Ruben Raidt is a Zwolle native

'When Zwolle is in your heart, you can't get the city out either'

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"Zwolle is a rich city in many ways," says Ruben Raidt in his "unwealthy working environment. Among other things, he handles marketing communications for the Academiehuis, and so he works from the 15th century Grote Kerk. Literally and increasingly figuratively the central heart of Zwolle. And from June 23 thanks to Panorama Hanze even more one of the highlights of the city. "I am especially proud of the collaborations that arise very easily here. For me, that is the soul of Zwolle. This is a very pleasant city to work and live in."

Photo: Max de Krijger
"I was born on the edge of Park de Wezenlanden and grew up in the Aa-landen. After I left home, I lived in Assendorp and downtown and now in Dieze. Sometimes a move to another city haunts my mind, but never for long. Zwolle has everything I'm looking for. Culture, nature and a very compact city center. Moreover, I have my network here. In short, I have both feet firmly on the ground in Zwolle. And because of its central location, you are also very quickly somewhere else. Within an hour you are in Groningen or Amsterdam. So you can also go in all directions here.

Quirky city

I love culture and Zwolle is the place to be. Hedon is very ambitious, Museum Anno is working on wonderful things and it is teeming with cool festivals. So Zwolle is a vibrant city of culture. Only the big international names come earlier in the Randstad. But because of that, Zwolle retains its individuality. The city is idiosyncratic. You can see that in the developments in the Spoorzone and at the Koelwaterhal in the old power plant. This will give Zwolle even more of a face of its own.

Photo: Max de Krijger

Heart of Zwolle

With the Academy House we also contribute to this. After the major restoration of the church, we are slowly growing into Zwolle's largest covered square. Under the supervision of the monumental Schnitger organ, all kinds of things are happening here. Residents and visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee with some goodies, students and entrepreneurs whip out their laptops, we organize lectures and concerts, and we host a market for second-hand books. And, of course, tourists admire this ancient place.

Panorama Hanze

Zwolle is home to a lot of history anyway. You can experience that fascinating past in a unique way during Panorama Hanze. Visitors will soon discover the history of Zwolle as part of the Hanseatic League in the Academiehuis. And then they climb via scaffolding to a thirty-meter high plateau on the church. Then you can see the contours of the city and the remains of the Hanseatic League. The first time I climbed up myself, the clouds just broke open and I got a beautiful wide view. Then you can only be impressed by Zwolle.

Photo: Max de Krijger
Photo: Max de Krijger

Positive competition

Despite all the history and the beautiful monuments, I am still most impressed by the mentality of our city. Working together is very natural here. Among entrepreneurs, I see more positive competition than hard rivalry. In Zwolle we go for it: join hands and go. Here it's us knows us, and us helps us. I noticed that when I was allowed to run a pop-up restaurant for charity in my student days. Entrepreneurs encouraged this in every possible way. For example, a brewer brewed beer for us at a ridiculously low price. And I see it at the Academy House, too. This building only stands thanks to the efforts of 120 active volunteers. Without those people, the doors could be locked immediately. That mentality, too, says something about Zwolle.

In love with Zwolle

Visitors to the city notice this too, in my opinion. Recently I spoke to a couple from Rotterdam here in the Academiehuis. They come to Zwolle for a week every year. This is an incredibly warm city. Zwolle shines even when the weather is bad,' those people said. They are really in love with our city. If I then see how Zwolle has developed in recent years and what is still to come, then I think that we will only fall even more in love."

Ruben Raidt's top 3

  • "A household name in Zwolle is Salute. If you've been there once, you know that you have to go to Zwolle for the tastiest ice cream in the Netherlands. And you eat it on the city canal."
  • "When I want to find some more peace and quiet, I often go to the Vecht. The stretch between the Wijde Aa and the Agnietenberg is really incredibly beautiful. And to think I only discovered that during the lockdowns during the corona pandemic..."
  • "I love places where live music can be heard, especially from young, talented musicians. Then Zwolle is the place to be. Whether you like pop music or classical music. A fine music cafe is De Kuiperij. And at our Academiehuis we also organize nice walk-in concerts on Sundays. Live music is so much nicer than clicking on a list on Spotify..."

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