Local Heart, Global Soul

April 13, 2020

The 2017 Thorbecke Monument Detail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This 2017 Thom Puckey statue celebrates Johan Rudolph Thorbeke and is located in the Hague.

Wikipedia (link above) tells us: “Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (14 January 1798 – 4 June 1872) was a Dutch statesman of a liberal bent, one of the most important Dutch politicians of the 19th century.

In 1848, he virtually single-handedly drafted the revision of the Constitution of the Netherlands, giving less power to the king and more to the States General, and guaranteeing more religious, personal and political freedom to the people.”

During his Political life: “On 21 May 1844, Thorbecke was elected into the House of Representatives for South Holland. In the House, he developed into the leader of the liberal opposition and, later that year, joined forces with eight like-minded members in a vain attempt to amend the constitution in the so-called Voorstel der Negenmannen (“Proposition of the Nine Men”).

Four years later, with much of Europe convulsed by the Revolutions of 1848, William II agreed upon the formation of a committee for revision of the constitution.

Thorbecke was appointed as head of this committee on 17 March. The changes were virtually all created by Thorbecke, as the other members of the committee did little but approve of his proposals. The drafted constitution was somewhat reluctantly approved by the States General, and was proclaimed on 3 November 1848. The new constitution established civil rights and parliamentary competences, and introduced direct election of members of House of Representatives and ministerial responsibility, thus limiting the power of the King and turning the country into a complete constitutional monarchy.

I have now come to the conclusion that the item that the lady in the modern section of the statue is not a laptop as I first assumed, but rather a copy of the Dutch constitution and that the reason this statue is in two parts is because the “older” part is a tribute to Thorbecke himself and the “modern” section is a tribute to the huge part that his work plays in today’s modern Dutch society.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 12, 2019

A Walk Down Century Lane…

The building that I looked out on whilst I visited Zierikzee’s Stadhuis (City Council /Town Hall) are as old as the Stadhuis too. Together they stand as a testament to beautiful architecture of centuries past and retain many of the original features. Once back outside I photographed the façades, with the brickwork patterns, shutters, and stepped gables. Less a “walk down memory lane” and more a “walk down century lane”.

(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)

February 11, 2019

Clasped, Chained, Engraved, Micro-Mosaic, …Silver Bibles!

The exquisite detail and workmanship in the tiny bibles on display during my Easter break visit to Zierikzee back in 2017 was amazing.  Some were encrusted with semi-precious stones, leather and silver combined to make intricate patterns even on some of the smallest of it’s parts. Even the clasp to keep the bible closed and thus the pages protected, were engraved or decorated. It’s possible that bibles such as these might be one of the most expensive items in the family home. All of the bibles were standing on glass shelves and for obvious security reasons enclosed in a glass cabinet, so getting photographs with as little reflection as possible was quite a task.

One of the bibles had micro-mosaic figures in each corner of the front cover, quite a few have monogrammed initials worked into the designs or Family names etched into the silver on clasps or within the silver work. Another has an indented flower pattern in the closed pages and a wrist chain, presumably so that this precious object didn’t get accidently dropped into the mud if your horse jolted unexpectedly whilst you were getting into your carriage.

(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)

February 9, 2019

Stadhuis Windows And An Old Masters View..

In one of the Zierikzee Stadhuis (Town Hall) rooms, I was captivated by the light coming through the large windows. There were also cool shadow patterns on the floor and there was an “atmosphere” created by this centuries old building that no camera can ever capture. Then I stepped up to one of the windows.. and on the opposite side of the street was several other beautiful centuries old classically Dutch styled buildings. That day during the 2017 Easter break was one of those “four seasons in one day” sort of weather patterns, and at this exact moment, winter weather was beating down the summery sunshine that had been getting through the clouds for most of the day. This time the sunshine wasn’t winning and the skies were growing darker by the moment.

This incoming inclement weather, the contrast between light and dark, combined with the shapes of the beautiful structures before me had the effect of making you feel like you’d stepped into a 16th Century Old Master Still-life painting. I wonder how many people from the time these buildings were new (1600-1700’s) have stood at this window, or windows like these and looked out on similar views. This typical Dutch weather for late winter, early spring. The dramatic shapes of dark threatening clouds and signs of impending rain. The camera could not do this justice, (well maybe it could, but this camera operator could not). I took several photographs trying to capture the changes in the clouds and the drama they created. A period drama could only hope to generate such feeling and atmosphere…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 8, 2019

Stadhuis Rooms…

Other parts of Zierikzee’s Gemeente Stadhuis (City council / Town Hall) that I managed to visit during the 2017 Easter break, were several beautiful rooms. However I didn’t see all of the Stadhuis by any means because of time constraints, mostly due to my taking time out to keep sitting down to have a rest. One room has a large piece that has been made with thousands of sea shells. Marble pieces above the fireplaces are also amazing…

(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)

February 7, 2019

Got Room For A Wedding?

Filed under: HISTORY,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,ZEELAND (Province),ZIERIKZEE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Growing up in New Zealand it was a shock to learn that in the Netherlands, a church wedding is not the legally binding marriage ceremony.

It is of course possible to have a church wedding, but it needs to be extra to your official ceremony not instead of it.

Himself and I were married in the Netherlands and our marriage took place where all official marriages take place: in the Gemeente Stadhuis building (City council / town hall).

Luckily for us we were married long enough ago to be married in the Hague’s “old” town hall, a beautiful 15th or 16th Century building in the Centre of the city.

The Hague’s “new” Stadhuis / town hall is all a modern all white building where the “marriage room’  is also an all white room.

As in white ceiling, walls and furniture, just what you need to nicely contrast your white wedding dress during your wedding photographs of the ceremony methinks. Himself and I loved the old building with it’s historical features and paintings and it was extra special for me because my Oma (Grandmother) got married in the same room in 1916. During my 2017 Zierikzee visit I pass though the wedding room of this Gemeente Stadhuis and take a look around this room which features both old and new. The seating at the front is unlike anything I have ever seen before, but that the number of Dutch wedding rooms I have seen is fairly limited.

(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)

The St. John’s or sack carriers emblem is etched onto the door…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 6, 2019

Witches And The Mogge Murder Mystery…

(photograph © Kiwidutch) Following yesterday’ s post, I found out that as well as cheese, meat, madder, and wool being weighed in the “Waag” (weigh house), witches were supposed to be too! Fortunately Zierikzee doesn’t seem to have ever gone on any massive witch hunts.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Earlier in the day I found a statue of Pieter Mogge.   (Pieter Mogge Stands Tall In And For Zierikzee… )
Now I found out that he didn’t just pass away from old age but was actually murdered… a murder mystery ensued, but judging by the subsequent actions of the prime suspect it appears obvious “who-dunnit”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The photograph accompanying the last text is a still life that probably fairly well represents the kind of meal the madder assayers had the evening before. Lobsters were plentiful, much more than today, but it’s not the representation of the food that catches my eye, it’s the stunning perfection of the painting. Each piece looks life-like, the light is amazing, The textures of the soft bread, the fruit, the plate, oyster and lobster shells, tankard, fork, plates and tablecloth are captured with precision and amazing detail. I could look at paintings like this forever, it makes me happy, it’s peaceful, calm, inward looking in the best of ways. Every time I look I find a new detail revealed. Pure. genius.

February 5, 2019

In Zierikzee, An Industry That “Madder(s)”…

The next thing I discovered in my 2017 Zierikzee Stadhuis visit (City Council/Town Hall) was an exhibition about Madder, the main “industrial” crop that the island produced. In addition to the life-sized models there were boards containing photographs and information, easy to read and with English language texts so I didn’t bother to re-type everything. Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Kiwi’s note: I think that the sack carriers may be the equivalent of modern day stevedores, men who load and unload ships. Since each “sector” of each trade had it’s allotted rules for who did what, it seems to have also operated in a manner similar to a collective modern day Union.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 3, 2019

Driehoek… A Three Sided House?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next beautiful building that caught my eye in Zierikzee during our 2017 Easter holiday break was this building.

Closer inspection revealed a plaque that tells us that it has a name:  “Driehoek” (which translates as “Triangle’).

“Driehoek” : “The origins of this house date from the year 1600, and it was built on the site of an earlier house.

It was probably built by Cornelis Stevense Cooper; secretary, alderman, councilor and mayor.

It remained a residential building until 1838. In 1925 it became a school.

In 1986 it got the name “the triangle” because it housed three organisations.”

Duh, and there was I looking at the gables of the building trying to work out if there were three sections and if the building itself was in any way three sided! (Yes, I felt silly for that one!).

I like the “step” gables anyway, it’s easy to see how they got their name and then my second thought: ” it’s obvious that the Netherlands isn’t in an earthquake zone… these brick frontages would be long removed in New Zealand!”.

It’s good that frontages like these can be enjoyed, maybe never in earthquake prone countries but enjoyed by visitors here in Zierikzee.

(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 21, 2019

Tracing Around Cathedral Lines…

The shape of Zierikzee’s Cathedral, lost to fire in 1832 has been preserved in small part by tracing out the shape of the building on the ground around the smaller Nieuwe Kerk which replaced it. Who needs tracing paper to show a beautiful form when you have bricks, cobbles and stone?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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