Zeist city hall
Location in Utrecht
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Koos Janssen (CDA)|
|• Total||48.65 km2 (18.78 sq mi)|
|• Land||48.51 km2 (18.73 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.14 km2 (0.05 sq mi)|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|Population (May 2014)|
|• Density||1,267/km2 (3,280/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The town of Zeist
The town of "Seist" was first mentioned in a charter in the year 838. The original settlement was located at the present Dorpsstraat. In the late 12th century, a church was built here. Its tower is now a part of the Reformed Church, the remainder of which was built in the 19th century. Until medieval times, a branch of the river Rhine flowed close to the centre of the town. Three mansions were built near the village: the Huis te Zeist, Kersbergen, and Blikkenburg.
From 1677 to 1686, the "Slot Zeist" was built on or near the ruins of "Kasteel Zeist", the original castle (donjon) of Rodgar van Zeist. There is very little documentation on the family that lived there, but a few names are found: in the 12th century a Godefridus de Seist and in the late 13th century another Godefridus, a knight, with his son Johannes and his daughter Petronilla. (Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van Zeist, deel 1, ed. Van Hinsbergen) The last member of the van Zeist family was a woman, Elisabeth (?), who married a member of the Borre van Amerongen family. They had a son who adopted his mother's name and his father's coat-of-arms.
In the last quarter of the 17th century, Count Willem Adriaan van Nassau, an illegitimate descendant of Prince Maurice of Orange, acquired the property and built Slot Zeist in the Dutch Classisist style. Murals by Daniel Marot are still largely intact.
Members of the Evangelische Broedergemeente (Evangelical Brotherhood), the Dutch name for the Moravians, settled in Zeist in 1746, building for their community an impressive array of 18th century Classisist houses planned around two squares. Their headquarters are still located in the centre of town, next to "the palace". The oldest Dutch archives of the Moravians are kept at the Utrecht Archival Centre at Utrecht.
In the 19th century, Zeist became a favorite residence for the rich, mainly from the city of Utrecht.
Camp New Amsterdam, (vliegbasis Soesterberg) a former Royal Netherlands Air Force military airbase near this town, was the venue for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial to take place outside the UK, but under Scots law. The court was designated the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, with the former airbase being referred to as 'Camp Zeist'. (See the article on the trial and the reports on the trial at Camp Zeist by United Nations observer Dr. Hans Köchler: Hans Köchler's Lockerbie trial observer mission.)
Zeist is the location of the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and also known for the forests surrounding the town. For many years the Dutch National Archaeological Research Service (Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundig Bodemonderzoek) was housed at Slot Zeist.
The following notable persons were born in Zeist:
- Guido Verbeck (1830–1898) – political adviser, educator, and missionary, notable for his work as a foreign adviser in Japan
- Hermann Snellen (1834–1908) ophthalmologist invented the Snellen chart
- Willem Pijper, composer (1894–1947)
- Hendrik Marsman, poet and writer (1899–1940)
- Isaäc Arend Diepenhorst, former minister of education, born in 1916
- Bert Blyleven, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, born in 1951
- Wam Kat, political activist and author (born 1956)
- Mark Overmars, author of GameMaker: Studio (1958)
- "Burgemeester" [Mayor] (in Dutch). Gemeente Zeist. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Postcodetool for 3701HS". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.