Local Heart, Global Soul

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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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