"Harderwijk, fishermentown that lost it's sea" Harderwijk by Pavlik_NL

Harderwijk Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 180 photos

Lost a lot, but kept it's identity

Less then a hundred years ago Harderwijk was a steadily growing town with as main "industry" the fishery. Located at the Southern Sea (now IJssel-lake) it had a thriving harbour and loads of fish were processed here and transported into a wide backland. Some say that the town even had a university and was also culturaly of great importance at the time. Things changed drastically. First the Southern Sea became a lake and the water turned from salty to sweet. This was because The Netherlands wanted to tame the wild waters and built the "Afsluitdijk" (Enclosing Dike) far to the North between Wieringermeer and Friesland. Still, an enormous water stretched outside the harbour of Harderwijk. But then already the town started shrinking in population. That was speeded up when the Flevopolder was created, right in sight of the lighthouse on top of the fishermen gate. Where once only water was to be seen, now a wide lake devided the old mainland and Harderwijk from the newborn lands well under the waterline that used to be (see also my Flevoland-pages). Harderwijk got it hard, but switched it's fishing-industry somewhat successfull to sweetwaterfish with the speciality of "paling" (eel). If anywhere in Holland one can find the best eel, then it's here.

Harderwijk offers you a look in the past

Because the towns unfortunate decay it took care of better preservation of the towns treasures. Harderwijk has almost her complete fortified walls still standing and many old (fishermens) houses are as they were centuries ago. This offered Harderwijk an explicit touristic importnace, something which now-a-days the town benifits from a lot. Visitors from The Netherlands and Germany, but also from other parts of the world, are sure of a great time in this magnificent little town.

... and then there is the watersport

The Southerne sea got tamed and the IJssel-lake became smaller and ended up as being the Veluwe-lake. The fishermens harbour of Harderwijk made place for exquisit sailboatharbours and Harderwijk became one of the centres of watersports in a wide surrounding. Many people that make a tour through the Dutch waterways, make sure to have a stop in Harderwijk, that offers besides a wonderful spot to anchor away, it's wonderful old innertown, the deliscious fishdishes ("paling" = eel) and definately not to be mentioned as last: the dolfinarium. This attractionpark that makes you experience the world of the sea is one of the most famous in the world. It has a long history and a high ranking place in marinelife-research. Besides that it offers for the average visitor a wonderful variety of shows in which sea-animals like Walrus, Seals and above all Dolfins, are the stars.

  • Intro Written Jun 22, 2003
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Reviews (13)

Comments (1)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2003 at 2:11 PM

    Very beautiful page, travelogues and town! A kind of places I love a lot. Windows of the old "Fraterhouse" (small monastry) look amazing and I'd like to eat this freshly caught eel there hehe and sail there - just night dreaming hehe! Thanks for sharing!


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