Zeist

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Zeist (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzɛist]) is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, located east of the city of Utrecht.

Contents

Population centres

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 Hinsbe 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 mothers name and his fathers coat-of-arms. (JvZ)

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 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,(Soesterberg vliegfeld) a former United States Air Force base near this town, was the venue for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial to take place outside the UK, but under Scots law. (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.)

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