Amersfoort Things to Do Tips by OlafS
Amersfoort Things to Do: 68 reviews and 77 photos
Running like a ring around a part of the centre is a street named Muurhuizen, which means 'wall houses'. Why is it named like that? Because the houses on the outer side of this street were built at the location of the first city-wall, of which often complete parts were incorporated, when a second wall had been built that protected a much greater area. The result is a series of picturesque medieval houses, sometimes with towers and at least one with a gate.
Amersfoort: Elleboogkerk / Armando museum
This former Roman Catholic church in neo-classical style was built in 1820 as a replacement for a nearby hidden church. It is called Elleboogkerk ('elbow church') for reasons I cannot explain here. Today the building houses a museum dedicated to the work of artist Armando, who was born in Amersfoort. This artist, who grew up near a concentrationcamp, is obsessed by 'the beauty of evil' so be warned for plenty of references to war and misery!
The Monnikendam is a watergate. Here the water from various streams entered the town, which was a potential weak spot in Amersfoort's defense, reason why they built this gate in the 15th century. At night the gate was closed.
The name Monnikendam means something like "monks' dam" and probably has something to do with the big monastery nearby.
The Koppelpoort (this means something like 'coupled gate') is one of three remaining gates from the Middle Ages. This is the most special one, a double gate with seperate passages for land and for water. It dates from ca. 1400 and was part of the second city-wall. It's not completely original, restorations came with a few changes, but it is one of the major sights of Amersfoort ayway.
Apart from the three gates and the wallhouses, on several locations parts of the actual city walls remind of the medieval times that Amersfoort was a strengthened town. Until the early 19th century these walls restricted the growth of the town, and much was demolished when Amersfoort expanded its territory, until in 1844 the government put a halt on this.
"Armen de poth" (don't ask me to translate this) is an old court with houses and a chapel. Until 1957 old and poor people lived here for free. It's an old institution but the houses date from the 19th century. The chapel was built in 1507. It was dedicated to St. Rochus, protector against the black plague, which seems to indicate that the first inhabitants of the court were not only old and poor but sick as well.
Museum Flehite is Amersfoort's museum of local history. It is housed in an old building that was enlarged and rebuilt in neo-renaissance style in 1898-1899 by local architect H. Kroes. The museum is named after the name of the area around the year 800, Flethite. An error made during the deciphering of an old document provided the name Flehite, ommitting a T.
The Kamperbinnenpoort is a partly reconstructed gate. Only the towers are old, the part in between dates from the 1930's.
Amersfoort: St. Franciskus Xavierius church
Perhaps not so much a must-see, but I mention it anyway as it is a nice looking building and I like to emphasize that Amersfoort is especially rich in neo-Classical churches, not so much in other styles. The Roman Catholic St. Franciskus Xavieriuskerk was built in 1816-1817 in replacement of a clandestine church which previously stood on this location.
Amersfoort: Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren
The St. Joris wasn't always Amersfoort biggest church. For several centuries the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk ('Church of Our Lady') was the city's largest. But in 1787 an enormous explosion made an end to the building. The church, which at that time was used for the storage of gunpowder, was turned into a ruin, the last parts of which were demolished early in the 19th century. Only the tower, known as the Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren ('Tower of Our Lady'), has survived and is regarded one of the most important Gothic towers in the country. It closely resembles the tower of Utrecht's cathedral, and although it's not unique in that respect it is one of the best copies.
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