Legendes

There are two stories about Amersfoort's history. The legend of the Amersfoortse Kei (boulder) and the legend of the Maria Miracle.

Legend of the Amersfoortse Kei

In a document of Karel V dated 1544, a Big Boulder is mentioned on a hill along the road from Amersfoort to Utrecht. In 1661 Everard Meijster convinced the Amersfoort natives to pull the 'Kei' into the city, and place it on a pedestal on the Varkensmarket. Since then the Amersfoort natives are known as 'Keien trekkers', which was not something they appreciated.
1662 Kei placed on a pedestal.
1672 The inhabitants of Amersfoort decide to burry the 'Kei'.
1674 The 'Kei' is burried at the Varkensmarkt.
1859 The 'Kei' is spotted when a gas pipe is being dug in.
1903, Hendrik de Goede (AKA Spekkie) finds the 'Kei', and it is being placed on a pedestal again, and is appreciated by the inhabitants of Amersfoort.

Amersfoort has a boulder garden next to the city ring with rocks they collected over the years.

 

The Maria Miracle

In 1444 a girl from Nijkerk wanted to enter the St Agnesconvent. She had a small modest wooden Maria statue with her, and because she was ashamed by its 'cheapness', she decided to throw it into a partly frozen canal of Amersfoort. That night, another Amersfoort woman, dreamt about the Maria statue, and when she went to get water from the canal, she found it. So she took it home, and burned a candle, which lasted three times as long as normal. She confessed this to a priest, who took the statue and placed it in the OLV chapel on December 26th, 1444. Because the statue made miracles happen, pilgrims started to visit Amersfoort to be cured from diseases, mainly limb diseases. Pilgrims visited Amersfoort from 1444 until 1545, which made it possible to build the Lange Jan and adjacent church.