Infobox Settlement
official_name = Zwolle

image_size = 250px
image_caption = Thorbeckegracht

flag_size = 120x100px
image_shield = Arms zwolle.gif
shield_size = 120x100px

mapsize = 280px
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Netherlands
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Overijssel
area_footnotes = (2006)
area_total_km2 = 119.28
area_land_km2 = 112.11
area_water_km2 = 7.17
population_as_of = 1 January, 2007
population_note = Source: CBS, [ Statline] .
settlement_type = Municipality
population_total = 114544
population_density_km2 = 1022
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 52
latm = 30
latNS = N
longd = 6
longm = 5
longEW = E

is a municipality and the capital city of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, 120 kilometers northeast of Amsterdam. Zwolle has about 115,000 citizens. [cite web|url=$file/bevolking_becijferd_2006.pdf|title=Bevolking becijferd 2006|accessdate=2007-03-17|year=2006|month=August|format=PDF|publisher=Municipality of Zwolle|pages=12|language=Dutch]


Archaeological finds indicate that the area surrounding Zwolle has been inhabited for a long time. A woodhenge that was found in the Zwolle-Zuid suburb in 1993 was dated to the Bronze Age period. [Theo Holleman (1996), "Een verleden op de schop", University Press, Amsterdam, ISBN 9053561897] [Hove, ten J. (2005). "Geschiedenis van Zwolle" Zwolle: Waanders. ISBN 9040090505] During the Roman era, the area was inhabited by Salian Franks.

The modern city was founded around 800 A.D. by Frisian merchants and troops of Charlemagne. [cite web|url=|title=Het begin|accessdate=2007-03-17|author=F.C. Berkenvelder|year=1980|work=Zwolle 750 jaar stad|publisher=Waanders|language=Dutch] The name "Zwolle" is derived from the word "Suolle", which means "hill" (cf. the English cognate verb "to swell"). This refers to an incline in the landscape between the four rivers surrounding the city, IJssel, Vecht, Aa and Zwarte Water. The hill was the only piece of land that would remain dry during the frequent floodings of the rivers. Zwolle was established on that incline.

A document mentions the existence of a parish church dedicated to St Michael. That church, the "Grote" or "Sint Michaëlskerk" ("big" or "Saint Michael church"), was renovated in the first half of the 15th century and exists to this day. The church contains a richly carved pulpit, the work of Adam Straes van Weilborch (about 1620), some good carving and an exquisite organ (1721).

On August 31 1230, the bishop of Utrecht granted Zwolle city rights. Zwolle became a member of the Hanseatic league in 1294, and in 1361 joined the war between the Hanseatic League and Valdemar IV of Denmark. In the 1370 Treaty of Stralsund that ended the war, Zwolle was awarded a "vitte", a trade colony, in Scania, Sweden. Zwolle's golden age came in the 15th century. Between 1402 and 1450, the city's Gross Regional Product multiplied by about six. [cite web|url=|title=De handel en de Hanze|accessdate=2007-03-17|author=F.C. Berkenvelder|year=1980|work=Zwolle 750 jaar stad|publisher=Waanders|language=Dutch|quote=De stedelijke geldmiddelen, het nationaal inkomen zouden wij nu zeggen, die in 1402 nog 6.000 gulden bedroegen waren in 1450 bijna verzesvoudigd tot 34.000 gulden. (Translated: The city's financial resources, the national income as we would now call it, which were 6,000 guilders in 1402, had by 1450 multiplied by six to 34,000 guilders.)]

In July 1324 and in October 1361, regional noblemen set fire to Zwolle. In the 1324 fire, only nine buildings escaped the flames. [cite news
last =
first =
coauthors =
title = Zwolle op keerpunt van bestaan
work =
pages =
language = Dutch
publisher = De Stentor
date = 2005-03-02
url =
accessdate = 2007-01-29

Zwolle was also, with Deventer, one of the centers of the Brethren of the Common Life, a monastic movement. Three miles from Zwolle, on a slight eminence called the Agnietenberg, (hill of St Agnes), once stood the Augustinian convent in which Thomas à Kempis spent the greatest part of his life and died (in 1471).

At least as early as 1911, Zwolle had a considerable trade by river, a large fish market, and the most important cattle market in The Netherlands after Rotterdam. The more important industries comprised cotton manufactures, iron works, boat-building, dyeing and bleaching, tanning, rope-making, and salt-making. [cite web|url=|title=Zwolle|accessdate=2007-03-17|year=1911|work=Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition]

In 2004, Zwolle's De Librije restaurant was honored with 3 stars by Michelin; as of 2007, with the demotion of Parkheuvel from 3 to 1 star, it is one of only two restaurants so honored in the entire country.


Citizens of Zwolle are colloquially known as "Blauwvingers" (Bluefingers). This dates back to a local legend that the local authorities were one day strapped for cash and saw no option but to sell church bells to neighbouring city Kampen. To make sure Kampen did not make too much profit from the deal, the local authorities asked a high price for the church bells. Kampen agreed to the deal, on the condition that they could choose their own way of paying for the church bells. Zwolle consented, and Kampen paid in copper coins of four "duiten" (the equivalent of 2-and-a-half cents). Because of their distrust, Zwolle wanted to be sure Kampen had truly paid the entire price. The local authorities therefore counted the money until their fingers had turned blue from the copper. [cite journal|last=Boxma|first=Willem|year=2001|title=Steuren, blauwvingers, kwekweschudders en tukkers. Schimpnamen in Overijssel|journal=Traditie. Tijdschrift over tradities en trends.|volume=2|pages=26–27|issn=1382-4104|language=Dutch|accessdate=2007-03-21] [cite web |url=|title=In welke stad wonen de blauwvingers?|accessdate=2007-03-21|publisher=Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur|language=Dutch|]


Besides the "Grote" or "Sint Michaëlskerk" (the latter which houses a majestic Baroque organ built by Arp Schnitger), there are several other historic monuments in Zwolle. The Roman Catholic "Onze Lieve Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming"-basilica (Our Lady Ascension) dates back to 1399. The church tower, called "Peperbus" (pepperbox), is one of the tallest and most famous church towers in the Netherlands. The modernized town hall was originally built in 1448.

Mention should also be made of the "Sassenpoort" (one of the old city gates), the city walls, the "Mosterdmakerstoren" ("mustard makers' tower")(the complex where local mustard used to be made), a guild-house (1571), the former provincial government offices, a Dominican monastery, and a museum of antiquities and natural history.


:"See also ";Arts, culture, entertainment and the media
*Hein Boele (born November 24 1939), actor;
*Jonnie Boer (born 1965), chef with three Michelin stars;
*Gerard ter Borch (1617–1681), painter;
*Tooske Breugem (born 1974), television host (Idols, TMF, MTV Netherlands), actress;
*Herman Brood (November 5 1946–July 11 2001), painter/rock star;
*Eef Brouwers (born 1939), journalist and former head of the Netherlands Government Information Service;
*A. den Doolaard (February 7 1901–June 26 1994), author;
*Rhijnvis Feith (1753–1824), author;
*Bennie den Haan (born February 3 1970), GTST actor;
*Eli Heimans (1861–1914), author;
*Marnix Kappers (born 1943), actor;
*Ton Koopman (born 12 October 1944), a conductor, organist and harpsichordist.
*Joost Marsman (born 1974), singer for rock group I.O.S.;
*Robbie Muntz (born 1963), television and radio programme maker;
*Opgezwolle, rap crew
*Everhardus Johannes Potgieter (1808–1875), author;
*Joan Remmelts (August 12 1905–December 19 1987), actor;
*Danny Rook (born October 6 1971), television host;
*Emmy van Swoll (August 6 1897–May 27 1990), actor;
*Bert Tigchelaar (1946–2004), journalist, news correspondent in Berlin;
*Jan Vayne (Jan Veenje) (born June 6 1966), pianist;
* Charlotte Wessels, singer of Delain

*Johannes Busch (1399–c. 1480), church reformer and provost of the Augustinian monastic order;
*Andreas Ignatius Schaepman (1815–1882), Archbishop of Utrecht;

*Laurens Jan Brinkhorst (born 1937), former Minister of Economic Affairs;
*Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol (1741–1784)
*Willem Johan Lucas Grobbée (1822–1907), Minister of Finance from 1883 to 1885;
*Johannes ter Pelkwijk (August 26 1769–November 18 1834)
*Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798–1872), Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1849–1853, 1862–1866, 1871–1872);

*Jeroen Dubbeldam (born 1973), 2000 Olympic Equestrian champion;
*Harry Duiven Jr. (born 1987), heavyweight boxer;
*Marten Eikelboom (born 1973), hockey player;
*Martin Haar (born 1952), former football defender;
*Ron Jans (born September 29 1958), soccer trainer;
*Jo van Marle (1925–1995) president of the Royal Netherlands Football Association from 1980 to 1993, treasurer of UEFA from 1984 to 1995.
*Eric Pierik (born 1959), field hockey player
*Peter Wessels (born 1978), tennis player.

*Thomas Joannes Stieltjes (1856–1894), mathematician/civil engineer/politician;

Educational institutions

Zwolle is home to four institutes of technology:
* Christelijke Hogeschool Windesheim
* Hogeschool Zwolle
* Deltion College Zwolle
* artez hogeschool voor de kunsten
* Landstede Zwolle


Zwolle is located on or near three rivers (Zwarte Water, Vecht, and IJssel), several canals (the now disused Willemsvaart, Nieuwe Vecht and Overijssels Kanaal and the modern Zwolle-IJssel Kanaal).

As for transportation by land:

Zwolle is connected by the following three major roads:
*A28 - Utrecht, Groningen (E232)
*A50 - Eindhoven, Zwolle, Emmeloord (Zwolle - Emmeloord as N50).
*N35 - Zwolle, Almelo, Enschede, Germany (Almelo - Enschede as A35).

The first train in Zwolle arrived on June 6 1864. Today the city has rail connections in seven directions.(viz. Kampen, Leeuwarden, Groningen, Emmen, Enschede, Arnhem/Nijmegen, and Amersfoort).

A rail connection with Amsterdam via Lelystad will open in 2012. For more information see Hanzelijn.

ister cities

Zwolle is currently twinned with:
* Lünen, Germany

In the past, Zwolle had partnerships with:
* Rutobwe, Rwanda
* Vologda, Russia


External links

* [,6.089859&spn=0.093784,0.346069&om=1 Zwolle in Google Maps]
* [ Homepage Zwolle (Overijssel)]
* [ Homepage Hanseatic Cites in The Netherlands]
* [ Other detailed map, covering a larger area]
* [ Site index Zwolle]
* [ Zwolle by Mapquest]

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