Deventer’s De Waag is one of the oldest weighing houses in the Netherlands. It is centrally positioned at the Brink, where traders and merchants used to flocked this town square to sell their products. Constructed between 1528 to 1531, the weighing house was the place where goods for trade used to be weighed under the supervision of the city government. Weigh-in fees and excise duties generated became the primary source of income for the city.
This Late Gothic building has three floors and features a stepped tower, a clock and three turrets. The additional Renaissance style, platform with three columns façade including staircases on both sides, were added in 1643. De Waag is slightly askew approximately 80cm due to compacting of the soil beneath the old rampart. De Waag served its purpose until 1862. After that, the building became a so-called ‘Teekenschool’ (translation: drawing school). For a brief period of time, it was a telegraph station. This iconic building was turned into a museum in 1915.
Now, De Waag is home to the Museum De Waag (formerly Historical Museum Deventer). It stores, manages, preserves and exhibits the historical art collection of the municipality of Deventer. Being one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, Deventer boasts a rich history full of treasures and ready to be paraded at this monumental setting.
My museum entry came with an audio tour available in Dutch and English. This was very helpful to make the most of my visit learning about Deventer quickly. Signages were mostly in Dutch. The museum collection comprised of several old paintings of De Waag, ship models, highlights of local brands and archeological findings.
Museum De Waag also offers historical self-guided walking tour through the city center with audio via the 3Deventer app (www.3deventer.nl). You will need patience, a quick wit to translate the Dutch language audio and the ability to read maps offline. I simply could not comprehend.
In my opinion, Museum De Waag is not a must to visit. The entry ticket at €9.00 per adult is not worth it. It is not tailored for kids too. If you have a Museumkaart, use it to enter for free and have a quick look around. Your visit should take about 45 minutes. If you do not have a Museumkaart, buy the combination entry ticket with the Deventer Toy Museum for just €10.00. It is a wonder(museum)land of vintage toys.
Website: https://museumdewaag.nl/visit/?lang=en (English)
Address: Brink 56. 7411 BV Deventer.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Closed on Mondays.
Entrance Fees: €9.00 for adults, €2.50 for kids age 13-18 years old and free entry for kids up to 12 years old. Free entry for Museumkaart holders. Combi adult ticket with Deventer Toy Museum for just €10.00.
Getting There: 10 minutes walk from Deventer train station.