Located on the banks of the River Vecht, Ommen is a once-walled city in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It was officially founded in 1248 and flourished as a regional trade hub, which led to the city joining the medieval commercial confederation of the Hanseatic League.
Things to do in Ommen
In the heart of Ommen is the Reformed Church, a centuries-old brick building topped by a whitewashed clock tower. Dedicated to Saint Brigida, it is the oldest building in the city, with a history dating back to 1150. Coincide your visit with a Sunday service or listen to one of the daily bell ringings, which once informed those outside the city walls that the gates were closing.
Occupying the former town hall is the Nationaal Tinnen Figuren Museum, which boasts more than 100,000 tin figurines in a variety of shapes and sizes. In addition to 18th-century tin soldiers and antique marching machines, there are pilgrim badges dating from the medieval period. Also on display are four dioramas depicting the Battle of Ane, which was fought between the Bishop of Utrecht and Rudolf II van Coevorden’s army in 1227.
Ommen is home to several beautiful windmills, such as the fully operational De Lelie and the Konijnenbelt, which was constructed in 1806. At the Museum Ommen, you can learn more about the use of windmills in the region, as well as Ommen’s cultural and social traditions. Adjacent stands a reconstructed customs house and a barn where vintage agricultural equipment is on display.
Getting around Ommen
Ommen is around 20 minutes’ drive from Zwolle and 1.5 hours from Amsterdam. Schiphol Airport is also 1.5 hours away and has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular buses connect to Ommen and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.