Claiming to be the oldest town in the province of Zuid Holland, Dordrecht lies just east of the main road leading south to Antwerp and Brussels. Thanks to its location amid a tangle of Rhine and Meuse waterways, it was once among the most important towns in Holland. Fortified in 1271, it was badly damaged by the St. Elizabeth flood of 1421, an event recalled by a stained-glass window in the town's Grote Kerk.
Today the city is a mix of old and new. Much of it is given over to shipbuilding and yachting facilities, but the old sector is worth visiting along the riverfront (indeed, the best view of the city is from the opposite, north bank) and in the streets leading back to the Voorstraat.