Busiest river crossroads of Europe
The city of Dordrecht, situated at a junction of rivers, played a key role in trade in the Middle-Ages. Dordrecht is a real monument city where Dordrecht facades, grand mansions, warehouses, churches and water towers dominate the cityscape. Like the City Hall, which was built in the 14th–century as a Flemish commodity exchange and where the city council took up residence in 1544. Or the Dordrecht Patrician mansion renamed Museum on the Maas where you can experience how a patrician household lived at the end of the 18th–century. The Grote Kerk is also worth a visit: the church’s completely in stone vaulted basilica is famous for its 16th-century choir stalls, carved in Renaissance style.
Typical of Dordrecht are also the many courtyards, including Vrouwenhof from 1755 around a courtyard with ancient trees and a well. Also notable is that Dordrecht has no canals, but ports. The charming port area, with its warehouses, merchants’ houses, quays and – more recently – pleasure craft stretches between Grote Kerk and Groothoofd. At Groothoofd you have – from one of the many terraces – stunning views over the busiest river crossroads of Europe.
Building De Holland and the interior of theatre Kunstmin are of a more recent nature. They were designed by the famous Dutch architect and interior designer Sybold of Ravesteyn in the early 20th–century. De Holland now houses the National Museum of Education which has the largest historical education collection in the world. In the Dordrecht Museum, you will find art from past and present housed in a historic building with a contemporary wing.
Those who love nature can explore the Biesbosch National Park in Dordrecht. This vast freshwater tidal area originated after a flood in 1421. In the following centuries a rugged nature reserve with osier, reeds and creeks was formed. The Biesbosch, on the island of Dordrecht, is part of this national park. Walking, cycling or sailing, you find yourself in a Dutch jungle!