Cemetery Bosdrift
1890 / L.A. Springer

Bosdrift 12

On October 15, 1890, the ‘New General Cemetery’, located at Bosdrift 12, was opened. The cemetery was laid out in landscape style to a design by the renowned landscape architect Leonard Antonij Springer (1855-1940). The auditorium building was designed in 1899 by municipal architect Piet Andriessen (1844-1914). The cemetery was decommissioned in 1964, but today it is possible to bury again. Part of the cemetery, the forest strip, has been set up as a natural burial site. The cemetery, auditorium building and entrance gate were designated a national monument in 2002.


The cemetery on the Bosdrift was Springer’s first commission for a cemetery. The municipality had designated a rectangular plot outside the built-up area of ​​Hilversum. Springer opted for the English landscape style, which was characteristic of that time, in combination with a formal layout at the entrance. The cemetery had only a limited number of graves and was actually more of a park than a cemetery. The graves lay on curved paths that meandered across the property. At the fork of paths came flowering shrubs, large deciduous and evergreen trees. There are also trees between and behind the graves. In 1912 the cemetery was expanded by Andriessen. The cemetery is accessible on the side of the Bosdrift via monumental entrance gates.

L.A. Springer, garden and landscape architect

Leonard Springer made a name for himself as a designer of gardens and parks. He came from Amsterdam, but at the time of the commission for the cemetery at Bosdrift he lived with his parents at 10 Vondellaan in Hilversum. Shortly afterwards he married and moved to Haarlem. For a long time he worked together with the Hilversum architect Johan Wilhelm Hanrath. Springer designed many city gardens in Hilversum, but he also enjoyed a great reputation outside of it. His last major work was the design and construction of Thijsse’s Hof, the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands. He worked closely with the well-known biologist and conservationist Jac. P. Thijsse.

Auditorium building

The cemetery was given an auditorium in a building designed by Andriessen in the eclectic architectural style that was in vogue at the end of the nineteenth century. The symmetrical building was given an elongated, rectangular floor plan. The walls were built in red-brown bricks interspersed with white bands (layers of bacon). At both ends of the building there were slightly protruding (rising) side pavilions with gable ends. The facade was ornately decorated with decorative stucco and stone ornaments. The building housed a coffee room, a room for farewell ceremonies, a kitchen, office and staff room. Andriessen also designed the monumental entrance gate.


The exterior of the auditorium building was completely restored between 2017-2019. The interior will be refurbished in the coming years, with respect for its original function. The building will be used again for funerals. The pedestrian park and the greenery and path structure of the cemetery itself are also being renovated in phases.


Leonard Antony Springer (1855-1940)




Bosdrift 12, Hilversum


website: sbddesign.nl