Deventer is a municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 and city
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 in the Salland
Salland is a historical dominion in the west and north of the present Dutch province of Overijssel. It is probably named after the Salian Franks, who are thought to originate from Salland...

 region of the Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 of Overijssel
Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands in the central eastern part of the country. The region has a NUTS classification of NL21. The province's name means "Lands across river IJssel". The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede...

. Deventer is largely situated on the east bank of the river IJssel
River IJssel , sometimes called Gelderse IJssel to avoid confusion with its Hollandse IJssel namesake in the west of the Netherlands, is a branch of the Rhine in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel...

, but also has a small part of its territory on the west bank. In 2005 the municipality of Bathmen (pop. 5,000) was merged with Deventer as part of a national effort to reduce bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 in the country.

Population centres

Associated hamlets at second level
  • Deventer (see below)
    • Snippeling (a small community about 2 km east of the city centre)
  • Colmschate (Deventer suburb quarters surrounding eponymous village 4 km east of the city centre, ice skating hall, small railway station)
    • De Bannink
    • Oxe
  • Diepenveen
    Diepenveen is a village in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It is located in the municipality of Deventer, about 4 km north of the city centre.Diepenveen was a separate municipality until 1999, when it became a part of Deventer....

    , a picturesque village 4 km to the north, surrounded by forests
    • Molenbelt
    • Rande
    • Tjoene
  • Lettele, in a forest area
    • Linde
    • Oude Molen ('old mill')
    • Zandbelt
  • Okkenbroek
  • Schalkhaar (former centre of Diepenveen municipality including Lettele and Okkenbroek until 1/1/1999)
    • Averlo
    • Frieswijk
  • Bathmen
    Bathmen is a town in the eastern Netherlands. The municipality was merged with her larger neighbour of Deventer on 1. January 2005 as part of a national effort to reduce bureaucracy in the country.-External links:*****...

    (independent municipality until 1/1/2005)
    • Apenhuizen ('monkey houses')
    • Dortherhoek
    • Loo
    • Pieriksmars
    • Zuidloo

Foundation and development in the Middle Ages

Deventer was probably founded around 768 by the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

Lebuinus , Apostle of the Frisians and patron of Deventer .-Life:Lebuinus was a monk in Wilfrid's monastery at Ripon...

, who built a wooden church on the right bank of the river IJssel. This was not the first human settlement at the location; from the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 to about 400 AD, there was a settlement at Colmschate, 4 km east of the city centre. Remains of this settlement were excavated between 1981 and 2006.
The village of Deventer, already important because of a trading road crossing the river IJssel
River IJssel , sometimes called Gelderse IJssel to avoid confusion with its Hollandse IJssel namesake in the west of the Netherlands, is a branch of the Rhine in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel...

, was looted and burnt down by the Vikings in 882
Year 882 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar.- Europe :* Carloman, King of the West Franks, becomes sole king upon the death of his brother....

. It was immediately rebuilt and fortified with an earthen wall (in the street Stenen Wal remains of this wall have been excavated and restored).

Deventer received city rights in 956
Year 956 was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar.- Events :* The Great Lighthouse at Alexandria was damaged by an earthquake.- Deaths :...

, after which fortifications were built or replaced by stone walls around the city for defense. Between 1000 and 1500, Deventer grew to be a flourishing trade city because of its harbour on the river IJssel, which was capable of accommodating large ships. The city was a member of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...


One of the commodities it traded in, dried haddock and cod from Norway, gave the citizens the nickname they carry to this day: "Deventer Stokvis" In the 15th century, Deventer had a common mint, where coins for the three IJssel cities Deventer, Zwolle
Zwolle is a municipality and the capital city of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, 120 kilometers northeast of Amsterdam. Zwolle has about 120,000 citizens.-History:...

, and Kampen
Kampen (Overijssel)
Kampen is a municipality, a city and an old Hanseatic city at the lower reaches of the river IJssel in the Dutch province of Overijssel.The municipality of Kampen counts 50,073 inhabitants in an area of approximately 162 km² . Kampen is located in the North West of Overijssel and is the...

 were made.

Deventer is the place of birth of Geert Groote
Geert Groote
Gerard Groote , otherwise Gerrit or Gerhard Groet, in Latin Gerardus Magnus, was a Dutch preacher and founder of the Brethren of the Common Life and a key figure in the Devotio Moderna movement....

 and home to his Brethren of the Common Life
Brethren of the Common Life
The Brethren of the Common Life was a Roman Catholic pietist religious community founded in the 14th century by Gerard Groote, formerly a successful and worldly educator who had had a religious experience and preached a life of simple devotion to Jesus Christ...

, a school of religious thought that was of great influence on Thomas a Kempis
Thomas à Kempis
Thomas à Kempis was a late Medieval Catholic monk and the probable author of The Imitation of Christ, which is one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His name means, "Thomas of Kempen", his home town and in German he is known as Thomas von Kempen...

 and Erasmus in later times. Together with Haarlem it was among the first cities to have printing presses, dating back to as early as 1477. From around 1300, it also housed a Latin School, which became internationally renowned, and remained in service in changing forms until 1971. Its most famous pupil was the scholar Desiderius Erasmus
Desiderius Erasmus
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus , known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and a theologian....

, who was born in 1466 and attended the school from 1475 to 1484.

16th–20th century

Between 1500 and 1800, the mass of water flowing through the IJssel decreased, decreasing the importance of Deventer's harbour. The competition with trade centres in Holland, as well as the religious war between 1568 and 1648, brought a decline in the city's economy.

In the 18th century, the iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 industry came to Deventer. East of the town, so-called "oer", riversand containing iron, was found as early as 900. From this material, ore was produced and brought to town. The main road of the villages Okkenbroek, Lettele and Schalkhaar is still named Oerdijk (Ore Dyke).

In the 19th century, Deventer became an industrial town. Bicycles (Burgers), carpets (Koninklijke Deventer Tapijtfabriek) , tins and cans for food and drinks (Thomassen & Drijver), cigars (Horst & Maas en Bijdendijk & Ten Hove), foundry and heavy machinery (Nering Bögel), and textiles (Ankersmit) were produced until the mid to late 20th century. Some of these industries are still thriving today, such as beds and accessories (Auping) and publishing (Wolters-Kluwer, now with headquarters in Amsterdam)

World War II

Deventer has seen few military engagements throughout its long history, although it was a garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 city of the Dutch cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

. The industrial area and harbour were bombed heavily during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The city centre has been largely spared, thus offering a view that has remained largely unchanged for the past few centuries.

The female Jewish poet and writer Etty Hillesum
Etty Hillesum
Esther "Etty" Hillesum was a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation...

 lived in Deventer during the war before being deported to Auschwitz.

In Schalkhaar, a village only 2 km northeast of the city centre, barracks were used by the German occupying forces to train Nazi policemen. The compound is now a centre for asylum seekers.

Deventer has been somewhat popular with the film industry. During the production of the movie A Bridge Too Far all of the scenes taking place in nearby Arnhem
Arnhem is a city and municipality, situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located near the river Nederrijn as well as near the St. Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem has 146,095 residents as one of the...

 were filmed in Deventer - as Arnhem itself had lost its historic center.

Modern Times

The city's trade and industry is still of some importance. The city is host to a factory producing central heating
Central heating
A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be a HVAC system.Central heating differs from local heating in that the heat generation...

 systems, and still has offices of editor and publisher Wolters-Kluwer, which is a major player in international scientific and legal publishing.

The Deventer honey cake (Bussink Deventer Koek), produced in Deventer for over 500 years, is still manufactured locally and sold all over the Netherlands and beyond.


  • The Waag (Weighing-house) on the edge of the Brink square, built in 1550 and restored in 2003. The Deventer City Museum is housed inside the Waag. The Museum's collections include industrial and trading history, paintings by Gerard Terborch and Han van Meegeren
    Han van Meegeren
    Han van Meegeren , born Henricus Antonius van Meegeren, was a Dutch painter and portraitist, and is considered to be one of the most ingenious art forgers of the 20th century....

    , silver objects, and prehistoric findings). Thea Beckman
    Thea Beckman
    Thea Beckman was a Dutch author of children's books.-Biography:At young age , Beckman knew she wanted to be a writer...

    's novel Het wonder van Frieswijck ("The Frieswijck Miracle") features the Waag.
    • On the outer wall of the Waag hangs a large kettle that is over 500 years old, said to have been used for a public execution in the late Middle Ages
      Middle Ages
      The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

      ; a man who had produced counterfeit coins was cooked to death in it. According to local tradition,There are holes in the kettle shot by footmen of Napoleon's army around 1809.
  • The Lebuïnuskerk (St. Lebuin's Church) in Gothic style, with remarkable ceiling paintings and a beautiful organ. Its tower can be climbed in summer.
  • The Brink (market square) with houses, shops, and cafes dating from 1575-1900. The market square is also the center of Deventer nightlife. Alongside this square there is the Bussink "Koekhuisje", where you can buy the famous Deventer Koek (honey-cake). Markets take place every Friday (including a very big one on Good Friday, following a medieval tradition) and Saturday.
  • The Speelgoedmuseum (Toy
    A toy is any object that can be used for play. Toys are associated commonly with children and pets. Playing with toys is often thought to be an enjoyable means of training the young for life in human society. Different materials are used to make toys enjoyable and cuddly to both young and old...

     Museum) behind the Waag, housed in one of the most picturesque old houses of the city.
  • The medieval Bergkerk (Mountain Church), on top of a small hill (old river dune), now a museum for modern art.
  • The picturesque and old streets around the Bergkerk, known as Bergkwartier (Mountain Quarter) situated on and around an old river dune.
  • Football stadium De Adelaarshorst, home venue of Go Ahead Eagles
    Go Ahead Eagles
    The Go Ahead Eagles are a football club from Deventer, Netherlands, currently playing in the Eerste Divisie. The club's home stadium is De Adelaarshorst. To date, the club has won the national championship four times...

     situated in a typical 1930s neighbourhood and one of the oldest stadiums still in use today.

Events and festivals

The city hosts three events of national and even international fame:
  • In the first week-end of July, the city centre is the scene of the spectacular open air festival "Deventer op stelten" (Deventer on Stilts
    Stilts are poles, posts or pillars used to allow a person or structure to stand at a distance above the ground. Walking stilts are poles equipped with steps for the feet to stand on, or straps to attach them to the legs, for the purpose of walking while elevated above a normal height...

    ). Actors and artists give free performances in the streets and on the Brink square. All actors must use stilts during their acts.
  • In August, Deventer is home to Europe's largest book fair, attracting some 125,000 visitors.
  • The Dickens Festival in December sees some of the oldest streets and alleys in the city dressed up in the style of the Victorian era
    Victorian era
    The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

    , as per Dickens' writings. The latter attracted 135,000 visitors in 2004 and 2006.


Deventer has 2 railway stations - for destinations see
  • Deventer railway station
    Deventer railway station
    Deventer is a railway station in Deventer, the Netherlands. The station was opened on 5 August 1865 and is on the Apeldoorn–Deventer railway, Deventer–Almelo railway and the Arnhem–Leeuwarden railway.-Destinations:...

  • Deventer Colmschate railway station
    Deventer Colmschate railway station
    Deventer Colmschate is a railway station located in Deventer, The Netherlands. The station was opened on 1 September 1888 and is located on the Deventer–Almelo railway...

Notable people associated with Deventer

  • Gerard Ter Borch
    Gerard ter Borch
    Gerard ter Borch was a Dutch genre painter, who lived in the Dutch Golden Age.-Biography:Gerard ter Borch was born in December 1617 in Zwolle in the province of Overijssel in the Dutch Republic....

  • Jan Bultman
    Jan Bultman
    Jan Arend Bultman is a former water polo player from The Netherlands. He was a member of the Dutch Men's National Team that finished in eighth position at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.-References:*...

  • Ron Dekker
    Ron Dekker
    Ronald "Ron" Dekker is a former swimmer from Netherlands on the breaststroke. He was a specialist on short course, and won the silver medal on the 100 metres breaststroke at the 1993 FINA Short Course World Championships in Palma de Mallorca.-External links:*...

  • Desiderius Erasmus
    Desiderius Erasmus
    Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus , known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and a theologian....

  • Geert Groote
    Geert Groote
    Gerard Groote , otherwise Gerrit or Gerhard Groet, in Latin Gerardus Magnus, was a Dutch preacher and founder of the Brethren of the Common Life and a key figure in the Devotio Moderna movement....

  • Alexander Hegius
  • Etty Hillesum
    Etty Hillesum
    Esther "Etty" Hillesum was a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation...

  • Han Hollander
    Han Hollander
    Hartog "Han" Hollander was the first Dutch radio sports journalist.-External links:**...

  • Guusje Ter Horst
    Guusje ter Horst
    Guus ter Horst, aka Guus ter Dorst is a Dutch politician of the Dutch Labour Party . Since June 7, 2011 she has been a member of the Senate. From February 22, 2007 till February 23, 2010 she was Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in the Cabinet Balkenende IV...

  • Jomanda
    Johanna Wilhelmina Petronella Damman, known under her nickname Jomanda , is a controversial Dutch New Age guru who refers to herself as the Lady of the light.- Background :...

  • Bert van Marwijk
    Bert van Marwijk
    Bert van Marwijk OON is the coach of the Netherlands national football team. He also played for Go Ahead Eagles, AZ, MVV, Fortuna Sittard, and other clubs, as well as for the Dutch national team. In 1982, he began his transition into coaching, retiring as a player in 1988 and becoming a full time...

  • Han van Meegeren
    Han van Meegeren
    Han van Meegeren , born Henricus Antonius van Meegeren, was a Dutch painter and portraitist, and is considered to be one of the most ingenious art forgers of the 20th century....

  • Marc Overmars
    Marc Overmars
    Marc Overmars is a retired Dutch footballer. He is best known as a right-footed left winger, although he is able to use both his feet with equal precision and power...

  • Saint Radboud
    Saint Radboud
    Saint Radbod was bishop of Utrecht from 900 to 917.He was a descendant of the last King of the Frisians. He spent his youth with his uncle Gunther, Archbishop of Cologne. After that, he served at the court of Charles the Bald.When he was appointed as bishop of Utrecht in 900, the city was in...

  • Jacobus Revius
    Jacobus Revius
    Jacobus Revius was a Dutch poet, Calvinist theologian and church historian. His most renowned collection of poems, the Over-ysselsche Sangen en Dichten , forms a high point of Dutch baroque...

  • Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck
    Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck
    Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck , Lord of Nyenhuis, Peckedam and Gellicum, was a Dutch politician of the Batavian Republic and an investor in the Holland Land Company....

  • Victor Sikora
    Victor Sikora
    Victor Tadeusz Sikora is a Dutch football player who plays for Perth Glory in the Australian A-League.-Biography:His hobbies include golf and deep sea fishing....

  • Samuel Holland
    Samuel Holland
    Samuel Johannes Holland was a Royal Engineer and first Surveyor General of British North America.-Life in the Netherlands:...

  • Marthinus Theunis Steyn
  • Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was a Dutch composer, organist, and pedagogue whose work straddled the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque eras. He was among the first major keyboard composers of Europe, and his work as a teacher helped establish the north German organ...

  • Gertjan Verbeek
    Gertjan Verbeek
    Gertjan Verbeek is a former footballer and current manager of AZ.-Coaching career:After retiring from his playing career in 1994, Verbeek stayed with SC Heerenveen as an assistant-coach. He left for Heracles Almelo in 2001, and after a successful stint there was hired as the successor to Foppe de...

  • Arjen Grolleman

Johannes Auping

Twin towns — Sister cities

Deventer is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Tartu
Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia. In contrast to Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn, Tartu is often considered the intellectual and cultural hub, especially since it is home to Estonia's oldest and most renowned university. Situated 186 km southeast of Tallinn, the...

, Estonia London, Ontario
London, Ontario
London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, situated along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. The city has a population of 352,395, and the metropolitan area has a population of 457,720, according to the 2006 Canadian census; the metro population in 2009 was estimated at 489,274. The city...

, Canada Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

, Romania, since 2009.

External links

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