Ommen, Netherlands


Ommen (Low Saxon: Ommn) is a city in the Dutch province of Overijssel and the capital of the municipality of Ommen. Ommen is located on the Overijsselse Vecht, in the Salland region or more specifically the Vechtdal. The place is already mentioned around the year 1100 as a fordable place along the Vecht. In 1248 it was granted city rights.




Ommen originated on a river dune near a ford in the river Vecht. This is clearly visible around Kerkplein, which is higher than the streets to the south and east of the church. The place name first appeared in 1133: Engelbertus de Umme was then one of the witnesses to a donation of goods to Klarholz Abbey in Westphalia.

In 1248 Ommen received city rights from Bishop Otto III of Utrecht. The original deed has been lost, which is the case with many cities. A document that had to pass for this is generally considered spurious: the manuscript is 17th century and even contains the wrong year (1208). Nevertheless, the content feels authentic. The name of the bishop is mentioned with eight witnesses, including knights and the then bishop of Salland and Vollenhove. Other evidence for the old papers of Ommen as a city are the letters from 1343 and 1346, in which Bishop Jan van Arkel confirms the rights. The city seal of Ommen hangs from a charter from 1336, from which the current municipal coat of arms is derived.

In the time of the Hanseatic League, until about 1500, there were a number of important Hanseatic cities in this region such as Kampen, Zwolle and Deventer. These so-called Municipal or Principal Cities sought contact with smaller towns and villages in their hinterland. In Overijssel, a large number of these Bijsteden were affiliated with one of the major IJssel cities. For example, the city of Ommen, including Hasselt, Gramsbergen, Oldenzaal and Enschede, was connected to the then important trading city of Deventer. Apart from agricultural products, Ommen had nothing to offer for trade and transport. Ommen's limited involvement in the Hanseatic League was solely due to its location on an important waterway connection via the Vecht at the time.

Until the early 20th century Ommen had a central function in the region. There were various government organizations in the city, such as the tax office and the district court. From 1838 onwards, the cantonal court was the continuation of the Ommen peace court, which was established in 1811. When the jurisdictions in Overijssel were re-established in 1933, it was lifted together with the cantonal courts of Goor and Kampen.


City and Office Ommen

Until 1811 there were two administrative organizations. The city-centered Ommen, consisting of a narrow strip from the Vecht, from the city to the Ommerschans, was governed by its own city government. In addition, the Kerspel or Schoutambt Ommen was used as a form of government for the surrounding countryside. Ambt-Ommen at the time also included Avereest and Den Ham and after 1685 was also called the bailiff of Ommen and Den Ham. With the introduction of the French administrative organization in 1811, Den Ham was separated from the bailiff of Ommen and became a separate municipality. The remainder of the bailiff Ommen was united with the city council of Ommen to form the Mairie Ommen. In 1818 the old separation of the two municipalities Stad-Ommen and Ambt-Ommen was restored, and Avereest also became a separate municipality. In 1923 Ommen was again faced with a reorganization when the municipalities Stad- and Ambt Ommen continued together as municipality of Ommen. The eastern part of Lemelerveld, until then belonging to Ommen, was added to the municipality of Dalfsen in 1997. The municipality of Ommen has therefore become smaller and smaller, against the current trend.

In the twenties and thirties of the twentieth century Ommen was the world center of theosophy. On the Eerde estate of Philip baron van Pallandt, Jiddu Krishnamurti had established the Order of the Star in the East. The Sterkampen were held annually on the estate. In 1929 Krishnamurti ended the order because he was against personality cult. The baron sold the site to the municipality of Ommen. The Star Camps continued until 1939, and Krishnamurti was an annual guest speaker.

In 1942, Camp Erika was set up on the grounds of the Sterkampen as a penal camp, later a camp for vagrants and an internment camp for collaborators after the war.



Monumental buildings

In Ommen there are a small number of monumental and otherwise special buildings, a selection of these:

the Dutch Reformed Brigittakerk on the Kerkplein - a late Gothic building, dedicated to St. Brigida. It is the oldest building in Ommen. The Brigitta is already mentioned in a document from 1238. After a fire in 1624, the church was destroyed and rebuilt, except for part of the walls. The current tower was built in 1857.
the bell house, built against the Brigittakerk after the burning down of the church tower in 1624
the former town hall on the Vecht - built in 1827 on the site of the Bruggenhuis. Until 1923, tolls were still levied at the bridge. The town hall was enlarged in 1960 and replaced in 1982 by a new town hall on Chevalleraustraat.
the old post office on the Kruisstraat - built in 1881, used as a post office until 1907.
the former post office on the Markt - built in 1906-1907, replacing the office on the Kruisstraat. Now a grand café.
the bandstand on the Markt - built in 1909 by order of music association Crescendo. During the construction of the current N34 across the Markt in 1970, the music dome was moved. The adjacent building of the former subdistrict court was demolished during the construction of the N34.
the "Koffiehuis van den Volksbond" on the corner of Brugstraat-Kruisstraat-Varsenerpoort from 1903, later a printing company was located here. Restored in 2007.
the old cemetery on the Hardenbergerweg with bar house - inaugurated in 1828, replaced by a new cemetery in 1920 and finally closed in 1969.
the Jewish cemetery on the Hardenbergerweg - the oldest gravestone still present dates from 1747 (5507).
the Besthmener Tolhuis - this nineteenth-century building had to make way in 1961 for the widening of the Ommen-Lemele road and was rebuilt in 1968 next to the previously restored mill on Den Lagen Oordt.
the Roman Catholic Church, built in 1938 to replace a church building that came from Schokland and was inaugurated in 1861.
the Reformed church on the Bouwstraat[2], built in 1932 to replace a church from 1897
in the Brugstraat and on the Kerkplein there are a few houses with eighteenth-century gables.
country houses and country estates, such as Olde Vechte and Het Laer in Ommen and a number in the hamlets.
Station Ommen, opened in 1903, designed by the architect Eduard Cuypers.


Community life

Ommen has a large number of associations. This is still often done through the familiar pillars: general, Christian and reformed-liberated. The oldest associations include the Crescendo harmony, founded in 1908, and the Ommen football association, which was founded in 1921 (now OVC'21).

After the Second World War, the Ommer Saturday afternoon Football Association (OZC) and Christian Music Association Soli Deo Gloria (SDG, popularly known as Soli) were established, among others. Soli's percussion group is very successful at the highest national level. On February 9, 2008, this group became Dutch Champion Podium Orchestras. On July 31, 2009, the group became vice world champion during the World Music Competition in Kerkrade.

Ommen also has a scouting group: the Van Pallandt group, named after Baron van Pallandt van Eerde.



Ommen has a number of local specialities:
Zûte plassies - a usually pentagonal roll of seasoned bread dough; the exact composition is a secret of the Ommer bakers, but includes cumin and anise; only available from late October to mid-December.



Since 2006, Ommen has had the Vechtdalmarathon 2-day, a running race in which the distance of a marathon is run over three races.

Ommen had two field football clubs until 2021: Saturday club OZC and Sunday club OVC '21. The youth departments of these two clubs had already merged in April 2017 into Youth Club Ommen (JCO). In 2021, both clubs merged and will now continue under the name FC Ommen.

Volleyball club Volco was founded in 1963. She played in the premier league for a long time, but later at a lower level. In Ommen there is also the hockey club MHC Ommen and a bicycle cross club called FCC de Bissinghcrossers.

In 2006, Skating-Training-Groep “De Doorloper” merged with IJsvereniging Ommen under the name IJsvereniging De Doorloper Ommen. He manages the local natural ice rink, has a training group on the artificial ice rink in Enschede and does cycling (touring cycling in groups).



Palm Easter parade - on the Saturday before Palm Sunday there is a palm Easter parade for the youngest youth. The Palm Easter sticks - traditionally not a cross in Ommen, but a peeled stick with 'swans' and a bread wreath, decorated with boxwood twigs, raisins and an orange - are inspected before the parade by the Community of Oll Ommer
Egg tapping on Easter Monday - For more than a century, groups of four people have been egg tapping on Easter Monday after church on Kerkplein around eleven o'clock. One player holds an egg in the fist of which only the top is visible, the other taps it with another egg. First point to point and then butt to butt; if both eggs are damaged, the two whole sides are tapped together. Whoever taps the last egg of the other players is the winner and receives the tagged eggs as a prize.
Easter fire on Easter Monday.
Ommer Bissingh - traditional annual market on the second Tuesday of July, supplemented by a series of events.


Traffic and transport


Near Ommen the N34/340 and the N48/348 cross each other. The N34 was laid across the Markt in Ommen at the end of the 1960s, when the bed of the Vecht was widened and a new bridge was built. A large number of buildings have been demolished for this and the face of the city has changed considerably. Until mid-2010, this connection was a notorious bottleneck for traffic between Zwolle and Hardenberg due to the various intersections and traffic lights. Since the summer of 2010, the N34 ends at Witte Paal and the N36 has a new route north of Ommen, so that through traffic no longer passes through the centre. The Markt in Ommen was then redesigned and once again forms part of the city.



Since January 15, 1903, Ommen has had a rail connection with Zwolle, as part of the Zwolle - Stadskanaal railway line, constructed by the NOLS. The station building, located on the south side at a considerable distance from the centre, was designed by Eduard Cuypers. In 1905 the connection with Stadskanaal was also established. The section between Emmen and Stadskanaal was later taken out of use. From 1910 to 1935 there was also a direct railway line Deventer - Ommen via Raalte, built by the OLDO. For years people have tried to extend this line to Hoogeveen, with the municipalities of Ambt-Ommen, Stad-Ommen, Avereest, Zuidwolde and Hoogeveen wanting to contribute financially. The designed railway would considerably shorten the distance from Groningen to Deventer and Twente. Partly due to the emergence of the bus in the 1920s, these plans were never realised. The extension of the railway line (Winterswijk) - Neede - Hellendoorn to Ommen was also never completed due to the estimated low numbers of goods and passengers.



Line 81 (Ommen - Westerhaar - Almelo) is a regional bus and runs a maximum of 2x per hour. Line 568 (Ommen - Dalfsen) is a local bus and runs once every 1.5 hours during the day. Regular bus connections to Deventer, Almelo (via Nijverdal), Hardenberg and Zwolle have been cancelled.



Until the end of the 19th century, the Vecht was often used for shipping. They sailed with small boats, the so-called fighting zomps. Bentheimer sandstone, among other things, was transported over the Vecht. To avoid the high tolls at the German border, the skippers did a lot of smuggling. However, due to low water levels in the summer and the large number of bends, sailing times were long.

In the middle of the 19th century, the Dedemsvaart canal was completed north of Ommen, with the Ommer Canal as a side canal. At the time, the canal ran along the east side of the city, where there was a harbor at the Hardenbergerweg. At that time there was no direct connection with the Vecht. However, it was possible to spout water on an old fighting arm via a culvert under the Hardenbergerweg. Shipping moved from the Vecht to the new canal. In 1964 the canal was closed to shipping. A new route was created west of Ommen. It now serves as a drainage canal.