The former pilgrimage town of Amersfoort was founded around the beginning of the thirteenth century. The location on the water was ideal for the trade in beer and textiles during the Middle Ages. Later, tobacco cultivation was added. Around the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Amersfoort was mainly a garrison town, which resulted in a number of barracks. These old barracks are now outside the city limits. The history and culture of Amersfoort is still visible in the old city center. Narrow canals divide the blocks of streets in which remarkably small houses and canal houses are still inhabited. The nostalgia can still be felt in the ubiquitous cafes, restaurant and monuments.
Market squares such as the Varkensmarkt and Sint Jorisplein are regularly the scene of festivities, because the people of Amersfoort like to socialize. Amersfoort even has its own beer. Stadsbrouwerij De Drie Ringen has been brewing a delicious Amersfoort beer since 1626, which is a typical Kölsch beer: easy, golden yellow and fresh. The terraces invite you for a delicious drink, so that you can fully explore the fun and diverse range of shops in Amersfoort. The largest selection of terraces can be found at the Hof. This square, approximately 95 meters long, has graced the center of Amersfoort for centuries. A market is still held on Fridays and Saturdays. The rest of the time it is mainly the catering industry that brings life here.
Don’t forget to take a trip through the canals. Amersfoort is perhaps even more beautiful from the water than when you walk through the streets. Thanks to the guide you will learn everything about Amersfoort and the various sights that you pass along the way.
Top 10 Things to Do in Amersfoort
#1. city gates
According to topschoolsintheusa, the old center of Amersfoort is bordered by city and water gates. The most striking gate is the Koppelpoort from the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, which is located on the northwest side of the city on the Eem. The gate could be closed and for intruders there was a square throwing hole above the gate from which boiling water, oil or pitch could be thrown down. Another beautiful city gate of Amersfoort is the Monnikendam water gate. This can be found on the east side of the center. The Monnikendam was built around 1400, making it part of the city wall. Today it is a popular wedding venue. And finally we would like to mention the small Kamperbinnenpoort. At the end of the famous shopping street ‘Langestraat’ you walk under the extremely well-maintained Kamperbinnenpoort. It belongs to one of the last remnants of the first city wall. The Kamperbuitenpoort is part of the second city wall.
#2. Wall houses
The famous wall houses of Amersfoort are legacies from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They were built on the remains of the first city wall that was demolished around 1500. The wall houses were part of the urban expansion. Because the construction of the wall houses was quite phased, you can see different styles in them. The most famous wall houses in Amersfoort are Plompe or Dieventoren, the Bollenburgh, Nieuwenburgh, Huis Tinnenburg and the Secretarishuisje.
A cruise through the canals of Amersfoort is a great plan during your visit to this fascinating city. From the boat you see the city from a completely different side. The boat trips through the canals are accompanied by enthusiastic skippers who tell you all kinds of details and stories from the past. You pass nice and also historical places that have attracted many visitors to Amersfoort over time. Think of the Mondriaan House, the many works of art on the street, the monumental water gate Monnikendam, the Koppelpoort and what was hidden behind the old facades of buildings on the waterfront. Sit back and let the city of Amersfoort glide past you.
#4. Mondriaan House
Get to know the life and works of Mondrian through the Mondriaan Houseto visit. The now world-famous painter Mondrian could not have foreseen how immensely popular his drawings and paintings would become. For a long time he struggled with what would become his style. Meanwhile, he found distraction with the ladies and in the nightlife of Paris. His stay was a lot less charming, because his works did not yield very much at the time. To be on the safe side, he therefore continued to paint flowers, because they guaranteed income. Under fairly austere circumstances, he eventually found his passion for lines and cubism. His landscapes and other nature work gradually declined and after his return to the Netherlands he devoted himself entirely to rhythmically shaped color squares in primary colours. His last adventures were in New York. Here, among the avant-garde, he came up with the idea of making a painting entitled ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’. He died in New York in 1971, before the painting was finished. This story of his life and the paintings he left behind can partly be admired in Mondriaan’s birthplace in Amersfoort. Here, among the avant-garde, he came up with the idea of making a painting entitled ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’. He died in New York in 1971, before the painting was finished. This story of his life and the paintings he left behind can partly be admired in Mondriaan’s birthplace in Amersfoort. Here, among the avant-garde, he came up with the idea of making a painting entitled ‘Victory Boogie Woogie’. He died in New York in 1971, before the painting was finished. This story of his life and the paintings he left behind can be admired in part in Mondriaan’s birthplace in Amersfoort.
#5. Our Lady Tower
According to their own words, the Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren of Amersfoort the cadastral center of the Netherlands. The medieval church was built around 1460 in a distinctive Gothic style. The tower was placed next to the church building, where it was built on the foundation of an old city wall. This also caused the tower to lean. The tower is now equipped with about a hundred bells. A memorial lantern has also been placed in the tower. This light beam, at the height of the time clocks, shines from one o’clock at night until the morning. This “watching light” is part of a lighting plan and is said to keep the memory of a loved one alive. The name and dates of deceased persons can be linked to this light and a digital screen on the ground floor.
If you are looking for a challenge and/or a nice view, you can climb the more than 98 meters high Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren. From this ‘Lange Jan’ as the tower is also called, you have an incredibly beautiful view over the city of Amersfoort.
#6. Flehite Museum
Amersfoort’s art history museum is known as Museum Flehite. Divided over three monumental buildings, you can enjoy international art and historical objects in this museum that form a clear representation of history. In particular, the period between 1850 and 1950 is extensively discussed. The buildings in which Museum Flehite is located are also worth seeing. These are wall houses from the sixteenth century that were built on the foundations of the first city wall. These three buildings on the Breestraat form the Flehite museum from 1890.
#7. Saint George’s Church
The center of the city center in Amersfoort is dominated by the Sint Joriskerk. The current appearance was already obtained in the sixteenth century, namely around the year 1534. Of course, thorough restorations took place afterwards, but the appearance has hardly changed. The interior of St George’s Church can be described as Gothic. The rood screen, which separates the nave from the sanctuary, is made of sandstone and was made around 1480. Behind walls covered with lime, beautiful paintings have been exposed that have been well preserved thanks to the lime. A good example of this is the ‘Klockman’ from 1725.
#8. Amersfoort Zoo
Amersfoort Zoois an ideal outing for young and old. A modest animal park was founded around 1948 on the outskirts of the city by two college friends. Together with his wives, the animal park grew into a full-fledged zoo and was later taken over by the children. As a family business, Dierenpark Amersfoort has built up a name and reputation. The zoo is still working passionately on suitable habitats, fun and maintenance of the park. Although more and more critical noises about zoos are coming out, the Amersfoort Zoo still manages to fascinate thousands of guests every year. Young and old will not get tired of the tigers, giraffes, monkeys and the ‘Realm of the Giants’ where the elephants reside.
According to the inhabitants of the city, the Krommestraat is the nicest street in Amersfoort. And that’s right. The Krommestraat is located in the center of the city. A walk through this famous street provides you with nice specialty shops, boutiques and cozy restaurants. Very different from the standard chains on the main Langestraat. The hospitality industry lavishly uses the Waterline that flows behind the Krommestraat. Long ago, the Krommestraat was a street where at least four beer breweries were located. And they needed water. A shop is now located in the building of Brouwerij de Kroon. Small terraces and windows offer a view of passing sloops and other water traffic.
#10. Utrecht Hill Ridge
The predominantly green countryside of Amersfoort is ideal for beautiful walks and/or cycling trips. This also applies to the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, which is located about fifteen kilometers south of Amersfoort. This nature reserve has been officially declared National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug. The agricultural landscape consists of forests, heaths and challenging hilly areas that lead you past castles, historic tobacco plantations and other nostalgic estates.
The Utrechtse Heuvelrug is forever linked to the city of Amersfoort through an old legend. Jonkheer Everard Meyser made a bet in 1661 in which he accepted the challenge of getting some Amersfoort residents to drag a boulder found from the Utrechtse Heuvelrug through the city gate. He treated the four hundred willing Amersfoort residents to liters of beer if this succeeded. No challenge too much for the inhabitants and they eagerly started dragging the boulder. After it became painfully clear that they were being duped, the boulder was buried and finally not dug up again until 1903. It resulted in the nickname ‘Keitrekkers’ as the Amersfoorters are called.