The Koppelpoort is a medieval gate in Amersfoort. The gate was built between 1380 and 1425 as part of the second city wall. The whole wall was completed around 1450. The gate was attacked in 1427 during the siege of the city, but this attack was repelled.

The gate was opened and closed every day by the appointed 'wheel-turners'. A minimum of twelve wheel-turners were collected morning and evening by several guards. It was an extremely dangerous task; if they did not begin walking simultaneously, then one could fall, dragging the rest along with often fatal results. Before the gate could come down, it had to be raised, to pull out the iron pins that held it in place. Only then could it come down. While the gate was going down, walking in the wheel grew ever easier and faster, and many people stumbled and broke their limbs. The koppelpoort was also never breached.

The Koppelpoort was given its current appearance during the restoration by Pierre Cuypers in 1885 and 1886. Among other things, Cuypers removed a step between the two gates and replaced it with a slope.

The latest restoration was completed in 1996. It was carried out very cautiously, and with respect for the old building materials.



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Founded: 1380-1425
Category: Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

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User Reviews

Ricardo Munsel (2 months ago)
One of the impressive gates of Amersfoort. Showing its importance in past times.
Dayana Rodríguez (3 months ago)
Historical place with an amazing fort. We enjoyed a beautiful walk through the city.
Magdalena Ćwioro (4 months ago)
I don't know what I was expecting from it. Nice place to see, though not exactly like in the pictures.
Pierre Jean F. Dupuis (5 months ago)
This location will show up as the number one spot to visit in Amersfoort on most sites. Yes, it's pretty. Yes it will remind you of Anton Pieck images (Google if you don't know, also try his name in combination with "Efteling".) And (as the center of Amersfoort is just small), it's only a short walk to main center shopping streets and squares. But, at this point you do have a better alternative. Standing on the optimal viewing point (the cycling bridge) turn left and walk towards the Koppelpoort. When reaching it, you will find a "hidden" opening (again to your left) that leads you to the 'plantsoen noord' (north park). This is indeed a park, but it follows the (leftover 50%) of the outer moat that used to surround the 2nd of two city walls. Follow this untill you reach Monnikendam (at this point you will be in the east park) - walking time maybe 30 to 40 minutes. If you look at the map of Amersfoort closely, you will understand why I am suggesting this. The Monnikendam gate is nearly as beautiful as the Koppelpoort (in a different way). BUT... Along this path, you will see a major part of the old mideaval citywall still standing. Just for fun; a take a picture of the towers at the Koppelpoort, take a picture of the largest tower on the remaining part of the wall (halfway on your walk) and take one more picture (at the bottom) of the towers at the Monnikendam gate. Now compare the pictures of these towers And now you understand what was once there. Yes, the Koppelpoort is pretty. But the scale is now clear, especially if you've kept your eye on the map. Above-ground archeology, there for anyone to see... Sorry for all the modern architecture you kept seeing on your right hand. All the pretty stuff was behind it (don't get tempted to turn right before Monnikendam!). But now you can take a well deserved brake at the Marienhof and then head to the city center. It's likely you'll get close to the Koppelpoort once again... Doing this will turn a forgettable visit with some pretty pictures to post on your Instagram or Facebook page into an ACTUAL experience that YOU will remember yourself. And... it's literally a walk down the park :-)
Dion Padma Hartanujaya (7 months ago)
Its a very nice place, chill and beautiful scenery. Very good tourist attraction, for some tourist that rarely seen a street with bike. This place would be awesome to be an attraction or photoplace.
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.