Local Heart, Global Soul

December 11, 2017

Architectural Detail All Over Town…

Himself and I continue our car tour of the area around Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog. I take lots of photographs for my “architectural detail” archive files.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 1, 2017

Brick Is Beautiful.

Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, where I discover a building where brick is beautiful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 21, 2017

Baarle’s Old Town Hall, And Sails Through The Air…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the corner of the “T” intersection opposite the “Den Engel” (The Angel) Hotel, stands the old ‘Stadhuis’ (Town Hall).

Since I have a small obsession with weather vanes, I photographed this one quite a lot (please endulge me) after all what’s not to like when wrought iron and art come together?

This weather vane depicts a little sailing vessel navigating a rough sea, the black ironwork supplemented with gold highlights.

Not only is the building an imposing structure, I find the tower to be a wonderful piece of architecture too.

Both were difficult at first to photograph from close by and I only the next day found a better vantage point from across the street when we approached from the other direction.

An information board on the side of the Stadhuis tells us: “Baarle is one village. Baarle-Hertog is part of Belgium and is 748 hectares in area. This consists of a village centered around a church called Zondereigen and 21 enclaves surrounded by Dutch soil.  Baarle-Nassau is Dutch and has a total area of 7.638 hectares. This consists of the core of Baarle-Nassau with seven counter-enclaves (an enclave within an enclave) and one enclave surrounded by Belgian soil, the hamlet of Castelre  and the church village of Ulicoten. And finally there is a little piece of no-mans land of about 1.18 hectares. Baarle has grown from a settlement that already existed in 54 A.D. when Caesar came here. The  the name of Baarle appears for the first time in a deed in which Countess Hilsondis bequeathed all of her possessions on the 1st June 992 to the Abby of Thorn.”

The weather varied considerably even throughout the length of one day, but we were lucky most of the time and kept more or less dry. Taking the wheelchair we went back and forth around the center of town so these are a compilation of photos taken during our stay.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 20, 2017

A Sure Sign That Simple Things Amuse Simple Minds…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s a well known expression: “Simple things amuse simple minds“, and if that is true, then it means that I am very simple indeed.

I take pleasure in everyday thing, utilitarian things.

Sometimes it’s just a shadow,  texture, colour or form, I can find beauty in some of the most simple objects.

In yesterdays post it was a stack of cloth serviettes and the style of the seats by the bar that caught my eye, but regular readers will know that I find even the decorations on humble man-hole covers in the street fascinating.

Todays post is also about something simple: street signs, and especially one in particular.

The hotel we are staying at in located on one of the corners of  a “T” shaped intersection.

At the center of this intersection are signs giving directions to other places. Modern intersections would have placed three separate signs around the location, one for each direction leading towards this point and each of those would have directions for the other two locations.  This sign fascinates me because it has the feel of an old sign post, the sort that wayfarers on foot or horseback would have found a century or more ago. The  added bonus is a small decoration on the top: a wheel with wings either side. It’s not a local emblem that I can find (emblems here feature a Bishop with a mitre and staff, and the coat of arms features three golden bales). I don’t know where this winged wheel comes from but I like it. Maybe it means “safe travels” ? Who knows. As the saying goes, “Simple things amuse simple minds”. Consider me amused.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This sign is a “no entry” sign, but says there is an exemption for bikes and broomers (moped).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 19, 2017

Delighting In The “Every Day”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Arriving for breakfast in Baarle Nassau’s “Den Engel” (The Angel) Hotel is a tricky ordeal for us arty folks.

On one hand you are hungry but on the other you can not bear to tear yourself away from the delicious stained glass windows that illustrate the long and colourful history of this southern Dutch town.

Eventually my hunger won,  with more than a little help from Himself  who eventually said he would rather not dine alone so please come to the table please.

Breakfast was well worth stopping for: we were up early so had the serre to ourselves right until the very last part of our meal.

We were treated to a continental breakfast, tea / coffee,  choice of breads and toast, cold meats, sweet spreads and cheeses, eggs prepared to our preference and juices. We had already decided to build in several breaks into the day, an early start would allow us to do this and still have time for a leisurely dinner in the evening. Pattern, texture and form delight me, so after breakfast I got photographs of the seats by the bar area, and a massive pile of cloth serviette. The latter was not anything special as in rare antique or specialist work of art, I was just drawn to how the stack looked, it’s folds, shadows and composition. I suppose that’s me in a nutshell: I can find equal beauty in an old Master and a stack of serviette, it’s the delight in the “every day”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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http://www.hoteldenengel.nl/
Hotel Den Engel / Baarle Nassau / (Baarle-Nassau/Hertog) The Netherlands

November 18, 2017

Glistening Colours In “Den Engel” Hotel…

Lovers of stained glass will be in heaven when they enter the “Den Engel” (The Angel) Hotel in Baarle Nassau, in the southern part of the Netherlands. When Himself had dinner in the restaurant the evening before and I saw some of the windows there, I had no clue that there would be even more to see when we went to breakfast the next morning. This photographic post shows some of the amazing craftsmanship on show in this wonderful building.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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http://www.hoteldenengel.nl/
Hotel Den Engel / Baarle Nassau / (Baarle-Nassau/Hertog) The Netherlands

November 17, 2017

History And Humour In Stained Glass…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I stayed at “Den Engel Hotel” (the Angel Hotel) in Baarle Nassau early in the year, and when we went for dinner on the first evening I was immediately captivated by the interier of the restaurant.

When we went down to breakfast the next morning I made sure the camera was ready so that I could get photographs of the beautiful stained glass windows there.

The windows are at the most, decades old rather than centuries old, but are arranged so that the stories of the Inn and adjacent meat market are told, as well as it’s long past.

The building is featured, the Belgian and Dutch flags, the spire of the nearby church, the Inn’s cat sits under a table whilst a patron orders another beer, in the next panel someone sleeps on a table after consuming one too many whilst his friend looks worse for wear.

History and humour tell of the local history. Hunters, wildlife and livestock feature too, all important in the area both in the past and still today. Cherubic angels feature in honour of building namesake, all in all the stained glass windows are a delight.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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http://www.hoteldenengel.nl/
Hotel Den Engel / Baarle Nassau / (Baarle-Nassau/Hertog) The Netherlands

 

October 21, 2017

Who Can Resist Stopping And Getting A Photo?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sorting out my archive photo files brings many older folders to light.

The Hague doesn’t have the many canals that makes Amsterdam the tourist draw, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s share of beautiful buildings.

Architectural detail is a passion of mine, old buildings, decorative elements, and things of beauty in brick, stone, wood, wrought iron and the like.

I also like that in the Netherlands bikes come in all shapes, sizes and styles: these ones both sport wicker baskets on the front, but the one on the left is twice as big as the one on the right.

In fact I haven’t seen a basket that big before (or since) so I was delighted to have my camera in my backpack.

I also spotted a map shop that looked inviting but we were in town for an appointment so didn’t have time to go inside. I did get a few quick snaps of one of the stunning old maps on a stand outside though. It’s a detail fanatic’s dream. Then there is a door that has decorative grate work incorporated into it and two caved figures into the stone above it, Who can resist stopping and getting a photo? Not me that’s for sure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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October 18, 2017

Entirely for My Artistic Pleasure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This next post is entirely for my artistic pleasure.

I love shape, form, texture and pattern, so the shape of vines on a trellis at Himself’s family friends home in Breda captures my imagination.

I also have a “thing” with plants, trees and leaves at the moment and keep intending to draw them, so these also serve as “studies” for my artwork portfolio.

Not having a garden of my own means that I need to ‘stock up’ on photos for my arty archive when ever I get the chance.

It’s not just the garden that has items I can use as inspirational material either, inside a beautiful statuette, a barometer and the pattern on a dish also catch my eye.

I did of course ask permission to take all of these and since there was no identifying information it was no problem. I even found a garden hose interesting (yes, I know there is no accounting for taste!) Regular readers will know that I delight in photographing every day ordinary things and there is no more ordinary thing than a garden hose.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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October 16, 2017

A Photoshoot Around The House…

Filed under: ART,BREDA,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Himself’s family friends in Breda have a lovely garden. It was early spring time when we visited and we were told to relax and make ourselves at home whilst they prepared dinner. I found this lovely little bird house and thought I would try some arty shots…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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