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Province of the Netherlands
Flag of Overijssel
Coat of arms of Overijssel
Coat of arms
Anthem: Aan de rand van Hollands gouwen
Location of Overijssel in the Netherlands
Location of Overijssel in the Netherlands
Country Netherlands
Capital Zwolle
Largest city Enschede
 • King's Commissioner Ank Bijleveld (CDA)
 • Land 3,327 km2 (1,285 sq mi)
 • Water 94 km2 (36 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
Population (2006)
 • Land 1,113,529
 • Rank 7th
 • Density 330/km2 (870/sq mi)
 • Density rank 7th
ISO 3166 code NL-OV
Religion (2006) Protestant 29%
Catholic 26%
Muslim 2%
Others 6%
Non-religious 37%
Website www.overijssel.nl

Overijssel or Overissel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌoːvəˈrɛi̯səl]; Dutch Low Saxon: Oaveriessel [ˌoːvəˈrisəɫ]) is a province[1] of the Netherlands in the central-eastern part of the country. The province's name means "Lands across the river Issel", from the perspective of the bishopric of Utrecht by which it was held until 1528. The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede. The province has a population of 1,113,529 inhabitants.


Map of Overijssel (2012)

Overijssel is bordered by Germany 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, the major cities are Almelo, Deventer, Enschede, and Hengelo.

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, the Weerribben, which is a valuable wetland.

The highest point in Overijssel is the summit of the Tankenberg, a hill in the municipality of Losser, at 89 metres (295 ft). The lowest point is in the Mastenbroek Polder near Kampen at 2 metres (6 ft) below sea level.


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.

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

The King's Commissioner of Overijssel is Ank Bijleveld. She is the chairwoman of the States-Deputed (executive branch) and the States-Provincial (elected parliament) of Overijssel.

2007 election results
Political party Votes in % Seats
Christian Democratic Appeal 34.1 17
Dutch Labour Party 17.9 9
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy 13.6 6
Socialist Party (Netherlands) 11.8 6
ChristianUnion 10.4 5
GreenLeft 4.3 2
Reformed Political Party 3.5 2
Democrats 66 1.6 -
Pim Fortuyn List 0.4 -
Total 47


The municipalities of Overijssel

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The region has a NUTS classification of NL21.

External links[edit]