The history of Elburg dates back to the year 796. The first residents settled at the Almere, the precursor of the Zuiderzee and nowadays the IJsselmeer. Fishery was the main source of food and income. At the end of the 14th century, between 1392 and 1396, the old city was partly replaced. From the higher grounds along the sea to the current spot.
Elburg was built following the principle of the ‘gulden snede’, a marble plate in the centre of the city. This marble plate is surrounded by a square street pattern. This pattern is still intact in the Vesting (city centre) to this day. All these plans could be executed due to the wealth Elburg knew in the Hanseatic period as a Hansa city. Elburg has been part of the Hansa since 1367.
At that time, trading was mainly done on the water. Until 1932, the fishing town of Elburg was located on the Zuiderzee. The construction of the Afsluitdijk, which created the IJsselmeer and the poldering, increased the distance to the open water considerably. Fishing gave way to other occupations. The old wooden ships that are still in the harbour, the botters, keep the memory of Elburg's fishing past alive. Water sports enthusiasts can reach the harbour, which is located directly in front of the old fortress, via Lake Veluwe and the Drontermeer.