The Elfstedenmonument It Sil heve has been designed and realized by the artists Maree Blok and Bas Lugthart on the last bridge of the Elfstedenroute which the skaters pass for the last few kilometers to the finish in Leeuwarden. The bridge will be completely covered with thousands of handmade ceramic tiles, on which in blue glaze the portraits are depicted of skaters who ever have succeeded the Elfstedentocht. In the last century, 16 Elfstedentochten have been held, in which thousands of skaters succeeded finishing this historical tour over 200km.
Up close, one can see all those thousands of portraits of skaters, famous and unfamous, young and old, from the past and present. Besides the heroic names from the past are depicted the heroes of today. With all those names and faces also the stories and memories revives with anyone who has the accomplished the tour, or who were a cold whitnes of the evenement.
This image of a line skaters who help each other to overcome the cold head wind, is a characteristic image of the Elfstedentocht. The last bridge before the finish forms a triumphal arch and a striking symbol for all the skaters which succeeded in bridging the tour along the eleven Frisian cities.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
After several years of preparation the first part of the Elfstedenmonument was unveiled in 2001. More than 7000 skaters are depicted on the bridge. Both old photos of skaters who participated in the first tour in 1909, as also pictures of the last tour in 1997. Since the unveiling many people from home and abroad visited the monument, including King Willem-Alexander who succeeded the tour of 1986.
Besides the heroic names from the past are depicted the heroes of today.
In the cold winter of 2012 many skaters passed under the Elfstedenmonument.
In 2015 a lifesize copy of the Elfstedenmonument was made for the Olympic oval in Amsterdam stadium.