small verse which commemorates a peace treaty. One of the two remaining public water pumps can also be found here.
The tower is built up in two different styles. The lower part is made from brick and clad in tuff in typical Roman style, and dating from the early 13th century.
The upper part dates from the 14th century. The partly open spire dates from 1611. Above the 17th century door you see the Hattem town crest with the provincial Gelderland lion with a star. You can see the same crest on the weighhouse and the guardhouse.
At the right from the tower is the old school, the walls of which were covered in plaster around the turn of the century.
12. The house with the balcony behind our back had been the Inn "Het Vosje" (The Small Fox). In the past century famous painters of the 1880's stayed here. On the other corner of the Kerkstraat is the famous coffeehouse and restaurant "Mistelle". Outside there is little evidence that the building was erected around 1425 and therefore is on of the oldest buildings in the town. In later times the windows were enlarged and a layer of plaster was put over the original brick.
13. Next, we move on and turn right around number 3 Markt (Marketplace) and into the Koestraat (Cow Street). On the left you can see old-style new buildings on the spot where one of the wings of the front part of the castle used to be. At the bridge we turn right into the Derde Walsteeg (Third Wall Alley). Coming back into the Kerkstraat we see a restored (in 1972) building on the left hand corner. The wall-anchors in the Kerkstraat indicate the year 1633. Crossing the Kerkstraat on our way to the Tweede Walsteeg (Second Wall Alley) you see a newly constructed house in old style on the right hand side. The right wall of the alley has recently been partly restored.
14. Next, we turn left into the Achterstraat (Back Street) where several houses of former farms can be found. On the left side is a Jewish Synagog which was built in 1873. After the Second World War, the building was no longer used as such.
On the right you find the Regional Museum and Anton Pieck Museum. (Anton Pieck was a well-known illustrator who lived until the 1980's).
15. Just behind the cross-roads there used to be the Dorpspoort (Village Gate) leading to the Dorpsweg (Village Road). Hattem has always had a community outside the town walls on this side of the town and this part is still called het Dorp. (The village).
16. We now walk down the Molenbelt (Mill Belt) and past the working mill from 1852; opposite the mill you can enter a small courtyard to admire the restored rear facades of the Museum as well as the black-smith's workshop. We continue our walk down the Noordwal (North Wall) where you can see former farmhouses, one of which houses the Anton Pieck Museum mentioned earlier. To accommodate the Museum an extension has recently been completed. On the left you find the town moat which almost uninterruptedly surrounds the Old Town.
17. At the end of the road is the Dijkpoort (Dyke Gate), the only remaining Gate of Hattem. It is the inner gate of a complex of fortifications and dates from approx. 1400. In 1908 the Gate was partly reconstructed by the famous Dutch architect Cuypers, who used then-modern materials (to be honest about the work done), and added the then fashionable spires.
On the wall is a statue referring to the medieval lavatory nearby.
The connecting wall to the outer gate is still there, complete with lower shooting holes for the cannons and upper ones for special guns on the top.
The row of little houses (nr.30) stood between the inner and outer gate.
18. The large building outside the gate used to be the Hattem Clubhouse and was built in 1843 on the no longer used foundation of the Dyke Gate.
We walk over to the Schipperswal (Skippers Quay) and find a small statue of a skipper on the lookout to see if any ships are entering the harbor. The small waterway more to the right and next to the bicycle path used to be Hattem's only connection with the river Ijssel which branches out of the river Rhine some 80 kilometres (50 miles) upriver.
The curious little garden house on the left, in the garden of the first large house, was built by its occupant, the famous painter Voerman, well-known for his beautiful river landscapes.
19. We go back into the town now through the dyke Gate and then turn left into the Knoorenburgerstraat. The little white house leaning against the gate used to be the house of the town midwife and is still being called the Midwife's House. The small houses on the left belong to the Old Women Foundation. A foundation dating from before 1550 with the aim of providing housing for poor women.
On the right you can see two old warehouses; the only evidence that Hattem used to belong to the powerful Hanseatic Treaty, although trade was never an important part of its history.
We turn right now and come back into the Ridderstraat (Knight Street). Make a point of looking at the attractive 18th century (1724) facade of the house on number 3. Large parts of the house are much older.
A short walk through the Kerksteeg (Church Alley) leads us to the Grote Kerk (Grand Church). As with most churches, this church has been built up in various phases and different styles in the architecture are evident. The lower part of the tower is the remaining part of a small old roman church, long since gone. Later the main section of the church was built and the tower was enlarged in 1425. The Maria Chapel at the northern side was built in 1436. In 1504, the Anna chapel and the Choir were completed at the southern part.
Inside, one is struck by the height and airiness of the building. Interesting details are the different Satan-heads on the supporting consoles.
The Choir and the Anna Chapel (on the right) both have an arched roof, a late lower Rhine Gothic style element.
On the ceiling are portraits of the Saints Andreas and Catherine, to whom this church was devoted.
The font is very old and dates from the early 13th century, while the small organ was made between 1550 and 1575 in early renaissance style. In the Choir you will find an altarstone, later used as a tombstone. The pulpit dates from 1636, and together with the sculptured wooden magistrate's benches from the same time reflects the great skill of the carpenters of that time. The two large lustres in the middle of the church date from 1692, the one hanging in front of the pulpit dates from the 18th century.
The large organ was recently constructed (1975) but the exterior originates form Waterloo, Belgium and was made in the early 1900's. The interior of the church was thoroughly restored during 1986-1993. Most tombstones are no longer in their original places to avoid them being covered by the newly constructed sections of the floor. Hattem became a place of pilgrimage in the 16th century thanks to Knight Bamberg who got hold of an import relic of the Holy Anna, and whose tomb can still be found in the rear of the Anna Chapel. A medieval wall painting in the Chapel depicts various scenes of Job's Story.
Now your walk around Hattem comes to an end; you have seen the most important sights of our small town which was granted city-rights as early as 1299 and whose inner part still bears witness of a long history.
You have not seen opulent houses usually found in old hanseatic towns because Hattem's economy suffered a lot from the occupation of the French and the Munster armies in 1672. Only in the early part of the 20th century industrialization on a limited scale brought back some economic growth and wealth. The development really started after World War II.
If you can spare the time it is well worth visiting some of the surrounding countryside, for example the splendid Molecaten Estate just outside the town with its small brooks and old water-mill, its restored Inn and its pleasant country house (House itself not open to the public).
If you prefer wind, water and beautiful skies then the riverland is a good choice to spend some time in. A small ferry takes pedestrians (and their bicycles!) to the other side of the river from where you have a great view of our town.
The Town and people of Hattem appreciate your visit and your interest in our history. Good bye and come again.
Last Revised: 2/13/02