Onze Lieve Vrouwe Basiliek

Top choice in Overijssel

People from Zwolle say they know they're home when they see the iconic Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren (also known as the Peperbus, or Peppermill), a huge basilica built between 1394 and 1452 to dominate the skyline. From atop its 75m-tall tower (234 steps!) you can appreciate a panorama of the city and the Museum De Fundatie's strange rooftop appendage.

Within the church look for a painted case containing the relics of Thomae à Kempis, a German theologian who migrated to Zwolle to become a devotee of the Brethren of the Common Life. On Friday at 11am and Saturday at 1.30pm listen out for an hour-long concert on the 51-bell carillon by the city's carillonneur.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Overijssel attractions

1. Grote Kerk

0.09 MILES

This monumental Gothic church (1370–1452) is grand, but was much grander before lightning knocked down the tower – the highest in the Netherlands – in…

2. Town Hall

0.12 MILES

Zwolle's Town Hall consists of the stately old council chamber and adjacent new wing, in front of which stands a statue of Adam (1881) by French sculptor…

3. Museum De Fundatie

0.14 MILES

Housed in a neoclassical courthouse by the canal, Zwolle's acclaimed art museum stages large-scale temporary exhibits by contemporary figures. The small…

4. Sassenpoort

0.26 MILES

The 15th-century Sassenpoort, built in 1409 at the southern end of Sassenstraat, is one of the remaining town gates and must surely be one of the country…

5. Koornmarktpoort

7.72 MILES

The oldest city gate of medieval Kampen to survive, the Koornmarktpoort was built next to the corn market in the 14th century and fortified with a twinset…

6. Cellebroederpoort

7.92 MILES

This sturdy, rectangular city gate was constructed in 1465 but rebuilt in a Renaissance style around 1615.

7. Stedelijk Museum


The city museum occupies the old and new town halls, the former a late Gothic masterpiece adorned with sculpted figures. The top-floor exhibit is devoted…

8. Nieuwe Toren

8.03 MILES

This landmark tower, built purely as a show of wealth in the 17th century, stands tall (albeit it with an incredible lean) on main street Oudestraat. Its…