Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Day in Amersfoort, NL

Even though we don't do it as frequently as when I first arrived here almost 8 years ago (!), Astrid and I still love to make a day's visit to a new place here in the Netherlands.  Amersfoort is a city 60 km. north of where we live in Gorinchem.  It was NOT new for Astrid because it's only 27 km. from where she grew up in Hilversum.

Anyway.  Here's snapshot kind of day with impressions of a delightful city here in the Netherlands.

A fun Google map with my added red dots shows what the highlights were for us:
The Koppelpoort, Muurhuizen, Sint Joriskerk, Our Lady Tower, and Mondriaan's birthplace.

Because Our Lady Tower is the first landmark of the city we saw as we drove in,
and is also seen from almost everywhere we went, let's start there.
At 98 meters high, it's the third tallest Medieval tower in the Netherlands.
It's nickname is Lange Jan = Long John.

It also happens to house inside the exact mid-point spot of the Netherlands.
How fun is that!

Where we first started the day, however, was at the Koppelpoort, a Medieval gate from 1425.
I think this was what Astrid most wanted me to see that day.
The view from inside the city was mostly in the sun when we saw it...

...leaving the outside of the gate in the shadows.

Just a wee walk away, back inside the gate, we stopped in this neighborhood...

to visit the Flehite Museum, using our museum card.

We don't usually stop at the museums, as you know by now,
but we were so glad to see this one...because of the lone WWII bike up in the rafters.
Talk about a photo op!

This is what I wrote on Facebook: 
On 6 October 1944, during WWII, Hitler gave the order to his troops in the Netherlands, 
Denmark, and Italy to take as many bikes as possible from the locals to move around faster.  
He is thereby known as the biggest bike thief in history, explaining why this bike is in the rafters,
so it can't be stolen. 

From the museum we walked along the  street of Muurhuizen = Wall Houses.
These are the houses built from the bricks of the city wall that was demolished in the 15th century.
The houses have become the new "city wall."

Apart from the landmarks, there's so much to see.

As I always say, impressions, impressions, impressions.

Surely every little thing has its own story.
Don't you wish you knew?

You know how some things become "many faces of a thing" for me.
I can't help it.

Astrid gives scale to some of those things, of course.
Did you know that ice-age boulders are found all over the Netherlands (bottom-right)?
Amersfoort's nickname is Keistad = Boulder City.

One last stop of the day was a visit to Mondriaan's birthplace.
You see his colors all throughout the city.  
He's a famous Dutch painter who lived from 1872-1944,
living in Paris from 1919-1938, in London from 1938-1940, and in NYC from 1940-44.

By now it was time to eat our main meal of the day, near St. Joriskerk in city center.
Sadly, even though it was Sunday, the church was closed.

But it didn't matter because we were ready to eat!
And guess what Astrid got as an early birthday (24 August) present!
I'm not a fan of mussels but I sure have fun watching her eat them!

 And there you have it:  Amersfoort in a snapshot kind of day!


  1. Hi Ginnie. Its a pleasure to discover this country and its beautiful architectures. I don't know Netherlands. Nice note and photo. Thank for sharing Ginnie

    1. Astrid and I would both love to show you the part of the Netherlands where we live, Marie, if ever you are able to come our way. Let's plan on it.

  2. I think I'm in love with the canals and bridges in NL~!

  3. Such a great place to visit. Love your photo story of the day. You catch so much of any place you visit that I enjoy touring with you.

    1. Thank you, Marie. It's such a joy to see these places with my own eyes and then share them with the rest of the world!

  4. What a lovely collage- you saw some more details than us - Like you I loved the Koppelport - we stayed at a hotel, the oldest house of the town, on St. Jorisplein, and the clock announced the time each half hour, I loved it. Amersfoort is a real gem, and you captured it very well. We visited the exhibition in the KadE "De Kleuren van de Stijl", too, apart from the Mondriaanshuis.

    1. How wonderful to know you saw some of these saw spots so soon after we did, Philine. It's almost like we were there together. :)

  5. you know, i don't think i have ever told you this before, but you are SUCH a good photographer... i really enjoyed your view of this beautiful town xoxox

    1. What a sweet thing to say, Elaine, which means a lot to me. THANK YOU!

  6. This is again a great post telling about our wonderful day out. We saw a lot and the pictures talk for themselves I think. Thank you for the pre-birthday-meal, it was a delight and never can go wrong with mussels. It was great to see Amersfoort in Mondriaan style and that we visited the house where he was born. IHVJ.

    1. I learn so much about your wonderful country on these days trips, which I just love, as you know, Astrid. We are so very lucky!

  7. OMG...I'm still drooling over that pot of mussels!!! What an adorable town! Thanks for sharing its personality!

    1. You're welcome, of course, Robin, and thank you. 'Personality' is a good word for the Dutch cities and towns everywhere we go. Each one is unique!