Local Heart, Global Soul

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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)

(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)

January 20, 2019

Nieuwe Kerk, Architectural Detail Delights…

Regular readers will know that I adore detail, so when I saw the neoclassical “Nieuwe Kerk” (New Church) in Zierikzee, Zeeland, my eyes lit up. Architectural detail fanatics delight! A photographic post… enjoy!

(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)

Another beautiful building very close by: The Stadhuis (Town Hall / City Council). I will investigate soon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 19, 2019

Nieuwe Kerk: After The Fire…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Next to the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren tower stands another building, one that I learn is the “Nieuwe Kerk”.

Wikipedia told us that: “The Sint-Lievensmonstertoren, known also locally as the “Dikke Toren” (the fat tower) is a 62 metre tall, unfinished, free standing church tower in Zierikzee, Netherlands. The accompanying Cathedral was destroyed by a fire in 1832.

Because the church and the tower were at that point in their construction, separate parts, the fire did not destroy the tower, just the Cathedral. For this reason the rebuilt church stands a short distance away from the The Sint-Lievensmonstertoren tower.

In July 1835 – two and a half years after the fire, work began on a new church, hence the name “Nieuwe Kerk” (New Church) in the neoclassical style.

The architect who had taken up the work went bankrupt so construction stopped, until it’s eventual completion in 1848.

The church was heavily damaged in World War II and the restoration work became such a financial burden that the building was close in 1971.

The Nieuwe Kerk deteriated considerably, windows broke, leaving the church to the mercy of the elements.

Salvation came in 1977 when ownership of the building was transferred to the “Stichting Oude Zeeuwse Kerken” (Foundation for Old Churches in Zeeland).
The building was restored in stages between 1978 and 1988. A fine example of 19th century ecclesiastical architecture, the Nieuwe Kerk is a famous landmark in the historic city of Zierikzee. As of April 1988 the Niewue Kerk became available for festive events.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

VVV (Visitor Information Bureau) // Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) Zierikzee, Zeeland, The Netherlands.

Nieuwe Kerk
Kerkplein 1
4301EE Zierikzee
Monument number (Historic Building) No. 40634.
nieuwekerkzierikzee.nl

January 18, 2019

Sint-Lievensmonstertoren, Part Of A Model Church…

Inside the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower, we see some of Zierikzee’s finest landmarks in model form. The Tower, Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and another building: the Cathedral that was previously on the site of the Nieuwe Kerk, but was destroyed by fire. The plans of the Cathedral were also on display, clearly it was an impressive and beautiful building, and it’s loss must have been a huge blow to the city. The model shows how the Cathedral looked, and I for one stood thinking that it was a massive shame that such a stunning building was now gone forever. I surely can not be alone in that thought. The model builders have faithfully recreated the details of the actual buildings which in my eyes makes these not just functional display items but also works of art in their own right.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 17, 2019

Literally Putting Shipping On The Map…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next exhibit inside Zierikzee’s Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower is a map with model ships.

The necessity of having to build a vast network of drainage canals to make land usable has one large upside: these canals were used as easy early transport routes and goods could easily be brought directly into the heart of many cities.

There were of course different sizes and depth of canal, so different types of ships were used, this exhibit shows a few of them.

Historical maps needed to be used by both literate and illiterate people so it’s not uncommon to see representations of the real buildings that stood at the time as the frame of reference with major landmarks well illustrated so that everything was clear and the map was easy to use.

It’s possible that in some areas, buildings such as hofjes can be used as a frame of reference.Hofjes were small houses built by the rich for the poor, widowed and infirm which were usually built tightly around a central courtyard / garden area.They had discreate entrances to safeguard the vulnerable inhabitants and often remained unchanged in format over centuries, even until the present day.

These hofjes are often found marked on these maps so comparing the same hofjes in the present gives us a good idea as to the accuracy of the historical cartography. In many cases the accuracy is uncanny. Exhibiting model ships, giving visitors and good frame of reference as to how they were used can be hard sometimes, so ingeniously an actual historical map of Zierikzee has been used as the background of this piece: a case of quite literally putting shipping onto the map.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 16, 2019

Royalty, Resistance Fighters, I Am Finally Joining The Dots…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The final section of the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren (Zierikzee / NL)”Walk of Fame” Information board, tells us about everything from Royalty to Resistance fighters. 

I live in The Hague, and have travelled past the “Catshuis” more times than I could possibly count, and of course know that it is the official residence of all Dutch Prime Ministers.

What I didn’t know was the connection that many of these famous historical names had with each other, the Dutch royal family and the role the all played in forming the roots of todays Dutch royal family and the Government we have today. What especially helped was knowing which important people lived at the same time as a specific person and if there was any interaction between them.

Knowing bits and pieces, sometime large, sometimes small pieces of history, the famous people in it, is useless unless you can connect the dots and clearly see where each of them fit into the entire picture.

Strangely enough, this information board went a long way towards my connecting the dots.

Even as a casual tourist walking into a costume exhibition in Zierikzee back during the Easter school holiday break of 2017, I found these gems of learning that added many threads to the tapestry of Dutch history I am accumulating as I live here.

Kenau Simonsdaughter Hasselaer (1526-1588) Resistance Fighter and Ship Broker

The Hasselaer family belonged to the city of Haarlem’s notability. Family members were involved with the Eighty Years War, and were connected to the Prince of Orange’s inner circle.

Kenau married a ship broker, and when he passed away, she took over the company as an independent entrepreneur.

Between 1562 and 1571 a total of 16 ship’s letters were listed in her name.

Each letter was a public tender for so called “Caravel ships”. Caravel built ships have a taut and smooth hull.

The first caravel ship of Zeeland was launched in Zierikzee. Kenau took part in a beer stabbing, and maintained personal contact with clients and shipyards, bringing her to Zierikzee as well.

Kenau stood out for her courageous actions during the Siege of Haarlem by the Spanish in 1572 and 1573, and this was noticed by friend and foe alike.

In September 1574, the States of Holland swore Kenau in as Weigh Master in Arnemuiden, which in those days was a very unusual job for a single woman.

Today, the Stads-en Commerciewerf (City and Commerce Shipyard) in Zierikzee has kept part of this tradition. Currently a caravel ship -a boyer- is under construction.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Prince William of Orange Nassau (1533 – 1584) Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht

William of Orange was one of the prominent noblemen at Charles V’s Court.

He was sent to Brussels to receive a Catholic upbringing. Charles V’s son Philip II Inaugurated William as Stadtholder. His attitude was one of optimism and tolerance, and he turned out to have a talent for diplomacy.

William had high esteem for critical humanist Erasmus. The Prince, who was officially Catholic, converted to Protestantism in 1573, and he thought highly of freedom of religion.

William played a significant role in the Eighty Years War against the Spanish commanders, as well as in the birth of the Republic. Zierikzee was Orangist, and in the course of several centuries quite a few royals visited Schouwen-Duiveland.

William stayed in Zierikzee five times, and it is recorded that in 1572 he stayed with Mayor De Witte in House “The Mussel”. Prince Maurits, who succeeded his father as Stadholder, visited the city in 1600, while Prince William II stayed there in the year 1647.

Jacob Cats (1577-1660) Lawyer, Statesman and Poet.

Jacob Cats was born in Brouwershaven, and went to the Latin School in Zierikzee when he was 11 years old.

Subsequently, he studied at the University of  Leiden, received his promotion in Orleans, and took his lawyer’s oath in The Hague. In 1603, he worked in Middelburg, where he was appointed City Lawyer.

In 1623 he moved to Dordrecht in order to become City Pensionary there. His career boomed, and he was appointed Grand Pensionary of Holland in 1636. Under his chairmanship the States-General’s first Great Assembly took place in 1651, in the Knight’s Hall in The Hague.

Jacob Cats’ former residence “Sorghvliet” is now known as the “Catshuis”, and since 1963 it is our Prime Minister’s official residence. “Father” Cats became famous, both for his educational poems, as for his phrases like “Children are hindering”. Jacob Cats’ statue and his residence can be found in Brouwershaven, where the Brouws Museum shows a video of Jacob Cats’ life and works.

Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687) Diplomat, Scientist, Composer and Architect.

Constantijn Huygens was born in The Hague. His father Christian, who was Secretary to William of Orange and to the Council of State, bought him up conscientiously. In the year 1616. Constantijn moved to Leiden in order o pursue his studies at Leiden University. His study was mainly a way to make new contacts that would prove useful while building a career.

In 1618,  Constantijn had an Internship with lawyer Anthonis de Huybert in Zierikzee. De Huybert moved to Amsterdam in 1622, and studied in Leiden in 1623. The erudite De Huybert was an authority in the field of Dutch grammar, and enjoyed writing poetry. Constantijn Huygens used to send poems to “Poet Laureate” Jacob Cats from Brouwershaven as well. The latter encourage Constantijn to continue writing poetry. Constantijn was appointed Stadtholder Frederik Henry’s secretary, and served under two Princes of Orange: Prince Frederik Henry and Prince William II.  Thus, during many years Constantijn was an adviser of great importance within the Orange royal family court.

January 13, 2019

Points To House: “I Live There!”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch) on one of the walls of the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower is an enlargement of an old city landscape. the etching this was made from shows Zierikzee’s church and tower prominent in the left centre section and the illustration gives a lot of detail to show how the city looked in the fifteenth century. A cupid holds a shield in one corner with a lion and water, possibly the emblems at the time for either Zierikzee or Zeeland, and another cupid holds a shield, possibly with the coat of arms of the church, or of the Bishop or someone high up in the church at the time. I love the cupids, they have been given pride of place at the top of the etching and have been drawn in amazing detail. The city scape is also an exercise in detail, even down to the small canals at the far right of the etching (the last photograph in this post). A very, very early type of “Google Earth”, people have always been fascinated by cities, where things are, landmarks, boundaries, fortifications, streets and where they fit into to it all. I can almost image someone looking at the original print of this etching and pointing to one of the houses, saying, “I live there!”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 12, 2019

This Little Landmark Makes It’s Mark…

The stairs to the top of the Zierikzee Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower are not even a dream for me these days, crutches and spiral staircases not being an ideal combination. Luckily this is a tower I climbed as a kid, whilst on holiday in the Netherlands with my parents. The information board showing how tall the tower was intended to be is so tall that I can’t get it into a single photo.

The stairs are now just of photographic interest, the architectural detail and design problem: how to fit a  stable structure into a small space that efficiently gets people from one level of a building to another. The spiral staircase is a brilliant solution, especially for many church towers where space gets more and more limited as the spire narrows. Even the “short” tower here in Zierikzee can give wide views on a clear day of the surrounding countryside as the land is literally “as flat as a pancake”. We have driven up from the south on many occasions and seen this tower from afar, this little landmark may not be the world wonder that it’s early makers intended, but it is a little landmark that makes it’s mark.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 11, 2019

Feeling Like I’m looking Up At A Painting…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The historical costume exhibition that took place in the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren  church tower in Zierikzee during Easter 2017 had an excellent location to provide the correct atmosphere for the costumes.

The ground floor space in the tower has a high ceiling, something I didn’t expect to see in a tower that was created to be the base of what would have been the world’s tallest tower (at the time), had it been completed.

The ceiling is so far away that the natural winter sunlight did not really illuminate it much, so I moved around until I found the angle that gave the best light, then used the camera flash to boost whatever light was coming in through the windows.

I think that in summer when the light is stronger and brighter, it would be possible to see the details of the ceiling better, but that said there is also not so terribly much to see.

There are no painted decorative elements, not carving of wood or stone except in the gallery and window sections, and yet I find this plain ceiling compelling to look at.

The reason is that due to centuries of damp, sunlight, or lack of, and whatever aging process takes place, the ceiling looks more like a painting of a ceiling than a real ceiling.

I can easily image that the lights and darks are brushstrokes and I’m in a gallery staring at a canvas.

I am not even sure why this ceiling has been built so high, there was a church planned to be attatched to the tower after all, and they usually has grand vaulted ceilings. I can imagine the walls festooned with the flags and coat of arms of the ruling families of the day, possibly some sort if entertainment and festivities on the ground floor with the V.I.P’S  in the gallery observing, or for church functions. I make a wild guess and wonder about the acoustics, if they are any good in this compact tower space. Who knows?

(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)

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.