Amersfoort (VI) (Park on top of former city rampart)

  • 1650

    This blog will be about the park, built on top of the former city’s rampart. As showed before, there had been an initial wall around Amersfoort, replaced by a second one because of the city’s expansion. The first picture shows a map of the mid-17th century city. The contours of the old city-wall are clearly visible; similar to the inner moat/canal. The second city wall, together with the ‘new’ moat, is where we are today.

  • 1850

    Around the change from the 18th into the 19th century a city wall superannuated. Consequently, a plan to construct a park instead started taking shape. The park was effectively constructed between 1829 and 1843, based upon a design by the well known garden-architects Hendrik van Lunteren ( en Jan David Zocher jr. ( The dark green colour depicts the original shape of the park.

  • 2005

    A plan of the present city. We are moored, by the way, on the river Eem (‘Eemhaven’) – at 10:30 hours on an imaginary clock. The first and second plan show that the river has been at the same place over the ages – north-west of the city. Between 2000 and 2007 the park was brought back into its former glory, be it that the construction of the Stadsring (‘Ringway’) unfortunately made the demolition of the south-west part necessary. So here’s another example of the sacrifices we are forced to make as a consequence of nowadays traffic.

We’ll follow the park clockwise, starting at the Koppelpoort – close to where we live during this winter. The park is visible to the left of the Koppelpoort, as is the Valleikanaal/Barneveldese Beek.

  • The park contains some features, like the distance from point zero to where one’s walking every other 100 metres.

  • The 0-point is next to the Amersfoortse Kei (Amersfoort Boulder), which is point A4 (green) on the plan of the present city.

  • Another feature are the numbers on the footpath, directing to one of the numerous trees. The numbers correspond with the same number to be found in a booklet. That booklet can be bougt we suppose, downloaded in any case – see Recommended, though only in Dutch. By the way 64 is a Quercus Cerris (Moseik/Turkey Oak/Austrian Oak), planted in 1950.

  • Even the cut-off trees still have their original number. According to the aforementioned booklet this is, correction: was, an Ulmus × Hollandica (Hollandse Iep/Dutch Elm). They are prone to Dutch elm disease (may we ask the Brits: why not just Elm disease???). Wikipedia quote: ‘The name "Dutch elm disease" refers to its identification in 1921 and later in the Netherlands by Dutch phytopathologists Bea Schwarz and Christine Buisman who both worked with Professor Johanna Westerdijk. The disease is not specific to the Dutch elm hybrid.’ Unquote. So please stop this nonsense! This elm might have fallen victim to the Elm disease (without Dutch, see?)

Parts of the second city wall are still visible. And impressive too!

While walking, we encountered this woman – a genuine tree-whisperer. We made some pictures and, although we avoided photographing her face, started waiting patiently to ask for her permission. Eventually she ended the session and we introduced ourselves to her – and vice versa. She appeared to be very friendly and did not object at all – was even interviewed and photographed by a genuine newspaper. So, we got her (name and) permission. Some 6 years back she whispered another tree, next to this one, she told us, but this ‘first love’ was gone (elm??) after she traveled to Canada and back. Then she adopted this tree (a beuk/beech?) and assured us that it had grown a lot bigger ever since.

The difference in colour of the used bricks proves that the city of Amersfoort has done a good job in upkeeping its past as good as possible.

At point A15 (green) on the plan of the present city we saw this huge eye-catcher, obviously a bull. We tried to determine its meaning, but…. unsuccessfully. Therefore, it’s a bull. Full stop. (After Sean Spicer – why can’t we get him of our minds??)

We cannot say more about this than we already did. It’s simply a joy to walk in the park and look at a part of Amersfoort’s history.

  • Young(ish) askew plane tree

    The trees in the park are not only old most of the time, but plain lovely. We again mention, special for the interested ones among our readers, the link

  • Old rugged plane tree

    All planes are in there, with their Latin (scientific?) names as well as their names in Dutch. After reading you’re an expert!

The city-council sold pieces of land to raise money for the creation of the park. Buyers had permission to build a villa on it. This is a nice example, probably after a design by Jan David Zocher jr.

During the ‘city-wall era’ gentlemen sought to find their amusement outside the city, visiting the (social) club ‘Randenbroek’. (For the Dutch, and everyone else that is interested, see An aperture in the wall was used to re-enter the city after closing hours. During the restauration in 2003 a new ‘gentlemen’s gate’ was created, leading into the Herenstraat (‘Gentlemen-street’).

One of our former blogs about Amersfoort mentioned the city’s nickname, being ‘boulder-city’. This has caused other cities and countries to donate boulders to the city. They’ve all got a nice spot in the park, as is clearly visible here. An attentive viewer will note five boulders here – and that’s only a part of the collection! They are donated by people of Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, and more.

This boulder attracted our special attention. A plaque in front of it explains: ‘This boulder was donated by the Swedish people in September 1978. It comes out of the copper-mines of Falun. The boulder contains copper, tin, pyrite and zinc. It is signed by the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf’. (Note of the editor: not far from Falun there’s a place called Kopparberg (‘Copper Mountain’). They fabricate excellent pear-cider there. We used to drink it in the UK – especially during the summer (with loads of ice). Still miss this special drink on the continent.)

  • Grassy roundabout...

    At the south-west side of the town there’s another small part of the park reconstructed. The path here is situated in a round shape – as one can see. Most of the users prefer a short-cut, however, and that’s all too visible here.

  • ...with seven tombstones

    The left picture already showed a few graves in the background, seven to be precise. There must have been a graveyard here in the past. We are always interested in gravestones and discovered a highly interesting one as part of these seven.

This is the one, saying: ‘Jan Cock Blomhoff rests here, former chief (‘opperhoofd’) at Decima, born (Amsterdam, ed.) 5 August 1779, passed away (Amersfoort, ed.) 15 October 1855 and his (second, ed.) spouse Maria Adriana van Breúgel, born 17 October 1791, passed away 15 January 1875’. Read about Jan Cock Blomhoff by using the link And click on and on and on…. About Decima, the Dutch East India Company (VOC), trade Netherlands-Japan and so on. It never ends!

Here we are, arrived at the opposite side of the Koppelpoort with a view onto our starting point. We sincerely hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Hope to see you again, this time the first Sunday of next month, being March. Bye for now.