Abel Tasman memorials: a short walk through Lutjegast
Abeltasmanweg, near the Dutch Reformed church next to the playground. In the front of the church, a bronze plague with a likeness is situated, which was given by the Australian Government in 1953. According to the tradition, the house where Abel Tasman was born should have been situated anywhere near this church: a farm with his family name, the Tassemaheerd, once stood here.
From the Dutch Reformed church to the right in the direction of the village centre.The playground/sports/animal park 'Torenkamp' borders on the church. Here you will find an ANWB-information board about Abel Tasman. On the drawn sea chart the course of navigation of Tasman's most important voyage in 1642/1643 has been reproduced. For passing cyclists this board often is the first introductionto the history of Abel Tasman.
After 'Torenkamp' take the first way to the left, the Rikkerdaweg. The Rikkerdaweg is named after the Rikkerdaborg, a stately home build by Bernard Johann Prott in 1676. Until the demolition in 1829 this was the most important building in Lutjegast. B.J. Prott became known especially because of this struggle against the Bishop of Munster during the period of the relief of Groningen ("Groningen's ontzet in 1672) and his defence of the fortress of Bourtange. The grave of the Prott family is located in the Dutch Reformed church.
Having turned into the Rikkerdaweg, at the left you have view of the community centre 't Kompas. Here the Abel Tasman memorial is situated which was designed by the artist Hans Mes from Groningen (see picture at the left). This modern work of art was unveiled in 1995 and bears the name of "Terra Incognita" (unknown land). The styling consists of a water basin with a line pattern (in brass) in which a part of the coast of New Zealand has been represented. Drawings out of the logbook of Tasman have been used for this design. High above the water surface a craggily shaped scupture towers: Abel Tasman and his voyages have been interwoven with one another in a particular way to form this work of art.
Boudewijn Buch (deceased November 24, 2002), Dutch TV program maker (voyages James Cook and Abe lTasman) visited Lutjegast for the first time in 1995. After some interviews in the village here he concluded that Lutjegast needed some more time to become familiar with and accept this kind of modern design. However, the work of art has now been naturalised completely (accepted) and can not be thought away from the 'skyline' of Lutjegast.
The next turn at the left is the Kompasstraat, leading to the Abel Tasman Kabinet. In front of the community centre 't Kompas a bronze plague is situated, mounted on upright stone. In 1992 this plague was presented by the Government of New Zealand to the population of Lutjegast as a memorial to the fact that 350 years ago the coast of new Zealand was charted by the Tasman expedition. Looking to your right, you have got sight of the Abel Tasman Kabinet, accommodated in a wing of the community centre.
Whilst enjoying the walk in the village of Lutjegast, we suggest that you keep walking left on the Kompasstraat. At the end take the road to the right, the Van Diemenstraat, further on called Zeehaanstraat. There you'll find the primary school 't Fundament. At the time of building this school in 1955, a sculpted tablet with the image of Tasman was built into the front facing wall: 'Abel Tasman - 1603'. 'Richting en volharding - gegeven onder leiding van een man', which means:'Direction and perseverance - given under leadership - of one man'.
On the first approaching three forked road, you go the right, De Wieren, to the village centre. Or: to the left, De Wieren, and again to left, the Frans Visscherstraat, named after the first navigating officer who had a major part in Tasman's important voyage of discovery of Tasmania and New Zealand. In the future there probably will be an Isaac Gilsemansstraat, named after another Tasman companion, described in Grahame Anderson's book 'The Merchant of the Zeehaen'.
You're in the newest part of Lutjegast now, situated near the beautiful grounds of Staatsbosbeheer (national wood/nature company). Within a walk of 1,9 km along the "Abel Tasman ontdekkingspad" you'll explore the place of Abel Tasman's youth. The longer route (2,9 km) means a real adventural exploring path. You might need boots in rainy periods. A little boat, primitive little bridges, moor, meadows, woodland and information boards show hundreds of years in history. And above all: it's free!