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Zwolle is the capital of the province of Overijssel. The city was founded in the middle ages on a sandbank between the river IJssel and the Overijsselse Vecht. That sand bank is still noticeable in the differences in altitude in the city. Zwolle has a beautiful historical center surrounded by canals. It still has many medieval building, including some churches and fortifications. One of the old city gates is still intact: Sassenpoort.
The legendary artist and musician Herman Brood was born in Zwolle.
Especially in the 1950's, the population of Zwolle grew enormously. Currently, the city has over 110,000 inhabitants. The people of Zwolle are nicknamed 'bluefingers', which dates back to the medieval rivalry between Zwolle and nearby Kampen. When Zwolle needed money and sold the bells from a burnt tower to Kampen, the people of Kampen paid them in copper coins. The people of Zwolle got blue fingers from counting all those copper coins.
Zwolle is located in the western part of the province of Overijssel, in the east of the country. The city is wedged in between the Zwarte Water (to the west), the Vecht (to the north) and the IJssel (to the south). Zwolle is situated on the A28 motorway, between Groningen (95 km) and Utrecht (90 km).
Service and logistics are Zwolle's strong points. The mail order company Wehkamp is located in Zwolle, as are some large insurance companies. Many companies choose Zwolle because of its central location and accessibility, by road, train and water.
The city is an education center, and houses one of the main centers for higher vocational education.
The nearest airport is Lelystad Airport in the province of Flevoland. At the moment, this airport only processes private and business aircraft, but there are plans to expand the airport. It is likely that within a few years, regular flights will be able to use the airport.
The national airport (Amsterdam Schiphol Airport), is located at about 100 kilometers from Zwolle.
Public transport in the city is provided by Connexxion under the name 'Maxx'. There are 9 bus lines, that arrive every 15 minutes during the day and on shopping Sundays. The bus stops are clearly indicated on an information screen. In the center, the Maxx buses have their own lanes, which means they can continue uninterrupted. All city buses depart from the train station or include the station in their itinerary. There you will also find the regional buses for destinations in the surrounding region.
Like most other Dutch cities, Zwolle wants to reduce car traffic in its city center. The medieval center is not very suitable for cars. In addition, the center isn't that big, so going on foot shouldn't be a problem.
The best way is to park your car in one of the indoor car parks around the center. The route to these car parks and the number of available places is indicated on road signs at the entry roads.
Zwolle has a wide variety of places to stay: many bed & breakfast accommodations, but also a 4 star hotel. Some hotels are situated in beautiful restored medieval premises. If you want to be sure you have a room in a certain hotel, we recommend you book in advance.
For more information about Zwolle, we recommend Google, and the following sources: