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Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren, Amersfoort

(130+ reviews on the web)
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren is a church tower in Amersfoort. The Late Gothic building is 98.33m tall and reaches high above the inner city. It is one of the most eye-catching monuments in town and the third highest church tower in the Netherlands. The nickname of the tower is Lange Jan . The church that belonged to the tower was destroyed by a gunpowder explosion in the 18th century.HistoryThe first chapel on site was constructed on this site in the 14th century. In the 15th century the chapel was replaced by new church with three aisles. When the tower was built is not exactly known. Construction started around 1444 and was finished around 1470. The official documents of the construction were destroyed by the Protestants in 1579 during the reformation and the ensuing iconoclasm. The church and tower were taken over by the Protestants and no longer belonged to the Catholics.The church also has been used for other purposes than worshiping. It was used as a storage place for ammunition and as laboratory for the manufacturing of shells.In 1986 some research was done into its history and in the current square one can see the original plan of the church. The spire of the church burned down in 1651 and also in 1804. The tower was restored in 1912–1932, in 1965–1970 and in 1993–1996.Dutch grid reference systemThe middle point of the Dutch grid reference system is situated in the tower. From origin the tower spin was the middle of the grid with x = 0 and y = 0. This grid system was set up in the period 1885-1904. The coördinates where also called Amersfoort coördinates. The Zero-point was moved in the period 1960-1978, it moved 155 km Westwards and 463 km Southwards (120 km Southeast of Paris, 1 km East of La Celle-Saint-Cyr). The coördinates of the middle point since then are X = 155 000, Y = 463 000. Advantage of this new Zero-point is that there are no negative coördinates anymore and the X values differ from the Y values so mistakes shall not occure anymore.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It was cool to see and hear about the Onze lieve Vrouwe tower. The cadastral centerpoint of The Netherlands. Climbing up the tower requires you to climb 365 steps.. So take that into consideration! Th...  more »
  • This site has great historical value yet it has wonderful cafes in front of it for you to relax and eat and drink while enjoying the view! The lack of tourists makes the visit even more fun. The whole...  more »
  • Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren is a historical tower located in the center of Amersfoort. It has an interesting religious back story which people of faith or history buffs may enjoy. The tour cost around 5 eu...  more »
Google
  • Great experience! The guide leads you up the 365 steps, with a great view over authentic Amersfoort and its surroundings. You can see Amsterdam, Utrecht, Almere and other cities from the 98-meter-high church. The church's history, historical and current use is explained during the two stops along the way up. I won't give away all the information in this short review. I can say that I highly recommend this tour.
  • Wonderful place to visit! I am a large person and was well accomodated when I chose to climb the tower 😍 What a wonderful way to view the city!
  • Really nice. Not only the tower even the whole square
  • Beautiful old Tower, beautiful 7-ringing, beautiful view over the city of Amersfoort and surroundings and fine outdoor cafes on the square at the foot of the Tower
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  • An evening climb done, very beautiful experience. Views are beautiful. Would in daylight. The guide who accompanied us was very kind, convivial and gave nice information. Let us also quietly climb at their own pace, which I found very fine.
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