The Vierde Gesticht (Fourth Asylum) is an enigmatic name today, but it wasn’t for the residents of the three asylums, who inevitably ended up in ‘The Fourth’ after their death: an ironic name for the Veenhuizen cemetery. This is a historical place at the edge of forest a field, where both inmates and staff members lie buried. In the time of the colony, inmates were committed to the earth anonymously. Under the large grass field, adorned only by a single tree, more than ten thousand people lie buried. Later, the dead did receive a memorial. The strict hierarchy from the time that the Dutch government took over the colony is also clearly visible in the cemetery.
Staff and inmates, Catholic and Protestant – each have their own resting place.
The Fourth is a place for wandering and contemplation. Lush ivy twists through wrought iron grave gates, some graves are adorned with beautiful zinc grave boxes. A little further along, there are innumerable white crosses. There is even a separate section for Belgian refugees from the First World War.
The cemetery is located on the Eikenlaan, immediately next to a nineteenth century so-called ‘star forest’. The paths once formed a star, and have largely been preserved.