The history of the city of Kampen

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In the beginning there was.... Well nobody exactly knows how Kampen arose on the left shore of the river the IJssel. Archeologic research proved that the origin of the settlement is to be seeked towards the end of the eleventh century. In the twelfth century , trade attracted population and the settlement became a city . As a member of the Hanze trade organisation, Kampen came to full bloom. But this ended. From the fifthteenth onto the ninetheenth century, a period of great unrest made the city fell into decade, from which it never really recovered, not even when industrialisation came. Cigar factories dominated the economic live at that time, but now only two are left. Governmental services left the city in the seventies and now the hospital has to leave due to severe cutbacks in the health care budget, it seems like Kampen has become a mediocre city.

The growth, blossom,decade and modern history of Kampen is reflected in the map. At first people settled on the dyke alongside the river, the newcomers further builded their homes around the church that was build against the dyke in the twelfth century. This is the oldest heart of the city. The settlement didn't develop all round the church, though. There are a few streets parallel to the IJssel, intersected by alleys and limited by the town-moat. It seems like like the buildings ajusted themselves to the current of the IJssel. The streets strech from south to west and are intersected by streets in northern direction.This mediaeval ribbon-development is still intact, but the town-moat has been reduced in the fifties in order to create more parking space. Much of the town-walls and many monuments have dissapeared but the old structure still exists.

text prepared by Suzanne Broersen