Last updated
Flag Overijssel.svg
Overijssel wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Aan de rand van Hollands gouwen"
"On the edge of Holland's district"
Overijssel in the Netherlands.svg
Location of Overijssel in the Netherlands
Country Netherlands
Capital Zwolle
Largest city Enschede
   King's Commissioner Andries Heidema (CU)
  Total3,327 km2 (1,285 sq mi)
  Water94 km2 (36 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
  Rank 7th
  Density340/km2 (890/sq mi)
  Density rank 7th
ISO 3166 code NL-OV
Religion (2006) Protestant 29%
Catholic 26%
Muslim 2%
Others 6%
Non-religious 37%
HDI (2017)0.917 [1]
very high · 7th
Website www.overijssel.nl

Overijssel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌoːvərˈɛisəl] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Dutch Low Saxon: Oaveriessel[ˌɒːvərˈiːsəl]; German : Oberyssel) is a province of the Netherlands located in the eastern part of the country. The province's name translates to "across the IJssel", from the perspective of the Episcopal principality of Utrecht by which it was held until 1528. The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede. The province had a population of 1,142,360 in 2015. [2]

Dutch Low Saxon group of Low Saxon dialects spoken in the northeastern Netherlands

Dutch Low Saxon are the Low Saxon dialects that are spoken in the northeastern Netherlands and are written there with local, unstandardised orthographies based on Standard Dutch orthography. The UNESCO Atlas of endangered languages lists the language as vulnerable. Between 1995 and 2011 the numbers of speakers of parents dropped from 34% in 1995 to 15% in 2011. Numbers of speakers of their children dropped in the same period from 8% to 2%.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Provinces of the Netherlands first-level administrative division in the Netherlands

There are currently twelve provinces of the Netherlands, representing the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities, with responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance.



Topographic map of Overijssel, 2012 2012-P04-OV-basis.jpg
Topographic map of Overijssel, 2012

Overijssel is bordered by Germany (Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia) to the east, the Achterhoek region of Gelderland to the south, the Veluwe region of Gelderland and Flevoland to the west, and Friesland and the former moors of Drenthe to the north. Overijssel comprises three regions: Kop van Overijssel in the northwest, Salland in the centre of the province, and Twente in the east. Besides the capital Zwolle, other major cities are Almelo, Deventer, Enschede, and Hengelo.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Lower Saxony State in Germany

Lower Saxony is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.

North Rhine-Westphalia State in Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of Germany.

To the southeast, the province's surface is mostly sandy, interspersed with small rivers such as the Regge and Dinkel and other brooks. In the northwest, the geology is dominated by sediments from the Overijsselse Vecht and clay. The northern parts were once covered by veen (bogs) which separated the dryer and more arable south from Drenthe and which have been exploited as fuel to a large degree. Only small patches survive today (Engbertsdijksvenen near Tubbergen, Witteveen (near Haaksbergen), and the Aamsveen (near Enschede). The extreme northwest is dominated by a system of lakes formed by former peat-mining and protected under the De Weerribben-Wieden National Park status, which is a valuable wetland.

Dinkel river in the Netherlands

The Dinkel is a river in Germany and the Netherlands, left tributary of the Vecht. Its total length is 89 km, of which 47 km in Germany. The Dinkel originates in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, between Ahaus and Coesfeld. It flows north to Gronau, crosses the border with the Netherlands (Overijssel), flows through Losser, Denekamp, and recrosses the border to Germany. The Dinkel joins the Vechte in Neuenhaus.

Bog wetland that accumulates peat due to incomplete decomposition of plant leftovers

A bog is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire, and muskeg; alkaline mires are called fens. They are frequently covered in ericaceous shrubs rooted in the sphagnum moss and peat. The gradual accumulation of decayed plant material in a bog functions as a carbon sink.

Drenthe Province of the Netherlands

Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany to the east. In January 2017, it had a population of 491,867 and a total area of 2,683 km2 (1,036 sq mi).

The highest point in Overijssel is the summit of the Tankenberg, a hill in the municipality of Losser, at 85 metres (278 ft). The lowest point is in the Mastenbroek Polder near Kampen at 2 metres (6 ft) below sea level.

Losser Municipality in Overijssel, Netherlands

Losser is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. It is at the eastern end of the A1 motorway.

Polder low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments (barriers) known as dikes

A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by dikes that form an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually operated devices. There are three types of polder:

  1. Land reclaimed from a body of water, such as a lake or the sea bed
  2. Flood plains separated from the sea or river by a dike
  3. Marshes separated from the surrounding water by a dike and subsequently drained; these are also known as koogs especially in Germany
Sea level Average level for the surface of the ocean at any given geographical position on the planetary surface

Mean sea level (MSL) is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's oceans from which heights such as elevation may be measured. MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.


Overijssel enjoys an oceanic climate (Cfb in the Köppen classification). However, winters tend to be less mild than the rest of the Netherlands, because of its distance from the coast. [3]

Climate data for Twenthe (1981-2010)
Average high °C (°F)4.8
Daily mean °C (°F)2.3
Average low °C (°F)−0.5
Average precipitation mm (inches)71.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.882.6114.0169.9202.1184.6202.4184.4137.4112.358.946.01,547.3
Source: KNMI [4]


Map of the Archbishopric of Utrecht around 1350, when present-day Overijssel was part of the region Oversticht Low Countries Locator Prince-Bischopric Utrecht.svg
Map of the Archbishopric of Utrecht around 1350, when present-day Overijssel was part of the region Oversticht


Overijssel was formerly known as Oversticht and also included most of the modern-day province of Drenthe. In 1336, it was made part of Guelders, though it was ceded to the Bishopric of Utrecht in 1347. The Bishops ceded the Oversticht to the Emperor Charles V in 1528, who styled himself Lord of Overijssel, after the Latin name of Oversticht that was known since 1233: Transysla or Transisalania, or Over-IJssel, i.e. the other side of the river IJssel. The people joined with the other Dutch and rebelled against Charles' heir Philip II. Overijssel became governed by the most powerful mayors and lords in the province, including by the luitenant-governor Nicolaas Schmelzing (1561-1629).

Guelders former country

Guelders or Gueldres is a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Utrecht is an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The Archbishop of Utrecht is the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical province of Utrecht. There are six suffragan dioceses in the province: Breda, Groningen-Leeuwarden, Haarlem-Amsterdam, Roermond, Rotterdam, and 's-Hertogenbosch. The cathedral church of the archdiocese is Saint Catherine Cathedral which replaced the prior cathedral, Saint Martin Cathedral, after it was taken by Protestants in the Reformation.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V was ruler of both the Spanish Empire from 1516 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1519, as well as of the lands of the former Duchy of Burgundy from 1506. He stepped down from these and other positions by a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556. Through inheritance, he brought together under his rule extensive territories in western, central, and southern Europe, and the Spanish viceroyalties in the Americas and Asia. As a result, his domains spanned nearly 4 million square kilometres, and were the first to be described as "the empire on which the sun never sets".

After a brief occupation by the forces of the Bishop of Münster (1672–74), Overijssel received a new form of government which granted the stadtholders more power. Widespread resistance against the increased power throughout the provinces eventually led to the formation of the Batavian Republic in 1795. A centralist government arose and the Netherlands was organised into a series of départements , based on those used by revolutionary France.


At first organised into its own département , it was merged with Drenthe in 1798 to form Ouden IJssel, which was renamed Overijssel in 1801.

The French annexed the Batavian Republic in 1810, and Overijssel was organised into the new French département of Bouches-de-l'Yssel. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, the kingdom of the Netherlands and the former province of Overijssel were recreated.

Overijssel was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II from May 1940 until its liberation in April 1945. The Noordoostpolder, a reclaimed territory which had been laid dry in 1942, was part of Overijssel from 1962 until 1986, when it became part of the newly created province of Flevoland.


Diagram of the 2007 election results for the States-Provincial in Overijssel Overijssel verkiezingen.png
Diagram of the 2007 election results for the States-Provincial in Overijssel

The King's Commissioner of Overijssel is currently a vacant position as previous title holder Ank Bijleveld (CDA) was appointed to be Minister of defence on 26 October 2017. The King's Commissioner is the chairman of the Provincial-Executive (executive branch) and the States-Provincial (elected legislature) of the province.

2015 election results
Political partyVotes in %Seats
Christian Democratic Appeal 22.4411
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy 12.436
Socialist Party 10.705
Labour Party 10.595
Democrats 66 10.475
Party for Freedom 9.435
Christian Union 8.374
Reformed Political Party 4.312
GroenLinks 4.302
50PLUS 2.911
Party for the Animals 2.241
Other parties0.660


The Enschede railway station. Enschede stationsplein.JPG
The Enschede railway station.

There are three main motorways in Overijssel, the A1, A28, and the A35. The A32 also runs through the province, but just for a few kilometers near Steenwijk. [5]

The main railway station in Overijssel is the Zwolle railway station, located in the city of Zwolle which serves as hub between the northern provinces and the rest of The Netherlands.

The main airport in Overijssel is the Enschede Airport Twente, located outside of Enschede. The airport does not currently offer any international flights, though it has historically. [6]


The municipalities of Overijssel Kaart Overijssel genummerd.jpg
The municipalities of Overijssel

See also

Related Research Articles

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Zwolle City and municipality in Overijssel, Netherlands

Zwolle is a city and municipality in the northeastern Netherlands serving as Overijssel's capital. With a population of 125,806, it is the second-largest municipality of the province after Enschede.

IJssel branch of the Rhine

The river IJssel, sometimes called Gelderse IJssel to avoid confusion with the Hollandse IJssel, is the branch of the Rhine in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. The Romans knew the river as Isala. The IJssel flows from Westervoort, east of the city of Arnhem, until it discharges into the IJsselmeer. The River IJssel is one of the three major distributary branches into which the Rhine divides shortly after crossing the German-Dutch border.

Enschede City and Municipality in Overijssel, Netherlands

Enschede, also known as Eanske in the local dialect of Twents, is a municipality and a city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region. The municipality of Enschede consisted of the city of Enschede until 1935, when the rural municipality of Lonneker, which surrounded the city, was annexed after the rapid industrial expansion of Enschede which began in the 1860s and involved the building of railways and the digging of the Twentekanaal.

Hengelo Municipality in Overijssel, Netherlands

Hengelo is a city in the eastern part of the Netherlands, in the province of Overijssel. The city lies along the motorways A1/E30 and A35 and it has a station for the international Amsterdam – Hannover – Berlin service.

Bouches-de-l'Yssel was a department of the First French Empire in the present-day Netherlands. It was formed in 1810, when the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Its territory corresponded with the present-day Dutch province of Overijssel. Its capital was Zwolle.

Twente region of the Netherlands

Twente is a non-administrative region in the eastern Netherlands. It encompasses the most urbanised and easternmost part of the province of Overijssel. Twente is most likely named after the Tuihanti or Tvihanti, a Germanic tribe that settled in the area and was mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus. The region's borders are defined by the Overijssel region of Salland in the northwest and west, the German County of Bentheim in the northeast and east and the Gelderland region of the Achterhoek in the south.

Salland area

Salland is a historical dominion in the west and north of the present Dutch province of Overijssel. Nowadays Salland is usually used to indicate a region corresponding to the part of the former dominion more or less to the west of Twente.

Twentekanaal canal

The Twentekanaal is a canal running through the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, connecting the three largest cities of the Twente region, Almelo, Hengelo and Enschede to the national network of rivers and canals. Because the canal forks to reach Almelo, the canal is officially plural, which is Twentekanalen.

Apeldoorn railway station railway station

Apeldoorn is a railway station in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. The station was opened on 15 May 1876, on the Amsterdam–Zutphen railway. It was opened when the Amersfoort to Zutphen section was completed. Journey time to Amsterdam is 1 hour, as of the 2017 timetable.

Deventer railway station Dutch railway station in Overijssel

Deventer is a railway station in Deventer, Netherlands. The station was opened on 5 August 1865 and is on the Apeldoorn–Deventer railway, Deventer–Almelo railway and the Arnhem–Leeuwarden railway. The train services are operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

Enschede railway station railway station

Enschede is the main railway station in Enschede, Netherlands. The station opened on 1 July 1866 and is on the Zutphen–Glanerbeek railway. Between the late 1970s and 2001, the passenger service to Germany stopped. The connection to Münster was reopened in 2001. There is no connection allowing the German trains to run any further into Overijssel; however there was before the line closed.

Hengelo railway station railway station

Hengelo is a railway station in Hengelo, Netherlands. The station was opened on 18 October 1865 and is on the Almelo–Salzbergen railway and the Zutphen–Glanerbeek railway. It underwent a major renovation in 2010.

Almelo railway station railway station

Almelo is a railway station in Almelo, Netherlands. The station was opened on 18 October 1865 and is on the Deventer–Almelo railway, Almelo–Salzbergen railway, Zwolle–Almelo railway and Mariënberg–Almelo railway lines. The current station building dates from 1962. The train services are operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen and Arriva.

Arnhem–Leeuwarden railway railway line

The Arnhem–Leeuwarden railway is a railway line in the Netherlands running from Arnhem to Leeuwarden, passing through Deventer, Zwolle and Heerenveen. It is also called the Staatslijn A in Dutch. The part between Arnhem and Zwolle is sometimes called the IJssellijn.

Apeldoorn–Deventer railway railway line

The Apeldoorn–Deventer railway is an important railway in the Netherlands, running from Apeldoorn, Gelderland to Deventer, Overijssel. The line was opened between 1887 and 1888. It is used by long distance trains from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague towards Enschede and Berlin, and by local services between Apeldoorn and Enschede.

Geldersch-Overijsselsche Spoorweg Maatschappij

The Geldersch-Overijsselsche Lokaalspoorweg-Maatschappij (GOLS) was a railway company that owned and serviced several railways in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. The company was founded by Jan Willink, a textile producer from Winterswijk, who had created the Borken - Winterswijk - Zutphen railway in 1878.


  1. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. The region has a NUTS classification of NL21.
  3. http://www.whatstheweatherlike.org/netherlands/overijssel.htm
  4. "Twenthe, long-term averages, time period 1981-2010 (in Dutch)" (PDF). Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  5. http://hitchwiki.org/en/Category:Overijssel
  6. http://ourairports.com/countries/NL/OV/airports.html?sort=popular