Local Heart, Global Soul

August 7, 2018

The Restoration Of The Trinity…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I did a great deal of my growing up in Christchurch New Zealand. As anyone in any place, rural or city will know, you become familiar with some buildings not just because you personally use them, but because they are landmarks. They are just “there”.

In my early 20’s I had a flat in one part of the central city and a job on the other side of the central city.
I preferred walking to cycling so would take various walking routes to work, one of which this part of Manchester Street and thus often walked past what was always known to me as the “Trinity Church”. I vaguely knew it was no longer a church, but in my mind, and I think in the minds of many others it still was and we always referred to it as such.

As soon as the News spread of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes I know that historic buildings like these would be hit hard. Fortunately, although the damage is significant, this beautiful building is being restored to it’s former glory.
There have had to be some concessions however: for instance: in place of layers of heavy stone blocks to make the tower, there is now a thin veneer of stone, a lighter and safer alternative to make the building future quake proof. There is an information panel on the plastic sheeting screening and separating the site from the public footpath and street area.

The first half reads:

Former Trinity Congregational Church. Architect: Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort (1825-1898). Opened: 17 January 1875. The site cost £ 500 and the building £ 5000. The church is to be restored and a replica tower constructed where the original was destroyed. The basis of the style is early French Gothic, a revival of church architecture of the late 12th and 13th centuries. It was an innovative and challenging design and the first New Zealand example of the style in stone.

Of particular interest is the combination of timber and stone in the interior of the church. In 1974 the church was threatened with demolition but saved as a community theatre until it changed hands again in 1993.
The church then became a popular wedding blessing venue followed by the Octagon restaurant until the building was badly damaged by the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-2011. Once again it was threatened with demolition until Christchurch Heritage Limited purchased the building in 2013. Heritage Status: Category 1 – Heritage New Zealand, Group 1 – Christchurch City Council District Plan. “

For some reason my computer is refusing to let me rotate quite a few photographs so warning: this post may involve a little head turning. My apologies. The text on the right hand side of the sheet just gives an ownership list of the building, I haven’t typed that out separately. Once again I am seeing buildings in a particular stage of their lives. By the time we next visit, it will probably be complete, or at least nearing completion and it will be interesting to see what function the building will have. For me, with old bricks or thin veneer, this will always be: Trinity Church.

(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)

December 27, 2017

Character And Style Of It’s Own…

There was another church in Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, close to the “VVV” (Visitor Information Centre) that I had not included in earlier posts. This one: “St Jozef” is fairly plain but I like the patterns in the bricks of the hall attached to it and the little ball-like finial on top of the tower’s spire. It’s very understated so probably I am guessing has Calvinistic leanings. I found that each of the Baarle churches I have featured so far have had their own character and style and it gives them each their own identity.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 10, 2017

Charm, Character And Differences…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During our driving tour around the district of Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, I spotted quite a few interesting looking churches.

Traffic in some areas prevented us pulling over so that I could get some more agreeable compositions, so I did my best from out of the window.

A strange sort of canopy adorned the bottom section of one of the town churches, I can’t quite make out if it’s temporary and there whilst renovations are done or if it’s been added to the tower as a permanent safety measure (falling bits??).

It certainly makes for an interesting and memorable feature.

The brickwork and styles of the churches I saw were many and varied: the steeples different and each with a charm and character of their own.

(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 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)

(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 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)

(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 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)

(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 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)

(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 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)

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

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