Local Heart, Global Soul

August 22, 2017

We Should Not Mangle Our Social History…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes you come across quirky things in the most unexpected places.

In this instance what was once (long, long ago) a common household appliance, sitting far, far from home.

Maybe it was taking it’s day of rest… Why? because it appears to have made a trip to church.

By the look of things it was in genuine need of a rest, and come to think of it, a prayer.

Wheeling myself around St Janskerk (St Johns Church) in Gouda I find myself looking at an old mangle, the piece of equipment what used to squeeze the water out of laundry long before the spin cycle as part of modern washing machines was invented.

It’s resting right up against the wall of the church. This mangle has clearly seen many laundry days of service.

Maybe it had been recently dumped? Who knows? The upper roller has been eaten half away by wood worm and destroyed by too many years of hard work.

The iron bars that keep the tension below the main top bar were corroded, in general this poor machine was in a sorry state of repair.

I however, am a lover of cast iron and find this beautiful. Maybe it’s an art installation? (you never know these days). For me it is indeed an object of beauty.

I didn’t need any attempt to lift it to know that it weighs a ton, it’s not the kind of thing that you just drop off on your way to do some shopping. The tiny wheels on the bottom look like they are barely up to the job, and on the bricked and cobbled streets of the central city?… surely this hasn’t traveled far.

If I had a garden I’d love to see about restoring this to it’s former glory, someone has already put a crate underneath it that obviously had plants in it at one time.

I saw this on my last trip to Gouda and wonder what happened to it.  I shudder to think that a beautiful piece like this may have met it’s maker at a wreckers, I can only hope that it’s prayers at St John’s church were answered and someone showed it some love, gave it the care, attention and restoration it deserved and gave it a new life in a garden or maybe as a shop fitting piece. We should not mangle our social history, but instead give it a spin at new lease of life.

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)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 20, 2017

So Much Detail, Almost At A Loss To Start…

The exterior of St Janskerk (St Johns Church) in Gouda has so much detail I am almost at a loss at where to start. This photograph post shows just a small amount that caught my eye, starting up high with some of the churches amazingly diverse roof details…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

August 19, 2017

Making The Functional … Beautiful.

St Janskerk (St Johns Church)  in Gouda is a beautiful building, and due to it’s extraordinary length, one with many different windows and doors. I love the patterns and textures of the columns, woodwork and frames. I wonder what closed up sections used to be like, what used to be in some of the alcoves and how on earth some of the large windows were installed high up in the building with only the equipment available in medieval times. Wood, stone, wrought iron…  make the functional, beautiful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 18, 2017

As Amazing On The Outside As On The Inside..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

St Janskerk (St Jans Church) in Gouda is the longest church in the Netherlands.

It is world famous for it’s stunning stained glass windows, made between 1530 and 1603.

These windows are considered the most significant collection of stained glass in all of the Netherlands.

The church windows are so impressive they were already a tourist attraction in the 17th century.

Sadly I have not yet had the opportunity to see inside St Janskerk but since Little Mr has been analising seemingly every item in his favourite Lego shop in Gouda, I strongly suspect that more weekend visits will be scheduled before the summer weather has disapeared. We have a niece, who although closer in age to Little Mr, has now more in common in taste and activities with Kiwi Daughter. This niece lives in Delft  and we have managed to combine a few things, dropping Kiwi Daughter off early in Delft for a morning of teen-girls-chill-time, then continuing on to the Lego shop in Gouda, arriving as their doors open.

This early start gives us the advantage of finding the closest car parking space reserved for those with disabilities to where we want to go. (I have a Blue Card, disability permit). In this way I also get to wheel myself around. So far our visits have mainly been on Sundays and I don’t wish to interupt worship with the constant clicking of my camera, thus the reason for remaining outside. These photographs start to show us that this building is as amazing on the outside as it is on the inside.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 17, 2017

Erasmus, Child Of Gouda: Contemporary Reform…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Next to the “St Janskerk” (St John’s church) in Gouda is a tourist information board.

It is one of a series, all commemorating Gouda’s most famous son: Erasmus.

I see that similarly to the board of the same series that I found next to the “The Agnietenkapel” (Agnes Convent), the Dutch text in the white panel gives slightly more information than the English “translation” in the white panel.

I have therefore translated the Dutch text for you here.
Erasmus “Kind van Gouda” (Child of Gouda) Erasmus board No.3.”  “Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1467-1536) spent a great deal of his youth in Gouda in late medieval Gouda. 

He developed into one of the most important writers and thinkers of his time and is one of the most well known Dutch people world wide.  In 1552 the St. Johns Church was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. In the years afterwards the church was rebuilt and fitted with the world famous stained glass windows, designed amongst others by the glazier’s Dirck and Wouter Crabeth. The windows show images from the New Testament. They reflect the wish of Erasmus and other contemporary church reformers to make the Bible accessible to all. Not medieval interpretations, but clear stories. This new development was not immediately appreciated by everyone but was eventually accepted by King Philip II.”

We didn’t have the time to go inside St John’s Church during this visit. Instead, I photographed this board since it is part of a series and I hope to make a separate visit / or visits to detail the windows some time in the future. Little Mr has a detailed wish list of Lego pieces from his favourite Lego shop in Gouda, and a bank balance were he is carefully selecting and costing out every brick.  We have also found a disabled car parking space in the street directly alongside the church, (I have a Blue Card, disability permit), so this is somewhere I can come to more often with my wheelchair for a weekend day out whilst Little Mr is busy building at the “build’ table or deliberating over possible purchases in the Lego shop. Almost win-win, two of us get to follow our passions whilst poor Himself gets to play taxi driver to us both. Luckily his special days out will come along on other occasions.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Erasmus / Kind van Gouda (Child of Gouda) / Audio trail / Dutch language.

July 12, 2017

An Understated, Peaceful And Popular Chapel…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Inside the little chapel at Schokland I find  simple, beautiful and fairly plain decor.

There are no stained glass windows, no statues, little architectural decoration on the ceiling or walls.

The undoubted focal point of the room is the pulpit and it’s decorative roof.

Even these decorative elements are extremely understated when compared with other churches I have been in.

The pews are painted, a soft grey colour that compliments the dimensions and style of the chapel.

I can’t take a photograph that shows the entire interior because a couple, their young son and the pastor are talking, sitting in one of the ends of the center pews, discussing plans for their upcoming wedding in the chapel.

I asked if I was in the way and was assured no… I get the sense that this is a popular wedding venue, and why not? the chapel and location are wonderful. I take photos in a way that carefully exclude the others and enjoy the stillness and peace that this chapel resonates.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 11, 2017

A Little Chapels Steals The Prominent Position…

The most prominent building left on Schokland is of course the Chapel. It stands a short distance from the museum and is a small building (by many Dutch church standards) but still apparently in use today. During my tour I take photographs around it, it’s a lovely little building, just the right size for it’s surroundings.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

January 23, 2016

An Stunning Church That Commands Your Attention…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The amazing church that dominates the skyline at the end of the Skólavörðustígur street in yesterday’s post, is as I mentioned there:”Hallgrímskirkja” (church of Hallgrímur) which is the Lutheran Church of Iceland.

Nordic Adventure Travel, Places of Worship” website (link below) tells us:

Ideally situated on the hill Skolavorduholt, overlooking the centre of old Reykjavik, the church of Hallgrimur is the crown on Iceland’s capital with its magnificent 73 m high steeple rising above all other buildings in Reykjavik.

It is the largest church of the country with a seating capacity for 1200 people in the nave. It was under construction longer than any other building in Iceland and has at times generated considerable controversy.

The name of the Rev. Hallgrimur Petursson (1614-1674), without a doubt Iceland’s most beloved poet, was soon linked to the plans for the proposed church.

He influenced the nation’s spiritual development perhaps more than any other person, and generation after generation of Icelanders have read, memorized and quoted his best known work, Hymns of the Passion.

Iceland adopted Christianity in the year 1000 and was a part of the Roman Catholic Church until the Reformation in the 16th century, when the Icelandic church became Lutheran. to this day about 95% of the Icelandic population belong to the Lutheran Church.

State Architect Gudjon Samuelsson (1887-1950) was commissioned to design the Hallgrims church in 1937.  The design  is reminiscent of the rugged mountains and icecaps, which dominate Iceland’s landscapes.

Inevitably the design engendered controversy, especially its size and the towering steeple. Nonetheless a large number of people was determined to see the project through and the design remained unchanged.

The steeple and both wings were completed in 1974, providing the congregation with a better place for worship and other facilities. The nave was consecrated in 1986 on the bicentennial of the city of Reykjavik.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

60% of the cost of construction has been raised by the congregation and private donations from all over the country, even from abroad, but government and city contributions have increased in latter years. In December 1992 a grand organ of 72 stops, commissioned from Johannes Klais in Bonn, was inaugurated.

The organ, by far the largest in Iceland, has four manuals and pedals, 5.,275 pipes and mechanical tracture. It stands 15 meters high and weighs some 25 tons.

The Hallgrims church has many  interesting features. The main door into the sanctuary , large, stained window above the front entrance of the church and pulpit decorations were designed and made by the artist Leifur Breidfjord. The church also possesses a copy of the first Icelandic Bible, Gudbrandsbiblia, printed at Holar in 1584.

The Motet Choirs is among the best choirs in Iceland. it was founded by the church’s organist and cantor in 1982 and since then it has given numerous concerts and toured most countries of Europe.

The steeple is among the best known and most visible of Reykjavik’s landmarks and provides an unmistakable signpost for the city’s visitors. The view of the capital and its surroundings is superb from a platform 83 meters above sea level.

The steeple is open to the public against a small charge for those who use the elevator, which proceeds go towards the maintenance of the church. There are three big bells in the steeple and a carillon of 29 bells. The big bells carry the names Hallgrimur, Gudrun and Steinunn, named after the Rev., his wife and a daughter, who died young.  The carillon is the first in Iceland and the church is one of only three churches in Reykjavik, which chime on the hour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hallgrímskirkja / church of Hallgrímur

 

November 10, 2015

Titus Brandsma Parochie… I’ve Found Another Interesting Church

Whenever Himself and I head out to our small rented garden plot, we pass by an interesting looking church. I looked up the address and found that it was called “De Titus Brandsma Parochie” which translates as “The Titus Brandsma Parish”, a Roman Catholic church. So far we have only driven by, so I don’t have photographs of the inside, but this is definitely a church I would like to follow up with a more detailed post.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Titus Brandsma
a. Kamperfoeliestraat 279, 2563 KH, Den Haag
t. (070) 325 56 75
@. secretariaat@titusbrandsmaparochie-denhaag.nl

The Titus Brandsma Parish

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