Local Heart, Global Soul

May 1, 2019

Building Those Little Extras…

The beautiful buildings of the Hague often have even more beautiful details that take a keen eye and a second look to find. I adore the fact that in the first photograph for instance, the builders of old took the trouble to insert colourful tiles directly beneath the turret. This really is ‘extra” to the design because it’s hardly at street level where most pay attention after all. Thank goodness for this kind of aesthetic decoration from the past, during a time when the smallest of details were important contributions to the overall design.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Below: It says “anno 1914″ (another name for ‘year 1914”)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 30, 2019

Beautiful Shapes And Styles…

Himself and I do quite a bit of travelling around the Hague for various medical appointments and visiting friends. I try to keep my camera on hand to photograph some of the beautiful buildings in the city. I love the architectural detail and beautiful shapes and styles.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 26, 2019

The Hague Again…

I often have a camera with me as Himself and I transverse the city of The Hague, travelling to medical appointments or to see friends. There are often interesting buildings to see and enjoy. Let’s look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 6, 2019

Carving Up a Storm In The Mauritshuis…

The Mauritshuis in the Hague is more than just  place where Old Masters from paintings Golden Age are displayed. It is also Dutch national Monument building in it’s own right. It’s fixtures and fittings are also a work of art on display…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 26, 2019

From House To Museum… The Mauritshuis.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting the Mauritshuis during the Summer of 2017, was a long overdue delight.

I’ve been here many times before, but almost all of those visits were between ten and fifteen years ago.

I did go once about five years ago but we didn’t allow nearly enough time to look around, having underestimated how long we would stand and drool at each painting so we saw less than we would have liked.

Wikipedia tells me that the Mauritshuis {link above) is an art museum in The Hague, Netherlands. The museum houses the Royal Cabinet of Paintings which consists of 841 objects.

These are mostly Dutch Golden Age paintings and includes works by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Hans Holbein the Younger, and others.

Originally, the 17th century building was the residence of count Jan Maurits (John Maurice) of Nassau. It is now the property of the government of the Netherlands and is listed in the top 100 Dutch heritage sites.

In 1631, John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen, a cousin of stadtholder Frederick Henry, bought a plot bordering the Binnenhof and the adjacent Hofvijver pond in The Hague, at that time the political centre of the Dutch Republic.

On the plot, the Mauritshuis was built as a home between 1636 and 1641, during John Maurice’s governorship of Dutch Brazil.

After the death of Prince John Maurice in 1679, the house was owned by the Maes family, who leased the house to the Dutch government. In 1704, most of the interior of the Mauritshuis was destroyed by fire. The building was restored between 1708 and 1718. In 1774, an art gallery open to the public was formed in what is now the Prince William V Gallery.

That collection was seized by the French in 1794 and only partially recovered in 1808. The small gallery space soon proved to be too small, however, and in 1820, the Mauritshuis was bought by the Dutch state for the purpose of housing the Royal Cabinet of Paintings. In 1822, the Mauritshuis was opened to the public. In 1875, the entire museum became available for paintings. Privatized in 1995 the foundation set up at the time took charge of both the building and the collection, which it was given on long-term loan.

This building, which is the property of the state, is rented by the museum. In 2007, the museum announced its desire to expand. In 2010, the definitive design was presented. The museum would occupy a part of the nearby Sociëteit de Witte building. The two buildings would be connected via an underground tunnel, running underneath the Korte Vijverberg.

The renovation started in 2012 and finished in 2014. During the renovation, about 100 of the museum’s paintings were displayed in the Gemeentemuseum in the Highlights Mauritshuis exhibition. About 50 other paintings, including the Girl With the Pearl Earring, were on loan to exhibitions in the United States and Japan. The museum was reopened on 27 June 2014 by King Willem-Alexander.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 24, 2019

Towards And Around The Mauritshuis…

During the summer of 2018, Himself and I headed towards one of the Hague’s most beautiful and well known buildings: The Mauritshuis. We approach from the Lange Vijverberg where we also have a great view of the old section of the Parliament buildings, and the Prime Minister’s offices in the turret in the corner of this section of the building. Eventually when we go around to the entrance of the Mauritshuis but before I go inside I take some photographs of the surrounding buildings and the details they contain. I also get some photos of the Prime Ministers office from along the small canal that runs between the Parliament buildings and the Mauritshuis.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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There is even a bird coming in for a landing on the top of the President’s turret…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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There are little details too: like these two portraits in the stone arches of the parliament building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 23, 2019

Maranatha, A Floating Roof And Awesome Brickwork…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes whilst I was on full Medical Leave (before I went back to work) Himself would just drop me off  somewhere interesting in the city in my wheelchair, leave me to take photographs of various things in a small radius for a while.

After an hour he would come and pick me up again.

This got me out of the house for a small amount of time, away from the walls of home where I was confined due to surgery, recovery, constant pain and heavy medication.

Of course there was a price to pay afterwards for my little outings and fresh air, even with an attachment on the wheelchair where my leg could be positioned straight and raised out in front of me.

Extra medication is always needed afterwards, which morphine based, works as needed but is not ideal for your body. Sometimes it’s needed for your mental health. On this occasion I did a series of photographs in the little street where the former Tekel Air Travel Bureau was. (see blog post here:  “Pigs Might Not Fly But Apparently Dogs Did… “).

I was surprised and delighted to see a small information board on the street by the entrance, telling me about some of the history of the Church.  As is often the case when an information board is in multiple languages, the information given in the “extra” languages is often shorted to fit the space, whilst the text in the native country language contains extra snippets.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Such is the case here.  Both before and after the English language text are extra pieces of information from the Dutch text.

Translated from Dutch it reads: The Maranatha church is located on part of the former  “Sperrgebiet” (Prohibited / restricted Area) of the Second World War.

The houses that stood there were, after the liberation were found to have been stripped of all wood and other useful materials, so were ripe for demolition.”

Next comes the information written in both Dutch and English:

The wooden roof structure of this church was designed by Swiss engineer Emil Staudacher as a prototype for use in temporary churches to be built in the devastated German cities. 

It arrived in kit form on a train from Zurich and was integrated into a design by Dutch architect  Frits Eschauzier (1889-1957). The temporary churches project was initiated by German architect Otto Bartning. Over forty of the churches still exist in places across Germany.”

Lastly comes the additional translate from Dutch snippet: “They have the same rose window and the same small window in the façade. Due to the continuing row of windows on the side, it looks like the roof is floating.

Bartning positioned the entrance on the side. The ceremonial front door was added at the request of the Hague church councilors.”

I was first drawn to the church because of the quirky brick construction. These fortified walls with buttresses reinforce the outside walls. interestingly these brick “out layers” are uniquely joined to the main building, seemingly by a method as simple as splicing the brickwork of the two together. It gives for a very unconventional bricklaying technique I think, barely a straight line to be seen in some sections. I find this to be some pretty awesome brickwork!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) This is the row of windows along the side wall, I’m not so convinced about the floating window idea…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(Below) Now HERE is some mega awesome brickwork!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 20, 2019

Giving Former Churches A New Lease Of Life…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s a sad fact that many Christian churches are closing.

Less people have faith, and a lot of people (like me) who do, do not attend church very often.

For me personally, it is more important to be actively helping people around me than sitting in church listening to sermons.

I rate faith by why you do in life and not how many bible verses I’ve memorised.

It’s very much a personal thing and I do not mean in any way wish to belittle or diminish people who do attend church and listen to sermons.  It’s just that after many years of doing so, I find that it doesn’t work for me.

Himself and I try to be actively helping people around us, they are not family in the usual sense, but in a way are “family” to us.

I won’t go into detail here because these are human beings and not “projects” of any kind. It’s also not something to brag about, the best thing about giving in an unseen manner is the sheer pleasure it gives us, knowing we make a difference in peoples lives no matter how small. We would like it to be more of course but resources of time, money and health are finite.

It’s not always about how much you do, it’s the fact that you “do” something at all. This is my faith worked out in a practical manner and it works for me. I live by the words “To whom much is given, much is required”.

Churches, in the brick and mortar sense, have sadly become less and less wanted in society today. Some get demolished, others get repurposed. This former church in The Hague is one such that has been repurposed: and the high walls, with the ceiling far above, standard features in most churches, have special importance in how this church has been given a new lease of life.  First let’s take a look at the outside… the architectural detail is still beautiful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 18, 2019

Pigs Might Not Fly But Apparently Dogs Did…

Family Kiwidutch see this building often, some good friends live nearby and it’s just a short distance from my physiotherapists practice. The other side of it used to have a large sign similar to the one on the door, for “Tekkel Air” (Tekkel means: Dachshund,  a.k.a. Sausage Dog, Airline) and this was a Travel  Agency.  Recently I think that the building changed owners, all of the signs have been removed and it’s now just another period building amongst many in the area. The pictures of the little dog and the fact that there seemed to be an airline named after a Dachshund also made me smile. I don’t even know if such an airline ever existed… maybe like this building it was wonderful in it’s time but has now been painted out into obscurity.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 16, 2019

The Shower You’d Never Want To Get Naked For…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course any posts about our 2016 visit to LEGO World would not be complete with at least one detailed look at one of the pieces.

I am not sure which building this is, but the LEGO builders have not just done an amazing job, they have also put lights inside the model so that the windows are lit, enhancing the features even more.

Then I went on to the Shower, yes, a shower, but it’s not water droplets falling on your head, it’s zillions of tiny pieces of LEGO.

Shower-ees don plastic hooded capes and then walk through the LEGO rain, some of them try and wave to those taking their photograph, others keep their heads down as they get pelted with the plastic pieces.

Smart parents like me sit a safe distance away and use the zoom to try and get pictures of their kids.

Little Mr. held onto the hood of his cape and kept his head down so these were fleeting photographs of a literal moment in time, since the attendants were making sure that the queue kept moving.

Apparently the experience was fun but the LEGO rainstorm hit with more ferocity than expected, those little pellets stung a little on exposed skin.

The verdict was that he happily would do it again but would make sure he kept his head down the whole way, even the idea of looking up into the shower would be a definite no-no.

Once out of the shower the carpet where visitors removed their capes was littered with LEGP pieces that attendants were shovelling back up to be used again in the shower apparatus.

Inspection of the pieces showed that they got warn out and battered from their constant recycling through the shower machinery.

For the LEGO lovers here though, that didn’t matter becuase even if all of these pieces were rather tired looking they were still genuine LEGO parts and the experience was a lot of fun.

We made our way to the car park after that and whilst there I spotted some pigeons taking shelter from the cold on the underside of the bridge.

The bridge itself was also architecturally pleasing, I really liked the design.

Some buskers were parked near the car park and event entrance, our route didn’t take us past them but we had a little music to listen to as we made our way to the car.

Finally, on the way home, we spotted (well they were rather hard to miss) rows and rows and rows of glasshouses, some lit with their glowing yellow fake sunshine and heat to make the vegetables inside grow.

It did at least brighten a grey day, which for us (well especially Little Mr.) were glowing with the tired joy of a day enjoyed and much fun had.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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