This post celebrates the 100th visited municipality. And since the days are getting shorter again, this means we are approaching the end of the year. In turn, this means that some municipalities are undergoing some changes. Today’s trip is about three of these municipalities: Alphen aan den Rijn, Rijnwoude, and Boskoop. They will fuse the first of January into Alphen aan den Rijn.
In 2008 there were talks that Boskoop and Rijnwoude could fuse on a voluntary basis in 2011. Many municipalities were approached, but none of them wanted to collaborate. A study showed that fusing would even be financially malignant for Rijnwoude.
Fast-forward to 2010. This time the provincial executive took the command, and involved the municipality Alphen aan den Rijn into the discussions. This time the negociations were effective, and two and a half years later, they are finally going to fuse.
This is not the end of the story. The inhabitants were able to elect a name from a set of names, weighted according to the number of inhabitants. The winner was the name “Rijn en Gouweland”. However, Alphen aan den Rijn did not acknowledge the chosen name. Now Boskoop and Rijnwoude are quite offended, and unanimously stated a motion of no confidence. They say using the name Alphen aan den Rijn makes it look more like an incorporation, rather than a fusion. The minister of the interior is asked to solve this matter. In the meanwhile, the working name of the municipality is abr. To be continued
Alphen aan den Rijn
After a quite uneventful trip with slow traffic and overtaking being prohibited on the provincial roads, I arrived in Alphen aan den Rijn. Come to think of it, there are many places called Alphen in the Netherlands. At least every important river has one (Alphen aan den Rijn, Alphen aan de Maas, Alphen aan de Lek). The fact that all Alphens are close to the water is no surprise, since this is explained by its name. It originates from the Germanic alf, which means water course. There is also another explanation which says that the name come from alv, which means calcareous sandy soil. But this is not true for all Alphens, so I don’t know. I like the first one better.
Internationally known for its tree nurseries, Boskoop is a middle-large town in Zuid-Holland. Although Boskoop is located on a thick layer of peat, in contrast to its surrounding towns and villages, winning turf was never one of its main activities. The ground was found to be very suitable for tree nursery. For centuries they dedicated themselves to the cultivation of fruit and fruit trees (in particular apples). One of the only cooking apples available in the Netherlands is the goudreinette, originally known as the schone van Boskoop (beauty of Boskoop). The apples are not particularly beautiful, but the texture and taste are exquisite, and perfect for cooking.
km total: 3709
done: 3 (102)
to do: 313