Local Heart, Global Soul

November 14, 2017

Checking Out Before Checking In…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before checking into our room in “Den Engel” (The Angel) Hotel in Baarle Nassau, I have to of course check out the beautiful carved stone relief panel set into the wall on the street outside.

There is a small information plaque on the wall above it which says:

‘For centuries this street was called “Engelsestraat” (Angelstraat), named after the “Den Engel” (the Angel) Inn.

A  three-day livestock market took place at this location twice per year,  events for which the area was famous.

Max van Tilborg bought “Den Engel” in 1894 because of the existing calf and livestock trade and established a butchery on this spot as an addition to the Inn.

Since this time “Hostellerie Den Engel” has belong to the Tilborg family or as it is today, the Tilborg company.

No information is given as to the age of this stone carved piece, or the artist but I am stopped in my tracks in admiration… and a few photographs of course because this is well worth checking out as we check into the hotel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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)

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September 8, 2017

Today: Built On Sacrifices Of The Not So Distant Past…

Filed under: Architectural Detail,ART,Stone Carving — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In yesterday’s post I finally managed to see the remaining side of the “Stadhuis” (Town Hall) in Gouda that had eluded me for several visits.

Before I leave it completely there are several last pieces of stonework that grab my attention. They appear to be memorial plaques.

They are both in Dutch, and translated they read: “1940-1945” “Gouda remembers it’s men and women who died in the battle against the conqueror.

Two died as a soldiers in May 1940 and as resistance fighters W.M. Boelhouwer, W.J. Dercksen, A. de Ryke, W.I. den Burg,  A. De Korte, A.nieuwenhuysen, H.L. van Royen.

Eighteen did not return from prison or concentration camps.

Forty-six died when the city was bombed,  One hundred and thirty-seven Jewish citizens were deported and murdered, sixty citizens of the 2200 people who were forced to work for the enemy did not return. During the hunger winter the mortality rate tripled. Then when the crisis was at it’s worst God gave us liberation.‘ Then on another plaque close reads; “In the fight for order and peace in the Netherlands East Indies, the following soldiers from Gouda sacrificed their lives. J.G. Kisman, F.H.M. Visser, 1946, W. Boll, L.Hemes, J. Hofman, C.Verweij 1947, P. Deullemeijer, B.C.M. De Planque,P. Spa 1948. W. Breen, G.F. De Bruijn, J.j. Grootveld, M. Kortleven, S.Romeijn, J.C. Snaterse, J.J. Koroon 1949.”

There is also panel with a George and the Dragon style carved stonework piece, a more modern piece but still very decorative. I am always for remembering that our present day lifestyles were built on many sacrifices in the not so distant past.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 5, 2017

A Change Of Direction And A Rest Before Setting Off Again…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture,Stone Carving,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On my first visit to Gouda I managed to see just one end of the St Jans kerk (St Johns Church), by my second visit I managed to get around the rest.

Just before entering the  “Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) I got a few photographs from by the Tapijt Huis: taken over the canal looking back towards the church.

Some large trees overhung the water so I didn’t immediately see the couple who walking past on the other side.

They then also paused to look at the canal and I suddenly saw their reflections in the water as I took photographs of the little boat in the water, so in a round about way I ended up taking photos of them too.

Then later, on the other side of the park I saw a beautiful small building that looked like a chapel (but may or may not have been) and a small path that led over the canal and back around the other side of the church. After crossing the bridge I find a  stone wall with a doorway, and in the arch above the door, a stone bust of man. There was no indication of any name and he looks rather austere but must have been very important to have gotten this honour. The path immediately widens to become a small lane that services the rear side of the many cafés, restaurants and bars, and the homes above them. The church looms large over the rest of the neighbourhood, it’s changing roof structure continuing for the rest of it’s long length. This one little garden has hidden many surprises, and the bonus that it was also a still, peaceful place to pause and take a rest.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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August 27, 2017

Poking Out His Tongue At History…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just behind the Lazarus Gate in Gouda is the Katharina Gasthuis museum.

I noticed when going past the Gate that there was a face starting at me on the wall nearby.

This face was not of a real person, and more specifically, it was wooden, or maybe stone, head.

The face of the male head is poking his tongue out towards the viewer. Whilst photographing this an older couple walk past, and I say “Good Morning” in Dutch.

The gentleman asks if I know the meaning behind this head. I tell them I don’t so they explain that it’s an old fashioned sign for an apothecary.

I know that an apothecary is someone who prepares and sells drugs for medical purposes, but didn’t realise that this was a sign for one.

The couple tell me that these “signs’ told people what various shops sold, for instance the poking out tongue of this face is a gesture of taking a pill, and signs like this were because the vast majority of people could not read, so needed a visual guide rather than a written one. I think it’s a brilliant solution, and delighted that this one still survives. I take photographs of the surrounding buildings before I move on.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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August 25, 2017

Lazarus Gate, The Only “Warning” Needed, Is That This Is A Beautiful Building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the beginning of the Willem Vroesenplein in Gouda, I come across a sweet little building.

Called the “Lazaruspoortje” (Lazarus Gate) it is a small but imposing piece of architecture.

There is an information board on the wall, in Dutch text only, which translates as: “At the end of the 16th century the German Gregarious Cool (approx 1570-1629) came to Gouda to work as a stone mason.

He made beautiful pieces, amongst others the “Bordes” (steps that go both in two directions) of the Gouda Stadhuis (Town Hall), the entry gate to the “Vroesenhuis” (sorry, I could not figure out this word, it’s “something”.. house), the facade of the Museum De Moriaan and this gate.

A long time ago it provided access to the Le Prozenhuis (lepers house) elsewhere in the city.

The relief shows the bible story of poor Lazarus and the rich man. In 1939 the gate was taken apart and rebuilt here in 1964.

Against the back wall is another gate coming from the old women’s house at the Kleiweg which was demolished in 1938. Inside the entry way there is also a “Gevelsteen” ( literally means “gable-stone”, but it is a pictorial or text facade stone that gives information)  also made by Cool of the former Looyhal” (a place used to check and inspect fabric).”

I also found a Wikipedia page that was in the Dutch language only, which gives more information. Translated into English it reads:

The Lazaruspoortje was constructed in 1609 as an entry gate for the then lepers house at the Gouwe in Gouda, by the sculptor Gregarious  Cool. Initially the lepers house was located outside the “potterspoort” (potters gate) in Gouda at the Wachtelstraat.

In 1579 the then Saint Maria convent at the Gouwe which was within the city walls, was the designated place to house lepers. In 1609 the gate at the Rotterdamse Veer was constructed which provided access to the lepers house at the back.

The picture on the gate depicts the rich man and poor Lazarus, who asks for the crumbs left over from the rich mans meal, but all he gets is the care of the dogs who lick his wounds.  The man and woman from both sides of the picture are lepers holding a “Lazarusklepper” (which could be some sort of warning sign ‘here is a leper, stay away”) and a “aalmoezenschaaltje” (a small begging bowl).

Above is a picture of Lazarus, after his death, in the lap of Abraham. Lazarus became the patron saint of Lepers. In 1940 the gate was taken apart as a result of the  expansion of the Municipal energy company. In 1965 it was rebuilt in it’s current location at Achter de Kerk. At the moment it provides access to the garden of the museum Het Katharina Gasthuis.”

I would love to come back here when the gate is open, not just to see the additional stone carved ornamentation within the entry way but also to visit the Katharina Gasthuis museum. Lazarus may have made a noise to warn people to stay away, but this place needs one to summon people to see this beautiful sight.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Wikipedia: Lazarus Gate / Gouda / The Netherlands (Dutch Language site only)

August 21, 2017

Detail From Top To Toe…

The detail on St Janskerk (St Jans Church) in Gouda is so prolific that it’s taken several posts here to cover it. I probably could have zoomed in on even more had my visits been longer or more in number, but that said, my visits here are far from over so who knows. I want to photograph the inside of this church though, so these will take priority over future exterior photo shoots. Much of the detail is unexpected, like the squirrel stone carved decorations under several alcoves. In short, the outside of St Jans Church is full of detail from top to toe.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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August 14, 2017

Climb The Stairs And Tie The Knot…

Apologies, Apologies! I accidently messed up the date for this blog post in the schedule and morning readers ended up only seeing a blank page. I have now fixed it so that you get the post that was intended. Apologies again… kiwi.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Stadhuis” (Town Hall) in Gouda is one of the oldest in Holland.

There is detail everywhere, plus a few added additions of recent times.

One of these additions is a sundial clock, located up by the statues of yesterday’s post.

Time moves on however and ‘new additions” eventually become ‘old” ones, like the steps at the front of the Stadhuis,  “added” in 1603.

The lion is the symbol of the Netherlands and it features heavily in historic Dutch architecture, the Gouda Stadhuis being no exception. Here several fierce lions hold and maybe guard the heraldic emblems, which in Dutch are called  “wapen” (coat of arms).

I love how the lions look from different angles. Lions also feature in the posts at the bottom of the steps.

They have their mouths open but rings are featured, which in the first instance I thought should maybe go through their noses. The truth is probably more one of artistic license,  especially considering the chance that any stone-mason in 1603 had of having ever seen a lion. Shields of the military variety, plus various items of amour feature in the upper stone work, two (maybe Apostles) stand at the very bottom with their arms crossed. An imposing stone canopy tops off the staircase and gives shelter from the weather.  Church weddings are possible in the Netherlands but it is only the Stadhuis where your marriage ceremony is legally binding, so couples must come to the Stadhuis to make their marriage official. The ceremony, in this building or one like it, is definitely a stunning and memorable venue to tie the knot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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August 13, 2017

The French Are Ousted But Are Saved…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After an extended period of enforced quiet in the house due to his sisters big Exams, Little Mr earned a series of weekend trips to Gouda, resident city of his favourite Lego shop.

Whilst he, accompanied by Himself took part in the long study as to which items in the shop were to relieve him bit by bit of his built up birthday, holiday and Christmas savings money, I availed myself to visits to some of Gouda’s historic sites.

Several of these visits involved a look at Gouda’s “Stadhuis” (Town Hall), and it’s beautiful exterior.

The booklet: “A walk through history” , by the Gouda Gidsen Gilde and for sale (Euro 2:50) at the VVV (Tourist information office) tells me; ” You can see statues of the famous counts and countesses who lived in the Middle Ages in Holland, on the front of the Town Hall.

They were added in the 20th Century. Above the entrance is the motto “Audite et alteram” (listen to the opposing side”,  motto that was meant for the judges in Gouda. the imposing flight of stairs was added in 1603 by Gregorius Cool.

There is one unique detail that you must not miss, on the left hand side of the roof above the stairs you can see the coat of arms of Louis Napoleon (dated 1896). on it are the Dutch lion and the French Eagle. this was must unusual because after the period of occupation by the French, all references to the Bonapartes were rigorously removed, except in Gouda.”

One of the Ladies in the “VVV” Tourist Information office mentioned on an earlier visit that the reason for this was because many of the people of Gouda as a group, protected many of their buildings from desecration and vandalism after the French left whereas other cities let people to vent their anger by vandalizing all traces of their occupiers.

The Wikipedia page on Gouda Stadhuis (Dutch language only so I translated the relevant parts of it here):”The statues in the city’s current facade were only placed in 1960/1961. On the lower row are Karel de Stoute, Philip de Goede, Filips de Schone and Maria of Burgundy.

Above are the scenes of Floris V and Jacoba of Bavaria. Until 1882 there were two statues on the front of the town hall. They were both female figures, one a symbol of  “Wijsheid’ (wisdom) and one “Standvastigheid” (steadfastness), made by the sculptor Jan Gijselingh jr in 1695. 

In 1882 they were removed because their niches were converted back into windows again. The statues were donated to the Gouda museum.” I haven’t been to the Gouda museum yet, so no photographs of these two statues yet but these of the Dutch gentry stand beautifully in their place.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Wikipedia:  Gouda Stadhuis  (City Hall) / (Dutch language)

August 9, 2017

A Very Fishy Feude…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,Historical,PHOTOGRAPHY,Stone Carving,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you think that neighbourly disputes are a new phenomenon then you would be very much mistaken.

Next to “de Waag” (Weigh house) in Gouda is a large white building called “de Zalm” (The Salmon) and a permanent reminder of the neighbourly dispute between the two that took place in 1670 is set into the wall of “de Zalm’ that faces “de Waag“.

There is an information plaque on the wall but it’s only in Dutch so I’ve translated it into English.

The text is also a little bit higgledy piggledy so I’ve added some information so it makes sense and then marked out the original translated text in italics.

With the construction of the “de Waag” by famous architect Pieter Post, and in order ‘to guarantee the prestige of their new building, the city council demanded that it’s height become a benchmark for other buildings in the area.

The roof of the adjacent building,  the Inn called “de Zalm”, built in 1670 was required to be at least 6 feet lower than the Waag (also completed in 1670) according to city government regulations, much to the displeasure of it’s owner.

  This displeasure is recorded in stone with a picture of an angry looking salmon and the text (in old Dutch:)”Niet te hooch niet te laech van passe’, which means ‘not too high not too low, just right’.” It’s certainly a statement that the owner may have been forced to comply with the regulations but he didn’t have to like it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My weird sense of humour gives me a thought: what if all of today’s neighbourly disputes were recorded in such a way too? You (and your descendants) could walk around a neighbourhood and have a laugh at all of the petty things that get on people’s nerves.

I’d love to see walking tours that visit the houses of ” yappy dog, tall trees, untidy gardens, noxious weeds, party house” disputes and see appropriate pictures in stone with a well thought out text below. It might also make people realise that life is short and that many of these disputes could be settled amicably.

Strangely, benieth the text relevant to “de Zalm” is another paragraph that relates to, and in my opinion would be better included with other information plaques for, “de Waag“.

Again it’s only in Dutch, and even though it’s completely unrelated to the story of “de Zalm“, I will translate it here in case visitors find the Dutch and go looking for a translation. ”

‘The Gouda historian Ignatius Walvis  reports that for “de Waag”  to be built, several buildings on, or very close to the market were bought and demolished. The upper floor of  “de Waag’ was not important for the weighing and was used from 1668 to 1907 by the Gouda weapons / firearms  store.

Thereafter the space was used in succession as an exhibition room, Vet’s office, office of  a cleaning service,  local tourist office and a branch of the Dutch dairy board. Since 1995  “de Waag” has housed the Gouda Cheese museum (formerly known as the Gouda Cheese and Professional Craft Trades museum)’

I then found further information about “de Zalm” on a Wikipedia page (but in Dutch only.) Interestingly, “de Zalm” Restaurant’s own page does not appear to have a history page at all. I have translated the Wikipedia page:

‘In 1551 this inn had gone by the names of ‘de Oude Salm” (Old Salmon) or “de Vergulde Salm” (the Gilt Salm).

The owner feared that  the building of  “de Waag” (Weigh house) would overshadow his establishment so decided to build a new (and bigger) Inn. The city council permitted this but under strict regulations.’

‘The Inn was required to be six feet lower than “de Waag“. Displeased with this the innkeeper has laid down this requirement in 1670  with the text: Niet te hooch niet te laech van passe’,  (not too high, not too low, just right).

The premises has held a catering / hospitality function from 1551 until the present day, and could be the oldest inn in North and South Holland.  “de Zalm” was also an important station for the postal service between Amsterdam and Antwerp in the 19th century. To this end, a horse stable was built behind the hotel, which was converted into a “pannenkoeke” (pancake) restaurant in the 20th century.

On 5th May 1945, the District Commander of the National Armed Forces made the proclamation in “de Zalm” that the war was over and transferred power over the city. The liberation of Gouda was thus official. The building is listed as a Dutch national monument.  Finally, I notice that another fish has been added to “de Zalm’s” wall. It is two thirds of the way up, and an advertisement for the establishment. In a small twist, this fish has a smile instead of a frown: maybe the message is that after almost 350 years the feud is over?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Wikipedia: “de Waag” (Weigh House) / Gouda/ The Netherlands / (Dutch text only)
Wikipedia: “de Zalm” (the salmon) / Gouda/ The Netherlands / (Dutch text only)
Brasserie – Bar / De Zalm  (The Salmon) / Gouda

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