Spend the day on a private, guided tour that starts at Amersfoort, one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved medieval cities, then visit Kröller-Müller, a modern art museum housing many Van Goghs and a renowned sculpture garden.
You’ll start the day with a drive to Amersfoort, where you’ll take a walk through the old town’s narrow alleys and cobblestone streets, getting a look at its canals, church tower, intact city gates and the Muurhuizen, which are houses that are built on the original city wall. You can also visit the Mondrian House, a museum dedicated to the 20th-century Piet Mondrian, who was born here.
In the afternoon, you’ll head to Kröller-Müller. The modern art museum contains the world’s second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings, among plenty of other later works. The museum’s sculpture park is built inside the massive Hoge Veluwe National Park, a protected landscape of forested land, boggy heaths and haunting sand drifts.
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel for your day exploring the old city of Amersfoort and the Kröller-Müller Museum and sculpture park.
Amersfoort, founded around 1000 BC, has had its name since the 11th century AD — from a ford in the river, then called the Amer, now called the Eem. The town was given official city rights in 1259, and in 2009, the city celebrated 750 years.
Part of these rights included building city walls, which Amersfoort began in 1300. By 1380, though, the city had the need to expand, and the first wall was taken down once the new wall was completed in 1450. Atop the foundations of the original wall, brick houses were built, and you can see them along Muurhuizen Street — meaning wall houses. As part of the newer wall, the Koppelpoort, a combined land and water gate, was built, and you will see its stern brick turrets and arched bridges on your walking tour.
You’ll also see the church tower of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren or Tower of Our Lady, one of the tallest in the Netherlands. Once considered the geographical middle of the country, it’s the central reference point for the Dutch RD co-ordinate mapping system, an older system of navigation than the modern international one that’s still used today.
Amersfoort is also colloquially known as Keistad, or boulder city, due to a 17th-century prank in which 400 people dragged an enormous boulder from the Soest moors into the city on a bet. While the inhabitants later buried the boulder in embarrassment, early 20th-century residents unearthed it and turned it into a city monument.
As you continue your tour, you’ll see the main market square and the smaller apple market square, and have a chance to visit a 17th-century pub for a coffee. For a more contemporary cultural lesson, you can visit the Mondrian House, a museum dedicated to modern artist and devotee of Picasso, Piet Mondrian.
After some free time over lunch, you’ll head over to the Kröller-Müller Museum, a modern-art haven and sculpture park located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park. The museum itself houses the world’s second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, including many of his darker works from before his Impressionist period.
You are free to wander the sculpture park and museum at your leisure, and an audio guide is included in your tour. This day trip to Amersfoort and Kröller-Müller is an offering unique to Audley.