Boulder garden
Boulder Garden
Why do we have so many rocks and no mountains?

AmersfoortAmersfoort is called 'Keistad' (lit.:Rocktown or Bouldercity), a name we 'earned' in the 17th century, not because we invented Rock&Roll as a dance, but because of a wager a crazy country squire ('Jonkheer') named Everard Meyster because he wanted to celibrate his new house.
He made a bet with some friends that he could talk the people of Amersfoort into dragging a large boulder, a stone that was deposited on Soester Moor by a glacier, weighting 9 tons, to the city. Four hundred Amersfoorters signed up for this feat. The boulder was pulled into the city over cannon balls. The squire won his wager and grandly spent the 3000 guilders on beer and salty pretzels. This all took place in 1661 but because other cities started to make fun of this event, the Amersfoorters burried the boulder in 1672 secretly in the hope the other cities would forget the event taken place. In 1903 we dug up the boulder again and gave it a prominent place in the city.
The inhabitants of the city are still called 'keientrekkers' (lit.: Boulder towers)

In the seventies we had the "keistadfeesten" (boulder city festivities) where large rocks from other countries were sent to Amersfoort. Below you find some of the rocks that were given to the city.
1961 Belgium
BelgiumIn 1961 the tradespeople of Amerfoort wanted to do something with the image of Amersfoort as "Keistad". So a large boulder from Belgium was brought to the city. This boulder didn't make it to the boulder garden. The same for some others that were placed in different parts of the city.
1971 England
1971, 10 years after the boulder from Belgium, a part of the London Bridge (a piece of Scotish granite) came to the city and was placed in the "boulder garden".
The inscription says: "This granite formed part of old London Bridge, London England and was presented to this city of Amersfoort by the association of Amersham and Amersfoort and placed here on August 21st, 1971.As a permanent reminder to the citizens of Amersfoort of the esteem held for them by the people of theirlink town Amersham Buckinghamshire, England."
1972 Austria
AustriaAustria donated a boulder in 1972, the "keistadfeesten" where populair in these years. The inscription reads: "This boulder is a sign of friendship between the Austrian and Dutch peoples. The 8 ton weighting Gneis originates from the valley of Rauris and was donated for the "keistadfeesten" in 1972.
1973 Luxembourg
LuxemburgIn 1973 a bit smaller boulder was donated by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This boulder was to complement the BeNeLux row, Belgium we already had, Dutch well it started all with a Dutch boulder in 1661 and the one of Luxembourg was missing.
1974 Switserland
SwitserlandIn 1974 it was the turn of Switserland. The inscription says: "This Swiss boulder of green Andeer granite - together with the stone below approximately 12 ton in weight was given during the Keistadfeesten on 7 September 1974 on behalf of the government of the canton Graubünden by the "Regerungspräsident" Mr Dr Leon Schlumpf"
1975 Canada
Canada1975 we looked a bit further then Europe, Canada donated a boulder in this year. Inscription reads: "The Canadian government, the Canadian Pacific Ships and the National Granite company in Canada have by person of the Canadian ambasador Thomas Carter, this granite boulder from Alma (Quebec) presented to the citizens of Amersfoort during the "keistadfeesten" 1975".
1976 France
FranceShould have been a good wine year, the inscription doesn't give much information on this one. It reads "Keistadfeesten September 1976, thema: France, Presented by a delegation from France to the municipality of Amersfoort"
1977 Sicily (Italy)
1977 a boulder from Italy (Sicily) was donated to Amersfoort. The inscription reads: "Perlato Sicilia Classico. Originating from the marble quarry of Piano Alasire in Custonaci Trapani presented by Sicily (Italy) on the event of "Keistadfeesten" 1977"
1978 Sweden
Sweden1978, Sweden present a boulder to the city of Amersfoort. The inscription reads: "This boulder is donated by the people of Sweden in September 1978. It comes from the copper mines of Falun. The stone contains cupper, pyrite and zinc. It was signed by the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf"
1979 Jugoslavia
Jugoslavia gave us a boulder in 1979. The inscription reads: "Keistadfeesten September 1979. This 6 ton weighting boulder of white marble originating from Aranjevolc in Jugoslavia is on the 8th of September 1979, provided with the signature of the leader of the government Field Marshal Tito, presented to the municipality of Amersfoort."
1992 Spain
SpainIn 1992 the company DHV celebrated his 75 birthday. This boulder was a present. The inscription is in Spanish and Dutch and says: "Presented by the city of Granada, Andalucia, Spain for the event of the 75th jubilee of the DHV group"
1993 Turkey
In 1993 we had the Turkey year and the Turkish community delivered this boulder to the city. The inscription is in Turkish and Dutch and says: "Presented by the Turkish community in Amersfoort, the Turkish consulate in Deventer and Gözde im- and export in Amersfoort, for the event of the Turkey year 1993. Amersfoort 11 September 1993"
Besides these boulders there are more boulders. These are not in the boulder garden, or Petrographical garden as they call it.

1981 from Hilversum and is located at the Noordewierweg
1982 from Limburg and is located at the Euterpeplein. The boulder is from a Belgium stone quarry and was given by the cement company ENCI in Maastricht.
1983 from Drenthe and is located at the Rustenburgerweg and has the shape of a "hunnebed"
1984 from Soestdijk and is located close to the city hall. This boulder had an inscription (signature) of Prince Berhard, who helped pulling the boulder into the city on the 12th of June. Funny story is that it was the same boulder that the people of Amersfoort gave for the wedding of the prince in 1937.
1994 the training centre of the cavalry donates a boulder that comes from Germany. This boulder was first located at the training facilities of the Cavalry.
1999 A 6.000 kilogram weighting boulder is given by the Czech city of Liberec that since 1993 froms a bond of cities with Amersfoort. The boulder is now located between Evertsenstraat and Binckesstraat.
2003 on the first of June at the start of "Gasthuislaan" a boulder from Portugal (Albufeira) is placed

(If you have photos of one of these boulders, send them to me and I will place them on this web page)

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