Zwolle is a city located in the north-east of the Netherlands on the IJssel River, about one hour and a half from Amsterdam by train. The name of the city Zwolle comes from the word “Swolle” which means "hill".
Its origin dates back to the eighth century, when the first small village was established there. In the thirteenth century it received city rights. Shortly after that fact, it became a member of Hanseatic League (a trading union between cities in Northern Europe) and was one of the leading cities in this League. Unfortunately, one century later, Zwolle lost its leader position because of dynamic development of Amsterdam. In the eighteenth century, the city of Zwolle was only a provincial one.
Nowadays Zwolle is the main economic and cultural center of the West-Overijssel region and one of the largest in the Netherlands. It has more than 120.000 inhabitants.
When you are walking down the streets of Zwolle you can feel like in the Middle Ages when Zwolle was in a Hanseatic League, because of small, narrow streets, many gothics churches and beautiful, full of color tenements.
The most important monuments in Zwolle are two Grote Markt (Grand Market Square) and Grote Kerkplein (Grand Church Square) and also Gothic church of St. Michael (Sint-Michaëlskerk). You can also visit a seventeenth-century building with a summit called Hoofdwacht where in the old days public executions took place.
Other attractions worth seeing are: Basilica with a tower called Peperbustoren (pepper-pot), former fortifications of the old city, City Gate named Sassenport and the Town Hall.
But in my opinion the most important and colorful things are canals in the city, which can be visited, for example, by pedal boat.
I am very glad I could see this beautiful city and feel it's special atmosphere. In the future I would love to see whole the Netherlands.