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Amersfoort,  Netherlands - flag Netherlands -  Utrecht
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marianne's travel reports

Amersfoort, a Medieval City

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Amersfoort travelogue picture
Amersfoort is right in the middle of the Netherlands and has kept its medieval character. It is a small city and all sights can be seen in one afternoon. Amersfoort is a very good place to escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam. It only takes 30 minutes by direct train. There are trains every 15 minutes, which leave from Amsterdam Central Station from platform 8b. Return trip is 11.30 euros.

Favourite spots:
Amersfoort travelogue picture
Havik a typically Dutch street and very photogenic. This part of Amersfoort used to be the artisan and merchant quarter and in the old days the inland harbour and thus an important place, because in those days most transport was by water. I especially like the little white houses near the bridge. They used to be a pub and the story goes that on a Sunday morning the place was crowded with truant churchgoers drinking a pint or two during the sermon. Hence its name ‘the little church’.


What's really great:
Amersfoort travelogue picture
As far as I know Amersfoort is the only city which can boast muurhuizen, wall houses.

Amersfoort’s city wall was demolished in the 15th century, the bricks were used to build new houses, which follow the contours of the old wall. Over the centuries houses have been built, extended, pulled down. The result is a colourful line of houses of widely differing architectural styles


Sights:
Amersfoort travelogue picture
The Town’s Clerk House Muurhuizen no 109 a jumble of styles: a renaissance entrance and a step gable reminiscent of Amsterdam canal houses.

Tinnenburg at Muurhuizen no 25 dates back to the 15th century. It borders the moat, and on one side, there are traces of masonry which were once connected with the gate. It gives some indication of the thickness of the walls. Facing the street is a second entrance door in the Gothic style,which was discovered during restoration works.

Accommodations:
Amersfoort travelogue picture
Hotel Logies de Tabaksplant was built in 1620, as the home of a rich tobacco planter, who used the attic of his house to dry tobacco. In those days tobacco was a common crop in the area round Amersfoort.

The Hotel is located in several in several historic building in the medieval city centre. The main building at 15 Coninckstraat, was the home of this rich tobacco planter.

The hotel was redecorated in 1990. The rooms are comfortable and furnished in modern 20th century style. This was a bit disappointing for me. It made the hotel rooms look like any hotel room, nothing medieval about them. Prices range from € 54- € 125 for a double room.






Hangouts:
Amersfoort travelogue picture
In den Grooten Slock is the oldest pub in Amersfoort. The building dates back to the 17th century and has retained its medieval character. It is place you should not miss as the building alone is worth to have a closer look at. They serve various lagers and ales but also typically Dutch lunches: kroket, a kind of deep fried meat dumpling. It is at Zevenhuizen number 1, next to St Joris church. You can’t miss it.




Other recommendations:
Amersfoort travelogue picture
Amersfoort has three city gates: Koppelpoort, Kamperbinnenpoort and Monnikendam.

Koppelpoort dates back to the 15th century. Restoration work has been carried out with great care. The medieval construction is still intact for the larger part. Originally, it consisted of one water gate flanked by two land gates, but one of the land gates has disappeared.

The water gate was used to regulate the water level in the city, but it was also a defence gate. When it was closed, the city could not be accessed by water. If attackers wanted to ram the gate doors, boiling-hot oil was poured over them from the little wooden extension above the gate.

Kamperbinnenpoort looks old, but not much of the original gate remains. Still, it looks impressive.

Monnikendam Water Gate is more authentic. It was restored in 1947, and medieval materials were used wherever possible.


Published on Saturday October 25th, 2003


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Sat, Dec 31 2005 - 05:53 AM rating by shinto

touching report

Wed, May 25 2005 - 10:48 AM rating by davidx

I don't understand why you didn't get a higher rating for this. Sometimes it seems as if a place that is less known scores less, although in general people have been kind to me.

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