Dordrecht Tourist Attractions

The ancient town of Dordrecht (Dordt for short) lies just southeast of Rotterdam, picturesquely situated between the Oude Maas (here navigable for large ocean-going ships) and the Noord and Dordtse Kil, two branches of the Rhine.


The attractive Voorstraats Haven is Dordrecht's principal canal, whose winding course is followed through the center of the town by its main shopping street, the Voorstraat, lined with handsome houses (e.g. No. 178).

Church of Our Lady

The present Church of Our Lady is a late 15th C and early 16th C Brabantine Gothic style building, and one of the oldest churches in Holland.

Old Town Hall

The former Town Hall (Stadhuis) was built in 1544, but the classical-style pedimented doorway with the town's coat of arms in the pediment and four Ionic columns dates only from 1835-42. Over the entrance is a square bell- tower. The new Town Hall (Stadkantoor) is on the Spuihaven.

Fish Bridge

On the Visbrug (Fish Bridge), which leads to the Groenmarkt, can be seen a monument (1922) in honor of Johan and Cornelis de Witt. The house named De Gulden Os at Groenmarkt 53 has a very fine gable.


Farther north from Groenmarkt is Scheffersplein, with a statue of the painter and sculptor Ary Scheffer, who was born in Dordrecht.

Het Hof

Near Scheffersplein, in Voorstraat, is the entrance to Het Hof, the old law courts. This was the meeting place in 1572 of the States of Holland, which led to the independence of the northern provinces. At No. 188 is the Muntpoort (1555).

Dordrecht Museum

From Scheffersplein it is a short distance by way of Steegoversloot to Museumstraat, in which (No. 40) is Dordrecht Museum, housed in the former municipal lunatic asylum. The museum has sections devoted to the Hague and Amsterdam Schools, the Dutch Romantics, Ary Scheffer, 20th century art and the Dordrecht Impressionists. On the wall of the staircase leading to the upper floor is a panoramic picture of Dordrecht, 7m/23ft wide. In addition to paintings by Dordrecht artists of the 17th-19th centuries (Ferdinand Bol, Aelbert Cuyp, Ary Scheffer, Nicolaas Maes) the museum also possesses works by leading modern painters such as Jan and Charley Toorop, Jan Sluyters and Wim Schumacher.
Address: Museumstraat 40, Dordrecht, Zuid-Holland 3311 XP, Netherlands

Arend Maartenshofje

At Museumstraat 38, Dordrecht, is the entrance to the Arend Maartenshofje, a group of almshouses founded in 1625 for the widows of soldiers. In the beautiful gardens is a fine wrought-iron fountain.


To the east of the Groenmarkt in Dordrecht is Wijnstraat. No. 79 was built in 1650 to the design of Pieter Post. At No. 81 is Huis Beverenburg, with stone window framing of 1556.


East of the Groenmarkt we come to the Groothoofdspoort (rebuilt in Gothic style in 1618), once the principal town gate and now the only relic of the old town walls. Its handsome domed tower is a prominent landmark. On the river front can be seen a fine stone relief of the Virgin of Dordrecht, surrounded by the coats of arms of Dutch towns. From the north side there is a charming view of the junction of three rivers, the Oude Maas, the Noord and the Beneden Merwede. On the opposite side is Papendrecht.

Nieuwe Haven Quarter

From the Groothoofdspoort, Kuipershaven leads into Nieuwe Haven, a quarter dating from the 17th century. Originally occupied mainly by warehouses, it began to develop into a select residential district in the early 18th century.

Van Gijn Museum

The handsome burgher's house at No. 29 was built in 1729 by Johan van Neurenberg, later burgomaster of Dordrecht; then in 1864 it was sold to the banker and art collector Simon van Gijn, who bequeathed it in 1922 to the Old Dordrecht Society, which opened it in 1925 as a museum. It was acquired by the town of Dordrecht in 1949.
This imposing mansion, still with decoration and furnishings in the original style, gives a good impression of a patrician house of the 18th and 19th centuries. The ground floor corridor has rich stucco decoration. The Tapestry Room is hung with tapestries from a Brussels workshop founded in the 16th century, with scenes in Louis XIV style from the Italian pastoral "The Faithful Shepherd". Particularly fine is the Renaissance Room, which has an oak mantlepiece (ca. 1550) with figures of "wild men", originally made by the gifted wood-carver Jan Terwen (who also carved the choir-stalls in the Grote Kerk) for the Marksmen's Guild of Dordrecht. Other rooms of great interest are the kitchen, fully equipped, with a blue-tiled chimney; the dining room with its glassed-in verandah and its beautiful ceiling painting by Willy Martens (1856- 1927); and the study, with oak paneling and leather wallcovering (a rarity in the 19th century). There are displays of silver, china and glass, and, in the summerhouse in the garden, a large collection of toys.
Address: Nieuwe Haven 29, Dordrecht, Zuid-Holland 3311AP, Netherlands


At the end of Nieuwe Haven is the Blauwpoort or Catharijnepoort (1652), where a number of old warehouses have been preserved. From here there is a fine view of the broad river and the busy movement of shipping, with the dikes on the other bank around Zwijndrecht. Farther west is a four-lane tunnel carrying traffic under the Oude Maas.
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