The Blue Stone and Mosaic Circle, Schoonhoven

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Location: Stenen Brug, (=Stone Bridge) built 13th century, Schoonhoven, South Holland. (Netherlands).

Official Listing: Dutch National Monument

Significance: In the Medieval Netherlands,  a blue stone was situated at the church yard, or at a crossing of trade routes at land and waterways. It was important in town planning and marked the town center, and the Four Quarters or Four Wards.  The blue stone was an arduin stone imported from the Belgian Ardennes region and its use harks back to Frankish law recorded in the 6th century. At the judicial blue stone, the elected secular city authorities laid the oath and touched the stone when accepting their office, and in a ritual lasting three days, each with three opportunities, the poorters or burghers of the town in debt could there be removed of their rights.

Preservation Status: The Blue Stone and Mosaic Circle of Schoonhoven is the only complete Medieval example surviving in the Netherlands. It is a legally protected monument. Locally the genuine meaning and significance of this unique monument is no longer understood nor respected and is therefore misinterpreted.

For More Information: Site Saver Newsletter, Volume IV, Number 1, Fall 1993; Site Saver Newsletter, Volume IV, Number 3, Spring/Summer 1994 for an article by John Palmer.

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