The Hanze Route (Hanseatic Route) runs along the IJssel River, which was the quick way from the Rhine to the Zuiderzee long before the sea was dammed in and became the freshwater IJsselmeer. Seven towns -- Doesburg, Zutphen, Deventer, Hattem, Zwolle, Hasselt, and Kampen -- along the 125km (78-mile) route through Gelderland and Overijssel played important roles in the international trade of yesteryear and profited handsomely from their membership in the medieval Hanseatic League, a Baltic-based association of more than 150 trading towns and cities in north and northwest Europe. You can tell this today by viewing the many old churches, public buildings, merchants' houses, and gateways that are still standing.
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