Who's the winner?

DUB's Ultimate Utrecht Quiz was hard, indeed

In August, DUB challenged its readers to a quiz about Utrecht in celebration of the city's 900th anniversary. It was comprised of fourteen questions about the history of the city, each one of them accompanied by a link containing a hint.

However, that didn’t seem to be enough for everyone to answer all questions correctly. Almost every contestant got at least one of the questions wrong. Not Melissa Blom. The Veterinary Medicine student, who also serves as a student assistant at the Biology programme, managed to get them all right. She will get to climb the Dom Tower free of charge, all expenses paid by the municipality of Utrecht.

The question most respondents struggled with was the one about the origin of the name Berekuil (bear pit), which is how we call the roundabout where bycicle traffic goes at a lower level than the one for motorised traffic. To be fair, the origin of the name isn’t 100 per cent clear. It is a bit of a mystery. But it is peculiar that this type of roundabout is called Berekuil in other parts of the Netherlands as well. 

It is not likely that bears were ever kept there or that there once was a bear parade towards Biltstraat street. The website In de Buurt refers to a column, published in the newspaper De Volkskrant by Martin Bril, who suspects that the name is connected to the 49th English regiment troops, best known as the Polar Bears, who entered the city through Biltstraat to liberate Utrecht from the Nazis on May 7, 1944. Most people who answered our quiz guessed the same. However, that would be strange because the roundabout is presumed to have been inaugurated in 1944. We found the most likely answer in a book about Utrecht, which states that the name refers to the neighbouring camping site. But we cannot be sure, as DUB's editorial board couldn’t find the camping's exact founding date. 

Another hard question concerned the buildings that the fraternity Utrechtsch Studenten Corps (USC) bought earlier this year. DUB asked its readers who used to occupy them in the past: the resilience division of the SS, a night shelter for the homeless or a children’s day-care run by the Salvation Army? All three options are true, which underscores the unique character of the buildings.

Last summer, the Holland Opera performed Divorce of Figaro in the Werkspoor complex. The building will also host the 25th anniversary of the brewery Leckere. But which company used to call this place home? Many were inclined to think that it was related to the Dutch Railways (NS), but that’s not true. Werkspoor used to house the Royal Dutch Factory of Instruments and Railway Materials, which made steel bridges, trains, trams and railway wagons. The company even made a modest contribution to the construction of Dutch aircraft.

Here are all the answers to the quiz:
1-b, 2-c,3-a, 4-a, 5-c, 6-a, 7-c, 8-a, 9-d, 10-a, 11-b, 12-c, 13-a,14-c.