Between our house and Oosterpark, we pass by a plaque in the sidewalk that indicates that Bolwerk Muiden once stood there. Intriguingly, the plaque has a URL link engraved on it: “www.bolwerken.amsterdam.nl/22”. Finally a few months ago I looked it up. It turns out that this plaque was part of a project to mark all 26 bolwerken that protected Amsterdam during its golden age.
I saw this as an opportunity to do a second urban microadventure in Amsterdam. I could not find any more information about the location of the plaques other than some handmade drawings on the website. So I did the best I could in translating the drawings into GPS coordinates. The final step was to load the coordinates into my Garmin Oregon 450.
When I explained the idea to Robin, she thought it would be a interesting day out, so we planned to go the next nice Saturday or Sunday. We arose on Sunday October 9 to a great weather forecast and so decided to go. We took the tram into Centraal Station and then walked out towards the first plaque from there.
Things did not start too well as we could not find the first plaque (“Blaauwhoofd”) after 15 minutes of searching. But we soon hit our stride and found four plaques in succession. Unfortunately, number 6 (“Karthuizen”) eluded us. After finding the 8th plaque (“Reijkeroord”), we crossed the canal and had a quick lunch at the outdoor cafe at Morgan & Mees. Back on the walk, we found most of the plaques except for numbers 10 (“Nieuwkerk”) and 16 (“Reguliers”). Starting with number 17, we then hit our best stretch of the day and found 8 straight plaques. The day finished on a down note as we did not find number 26 (“Zeeburg”) before the rain started. Interestingly, a week later I was going through photos of my 2014 microadventure and found a photo of the 26th plaque. Robin and I returned to the location on our Sunday run and photographed #26.
The gpx file below contains accurate coordinates for the plaques we found. In addition, it has the rough locations of the bulwarks for the ones we did not find (marked as DNF). If you find our missing plaques and take the GPS coordinates of them, please send them along.
All in all, this was a great way to see the city in a way we hadn’t done before.