Amersfoort


Amersfoort

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Amersfoort






image_size = 280px
image_caption =


mapsize = 280px
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Netherlands
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Utrecht
leader_name = A. van Vliet-Kuiper
leader_party = D66
area_footnotes = (2006)
area_total_km2 = 63.78
area_land_km2 = 62.88
area_water_km2 = 0.90
population_as_of = 1 January, 2007
population_note = Source: CBS, [http://statline.cbs.nl/ Statline] .
settlement_type = Municipality
population_total = 139017
population_density_km2 = 2211
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 52.15
latNS = N
longd = 5.38
longEW = E
website = [http://www.amersfoort.nl www.amersfoort.nl]

.

Population centres

The municipality of Amersfoort consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Amersfoort, Hoogland, Hooglanderveen, Stoutenburg Noord.

History

Hunter gatherers set up camps in the Amersfoort region in the Mesolithic period. Archaeologists have found traces of these camps to the north of Amersfoort, such as the remains of hearths, and sometimes microlithic flint objects.

Settlements in the Amersfoort area from around 1000 BC have been found, but the name Amersfoort, named after a ford in the Amer River, today called the Eem, did not appear until the 11th century. The city grew around what is now known as the central square, the "Hof", where the Bishops of Utrecht estblished a court, in order to control the "Gelderse vallei", and was granted city rights in 1259 by the bishop of Utrecht Hendrik van Vianden. A first defensive wall, made out of brick, was finished around 1300. Soon after, the need for enlargement of the city became apparent and around 1380 the construction of a new wall was begun and completed around 1450. The famous Koppelpoort, a combined land and water gate, is part of this second wall. The first wall was demolished and houses were built in its place. Today's "Muurhuizen" (wallhouses) Street is at the exact location of the first wall; the fronts of the houses are built on top of the first city wall’s foundations.

The "Onze-Lieve-Vrouwentoren" tower (The Tower of Our Lady) [cite web |url= http://www.skyscrapercity.info/100.php?id=4&bid=1185|title= Onze Lieve Vrouwentoren|accessdate=2008-03-26 |date= |work= |publisher= SkyscraperCity] is one of the tallest medieval church towers in the Netherlands at convert|98|m|ft|0. The construction of the tower and the church was started in 1444. The church was demolished by an explosion in 1787, but the tower survived, and the layout of the church still can be discerned today through the use of different types of stone in the pavement of the open space that was created. It is now the reference point of the RD coordinate system, the coordinate grid used by the Dutch topographical service: the RD coordinates are (155.000, 463.000).

The inner city of Amersfoort has been preserved very well since the Middle Ages. Apart from the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren, the Koppelpoort , and the "Muurhuizen" (Wall-houses), there is also the Sint-Joris church.

In the Middle Ages, Amersfoort was an important centre for the textile industry, and there were a large number of breweries. In the 18th century the city flourished because of the cultivation of tobacco.

Second World War

There was a concentration camp near the city of Amersfoort during the Second World War. The camp, officially called "Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort" (Police Transit Camp Amersfoort), better known as "Kamp Amersfoort", was actually located in the neighbouring municipality of Leusden. After the war the leader of the camp, Joseph Kotälla, was sentenced to death.

Origin of "Keistad" (Boulder-city)

The nickname for Amersfoort, "Keistad" (boulder-city), originates in the "Amersfoortse Kei", a convert|9|t|lb|0|lk=on|adj=on boulder that was dragged from the Soest moors into the city in 1661 by 400 people because of a bet between two landowners. The people got their reward when the winner bought everyone beer and pretzels. Other nearby towns then nicknamed the people of Amersfoort "Keihoofd" (boulder-head). This story embarrassed the inhabitants, and they buried the boulder in the city, but after it was found again in 1903 it was placed in a prominent spot as a monument.

Museums

* The Mondriaan House: birthplace of the painter Piet Mondriaan. Exhibits a lifesize reconstruction of his workshop in Paris. Some temporary shows and work by artists inspired by the painter.
* Flehite: historic, educational and temporary exhibitions behind a splendid facade. Closed until at least 2008 due to asbestos contamination.
* Zonnehof: small elegant modernist building designed by Gerrit Rietveld on an eponymous square just south of the centre with temporary exhibitions of mostly contemporary art.
* Armando Museum: Work by the painter Armando (who lived in Amersfoort as a child) in a renovated church building. Mostly temporary exhib. (Most of the church and the art on exhibition was destroyed in a fire on October 22 2007.) [cite news| title =Armando Museum fire| publisher =Armandomuseum.nl| url =http://www.armandomuseum.nl| date =2007-10-22| accessdate =2007-11-04]
* Culinary Museum

Transport

Bus

Bus services are provided by three firms: Connexxion, BBA and the "Stadsvervoer Nederland". Connexxion provides services in town and to some destinations further afield like Utrecht, while BBA and Stadsvervoer Nederland offer connections to regional destinations.

Rail

Amersfoort has three railway stations:
*Amersfoort, the main intercity station, which has trains to Enschede, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Amsterdam and Leeuwarden/Groningen
*Amersfoort Schothorst, to north of Amersfoort station; on workdays, there are six trains an hour in the direction of Amersfoort station and two trains an hour to Zwolle
*Amersfoort Vathorst, to the north of Amersfoort Schothorst; on workdays, there are four trains an hour in the direction of Amersfoort station and two trains an hour to Zwolle.

Road

Two major motorways pass Amersfoort:
*to the north, the A1 motorway (Amsterdam - Arnhem - "Germany")
*to the east, the A28 motorway (Utrecht - Groningen)

Local government

The municipal council of Amersfoort consists of 39 seats, which are divided as follows: [cite web |url= http://www.amersfoort.nl/smartsite.shtml?id=157252|title= Zetelverdeling en stemaantallen|accessdate=2008-03-26|language= Dutch|publisher= Gemeente Amersfoort]

* VVD - 6 seats
* PvdA - 10 seats
* CDA - 5 seats
* GroenLinks - 4 seats
* Jouw Amersfoort - 3 seats
* ChristenUnie - 3 seats
* SP - 3 seats
* Burger Partij Amersfoort - 5 seats
* PAPA (Politieke Actiepartij Amersfoort - not represented)
* NCPN (Nieuwe Communistische Partij Nederland - not represented)

Notable people born in Amersfoort

:"See also "

* Paulus Buys (1531-1594) – grand pensionary
* Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (1547-1619) – statesman
* Piet Mondriaan (1872-1944) – painter
* Johannes Heesters (1903) – actor, singer and entertainer
* Ben Pon (1936) – sports car racing driver
* Loet Geutjes (1943) – water polo player
* Feike de Vries (1943) – water polo player
* Anke Rijnders (1956) – swimmer
* Frank Drost (1963) – swimmer
* Jan Wagenaar (1965) – water polo player
* Jos Dee (1966) – adult film star
* Arie van de Bunt (1969) – water polo goalkeeper

Miscellaneous

* The city had its own professional football (soccer) club named HVC. It was founded on July 30, 1973, but due to financial problems disbanded on June 30, 1982.
* The swimming pool Sportfondsenbad has an annual nudist day in March for NFN members and donors only. [Reference at Wikipedia in German]
* Amersfoort is the host of an ATP professional tennis tournament, named Priority Telecom Open, which has been held each year in July since 2002.
* The city has a zoo, 'DierenPark Amersfoort', which was founded in 1948.

Sister cities

* Liberec, Czech Republic

References

External links

* [http://www.AmersfoortYourWay.nl AmersfoortYourWay] Tourist information and hotel bookings
* [http://www.ifalk.nl/amersfoort0ch8bz13/ Detailed Falkplan map]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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