Hattem is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. The municipality had a population of 12,170 as per 01 January 2019. The municipality includes the hamlet of ‘t Zand. The name “Hattem” is a typical farmyard name. The exact origin of “Hattem” is yet unclear. In general two explanation exist. Hattem would be the ‘heem’ (home) of a people who belong to the tribe of Chattuarii (or Hattuarii or Hatten). A second origin could refer to the leader of a people under the leader Hatto. This fits with the fact that a lot of farmyard names are deduced from persons names.
A document referring to Hattem is found is dated around 800. This document is the Codex Laureshamensis, in which the settlement Hattem is mentioned because two farmhouses in this place are donated to the Lorsch abbey. Despite this early statement, no church or chapel was built in Hattem. In 1176 Hattem became a parish (‘kerspel’). The chapel, measuring 17,5 by 9,5 meter, was not built at the current city centre, but at the Gaedsberg (‘Gods-mountain’). The borders of the parish coincide with the latter borders of the jurisdiction Hattem. Hattem obtained city rights in 1299 from the count Reinoud I of Gelre. In the decades before a fortified town is founded at the northern border of the Veluwe. The city plan lies around the current church. The tower of this church is dated to the 12th century which indicates that, beside the parish church at the Gaedsberg, a chapel was present at the current city centre of Hattem. With obtaining town privileges, both the religious and the legal centre were moved. The new church and the city are dedicated to the apostle Andreas. In 1401, duke William of Guelders donated the Hoenwaard to the citizens of Hattem, in order to feed their cattle and to manufacture bricks for their houses. In 1404 the castle St. Lucia was built, which became known as the “Dikke Tinne” (the fat merlon). The reason can be found in the thick castle walls, at that time the thickest walls found in the Netherlands. In 1778, the castle was torn down, in order to use the bricks to build houses. In 1786, both Hattem and Elburg became known as centres of the Patriots Period, a political faction. These movements however were successfully suppressed by the governor William V.
Hattem is one of the Hanseatic cities on the Veluwe, with clearly its own charm and identity. The glorious history of the medieval Hanseatic League has left its mark here and has transformed the city into an attractive tourist attraction. The small and compact Hattem is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves: the vast floodplains along the IJssel, the wooded Noord-Veluwe and the polder landscape in the north. In the city center there are many authentic taste shops and wonderful terraces. Hattem also has not one but three museums!
The picturesque appearance of Hattem and its surroundings attracted numerous painters in the early 1900s, who tried to perpetuate the Dutch clouds over the IJssel. Jan Voerman was one of them. In the Voerman Museum Hattem you can admire many of his beautiful works. The well-known illustrator Anton Pieck was also charmed by Hattem. Here he recognized something of the atmosphere from his own work. No wonder the Anton Pieck Museum found a place there, designed by the master himself. The history of bread and pastries is displayed in a surprising way in the Dutch Bakery Museum. Baking takes place several times a week, sometimes in the 200 year old branch forest oven. There are demonstrations and tours throughout the year.
Hattem is bustling with life thanks to its wide range of shops in pleasant streets and alleys. Fashion, art, antiques, industry and craftsmanship can be found in a radius of 300 meters. After the shopping visit it is good to be in the many restaurants and on the terraces, where traditional ice cream and chocolate are not lacking. There are plenty of parking facilities in and around the city and parking is free.