Town and capital of Overijssel province, 18 mi N of Deventer. Chartered in 1230, as a member of the Hanseatic League it was a strategic stronghold until its ramparts were destroyed in 1674 during the Dutch wars. Notable buildings include two churches and the town hall, all 15th century. It was a center of the Devotio Moderna reform movement of the Brethren of the Common Life. In nearby Agnietenberg is the 14th-century monastery where Thomas à Kempis, author of the Imitation of Christ, lived from 1407 to 1471.