Weesp [ʋeːsp] ( listen) is a municipality and town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.
Weesp lies next to the rivers de Vecht and Smal Weesp and also next to the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. It is in an area called the "Vechtstreek". It is only 3 km from the end of the Amsterdam metro, but the wide Amsterdam-Rhine Canal keeps it geographically separate. Weesp is a rail junction, and very easily accessible. The town is surrounded by open grassland.
The town has a population of 17,533 and is famous for Van Houten chocolate, windmills, the historical centre with its canals, its Weesper porcelain and the Weesper Mop cookie. The bastion and fortifications are also famous, because they are a part of the Defense line of Amsterdam and the Dutch Water Line. They were never used, though.
Until the early Middle Ages this region was an uninhabited peat bog. Weesp was granted city rights in 1355 and celebrated its 650th anniversary as a city in 2005.
From the late Middle Ages, the Vecht was a defensive line for the County of Holland and it remained a military defensive line until the Second World War. Weesp was strongly fortified, more than its size would justify - for most of its history it had a few thousand inhabitants.
The defensive lines consisted of inundation zones, which would be flooded in wartime. Behind them were fortified towns, forts, barracks and other military structures. The most comprehensive was the Defence Line of Amsterdam (Stelling van Amsterdam), a circular inundation zone around Amsterdam, which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After the Second World War, new housing was built in the west and an industrial zone with a harbour at the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal was constructed. In the 1970s a suburb was built on the south. Another suburb was built in the north which recently expanded with plans for further expansion More historical, recreational and tourist information on * Weesp travel guide from Wikitravel
The municipality of Weesp consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: De Horn, Uitermeer, Weesp.
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