Local Heart, Global Soul

September 9, 2017

Taking A General Look Around…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,wrought iron — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course during my visits to Gouda I take photographs that I want to keep but do not slot neatly into various blog posts.

These are such photos, a mish-mash of locations, but all taken in the city centre of Gouda.

The historic buildings that line the main square, dwarfed by St Jans Church in the background.

The little building that looks almost like an almost triangular afterthought on the corner, these days it appears to have been combined with the building next door and now advertises “Dames en Kindermode” (Ladies and children’s Fashion).

There is the beautiful white building that was next to the artists studio I found earlier, and even in another house close to where Himself arranged to meet me, some ironwork that may have been from a gate, sitting proudly as an arty windowsill ornament: something that is right up my street so these are people truly after my own heart and am even a tad jealous.

(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)

September 7, 2017

Not Really “Two Faced”, Rather … ” Many Faceted”.

Filed under: GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Leaving St Jans Church in Gouda, I make my way back to the large market square, in the centre of which proudly stands the “Stadhuis” (Town Hall).

I had taken a good look at one side on an earlier visit, this time I could catch a look at the other side too.

The sides of the Stadhuis are not at all symmetrical,  and the most telling sign of this is the large stone “awning” above the ground floor that takes over almost half of the buildings length.

There is one door underneath this “awning” (for want of a better word), my own best guess would be that maybe this was / is the tradesman’s entrance and the awning is to keep the goods from getting wet as they were unloaded from carts.

If “de Waag” (the Weigh House) at the other end of the square had four elaborate arches for presumably the same purpose, then maybe to some extent, one copied the other.

The Stadhuis’s  stone addition does today give visitors shelter from the rain, even if it wasn’t built for that purpose,  convenient because the “Gemeente” (City Council) have notice boards beneath it advertising various local events. I like that each side of this building has it’s own character and style. I wouldn’t say it was ” two faced” but rather “many faceted”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 6, 2017

Adding To My Convenient Collection…

Filed under: GOUDA,LAVITORIAL - Intersting Loo's...,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

People who are drunk have a nasty habit of doing things that would completely unacceptable when done sober.

One of these is that of men peeing in public places, especially in the corners of buildings.

Answering the call of nature may seem to be an urgent requirement after closing hours, or even with the pub still open if it is a hot night and the man in question is drinking outside.

The inebriated mind may see the shadowed corner of a great church in the dark of the night as an easier option than traipsing back to the pubs conveniences, and with a line of cafes and pubs all along the central city side of St Jans Church in Gouda, clearly this has been an eternal problem.

In the middle ages, today’s solutions were unavailable, but in these days the “Gemeente” (city council) of Gouda have posted several sets of urinals along the long length of the church.

A fairly sculptural form was chosen has not to distract from the beauty of the church, they fit as discreetly (insofar as it is possible for a urinal to sit discreetly) into the local landscape. Regular readers will also know I have quite a collection of Lavatories on my blog… these conveniences just add to my convenient collection.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 5, 2017

A Change Of Direction And A Rest Before Setting Off Again…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture,Stone Carving,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On my first visit to Gouda I managed to see just one end of the St Jans kerk (St Johns Church), by my second visit I managed to get around the rest.

Just before entering the  “Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) I got a few photographs from by the Tapijt Huis: taken over the canal looking back towards the church.

Some large trees overhung the water so I didn’t immediately see the couple who walking past on the other side.

They then also paused to look at the canal and I suddenly saw their reflections in the water as I took photographs of the little boat in the water, so in a round about way I ended up taking photos of them too.

Then later, on the other side of the park I saw a beautiful small building that looked like a chapel (but may or may not have been) and a small path that led over the canal and back around the other side of the church. After crossing the bridge I find a  stone wall with a doorway, and in the arch above the door, a stone bust of man. There was no indication of any name and he looks rather austere but must have been very important to have gotten this honour. The path immediately widens to become a small lane that services the rear side of the many cafés, restaurants and bars, and the homes above them. The church looms large over the rest of the neighbourhood, it’s changing roof structure continuing for the rest of it’s long length. This one little garden has hidden many surprises, and the bonus that it was also a still, peaceful place to pause and take a rest.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 4, 2017

A Nature Trail In The Most Unlikely Place…

Filed under: GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s interesting to see the various walking tours that cities make for it’s citizens and visitors.

I of course delight in finding sculpture, art, architecture and the like, but this next walking tour I discovered in Gouda literally goes back to nature.

This is a tour of the cities trees.

Here in Gouda’s “Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) I find for the first time, a marker for a nature trail.

Run by the “Bomen Stichting” (Tree Foundation) this one is marked as “No.11.”, and there is an information plaque in Dutch that when translated reads: “Beuk’ (Beech) The Beech is one of our giant trees.

In our country it can grow up to 43 metres and turn 150 to 250 years old. The biggest beech tree in the Netherlands is in Westerblokker, minisiplaity Hoorn, with a diameter of 7.5 metres. Beech trees are relatively common but it is not an easy tree to grow. It is sensitive to fluctuations in groundwater levels, compaction of the soil, wind and sun. Beech trees can handle shade and are not prone to diseases or plagues. Beech Nuts: Beech nuts are the favourite food of, amongst others great Tits , mice, squirrels, and wild boar. Uneaten nuts germinate in Spring. People can eat roasted beech nuts. If you add sugar you can bake “kletskoppen” (Traditional Dutch biscuit / cookie).‘ I think it’s a fabulous idea to label trees this way, I must surely not be the only person who could barely distinguish one tree from another. It’s a wonderful way to combine a nature walk and information trail, all without even leaving the city center.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 3, 2017

This Butt Solution Is No Joke…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Regular readers will know that I love quirky, innovative things. When visiting Gouda’s ‘Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) in order to see the statues of Leeu and Erasmus, I came across this ingenious way of dealing with cigarette butts. Instead of a tall standing sand tray, this sand tray is where smokers usually stub out their cigarettes: at their feet. The tray is below ground level, the butts fall into it through a metal grid. Needless to say I think this is an excellent idea…this butt solution is no joke.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 2, 2017

Who Knew He Would Have Such Influence On The World ?…

Filed under: GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In Gouda’s  “Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) I found another of the “Erasmus “Kind van Gouda” (Child of Gouda) information boards, this one being labelled as “Erasmus board No.5′.

From it I find out that: “Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1467-1536) the great sixteenth century thinker and writer, although often associated with  the city of Rotterdam,  spent a great deal of his youth in Gouda.

Erasmus is one of the most famous Dutchmen in the world. Erasmus wrote many works on reforming the Roman Catholic Church, which he felt had strayed from it’s origional teachings.

However, unlike Luther and Calvin who started the reformation, he never wanted to leave the church. In addition to his humanist works, he wrote about many other topics.

“The Praise of Folly” is still his best-known work. He collected over 4000 European sayings and proverbs in “Adagia” and wrote many comic dialogues about the morals and habits of his time.”

Erasmus was a gifted and amazing man, one for all his accomplishments declined honours, profitable positions and distinctions, holding the view that “outward signs were not important; what mattered is the believer’s direct relationship with God’. I had known a small amount about Erasmus before these particular visits to Gouda, here I learned a great deal more and am more impressed the more I learn. Mankind is lucky if it produces people of this caliber every so often, little could Erasmus have known that he would be one such, and have such influence on the world.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / Erasmus / the Netherlands
Wikipedia / Erasmus / ‘The Praise of Folly’
Wikipedia / Renaissance humanism

September 1, 2017

As Revolutionary As The Creation Of The Internet…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The  “Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) has not just a statue of Erasmus, but also a statue by Roel Bendijk of a man operating an early printing press, this man being of course:  Gheraert Leeu, another famous son of Gouda.

Gheraert Leeu (also spelled Leew, Lyon, Leonis), (Gouda, approx. 1445-1450 – Antwerp, 1492) was a Dutch printer and publisher of  incunabula. (Illuminated manuscripts).

The Dutch Wikipedia entry for Leeu contains considerably more information than the English translation on the same page so I have translated most of the Dutch text here:

“In the Middle Ages before the invention of the printing press, monks would reproduce countless manuscripts by hand, and add beautifully colored illuminations. With the invention of the first primitive wooden block printing presses and then loose-print printing presses (approx. 1445)  books could be printed.

In Gouda, his native town, Gheraert Leeu had a printing company on the Market (or in the Koestraat).
On the eve of Pentecost in 1477, he published his first book entitled “All Epistles and Bible stories of all the years”. This was probably also the first book in Gouda, printed in this modern way.

It was not the first book printed in the Northern Netherlands however; In other cities, such as Haarlem, Utrecht and Deventer, printed works had already appeared before 1477.

Gheraert Leeu printed in his time in Gouda (1477-1484) approximately 69 works.  This can be seen as a huge achievement when considering primitive material being worked with. These are beautiful books, so Leeu can be counted as the most important early Dutch incunabellers.

The Gouda City Library has twelve copies of his printed work from that period.  The woodcuts he used to illustrate his work are especially important. Several of these, it can be assumed, were lent to other printers, such as at Snellaert in Delft. Also the woodcut series ‘From the Seven Sacraments’, of 1484, were made in Gouda.

Leeu often placed a colophon at the end of the texts, which he described as follows: “This book was printed in Gouda, in Holland by me Gheraert Leeu on the (day) of (month) Anno (date in roman numerals),”

Well known are the various “Dialogus creaturarum” editions, with special woodcuts. The first Latin edition was published on June 3rd 1480, and the Dutch translation on April 4th 1481. Five of the Latin editions of the Dialogus creaturarum in the Netherlands came from its presses. Three of them printed in Gouda, the other two in Antwerp.

Leeu also had a lot of initiative and courage; he brought out many first editions. In August 1479  he published the first print of  “The history of Reynaert the Fox.   From his press came also the first French translation of the Dialogus in 1482, (from Latin) a year earlier than the French edition in Lyon.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some of his other publications are: The history of Great King Alexander (1477) / The table of Christian lives (1478) / The suffering and passion of the Lord Jhesu Christi (1477, 1479, 1482) / The mirror of Christian belief  (1478) / Jacobus the Voragine’s Passionael winter and summer … (play?) (1478, 1480) / About the seven sacraments (1484) / The four extremes (1482) / Devote tidings and life of Jesus Christ / Jhesu Christi (1484) / Gemmula vocabulorum (1484, Antwerp).

Leeu published not only theological and didactic books. He put everything on his presses: Book of Hours / Christian devotional book and prayer books, the lives of saints, the statutes of the diocese of Utrecht, the law of Eike von Repgow, the Saksenspiegel, (mediaeval law book) and also political pamphlets. In addition, almanacs, a treatise against the plague, forecasts and travel descriptions, including Marco Polo.

He is also the printer of “the chronicle or the history of Holland, of Zeeland and of Utrecht ” (1478). Later this work became known as the “Goudsche Cronyckje (chronicle )”.

In addition to printing works in Latin and Dutch, he reprinted some of William Caxton’s editions for the English market. These were The History of Jason, The History of Paris and Vienne and The Chronicles of England.
In 1484 Gheraert Leeu left for Antwerp, where he was stabbed and died in 1492 during a fight with one of his typesetters.”

In my opinion Leeu and others like him are some of the most important people in history: I know he did not invent the printing press but making reading matter available to the masses was, in my opinion as big a technical leap forward as the development of the internet has been in our lifetime. When I studied Art I majored in graphics, especially in Printing so the printing press, well specifically printed illustrations, are topic very close to my heart.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia; Gheraert Leeu (or known as:  Leew, Lyon, Leonis) / Dutch printer of incunabula. (Dutch Text)
Wikipedia / Incunable
Wikipedia / Sachsenspiegel
Wikipedia / Colophon (publishing)
Wikipedia / Getijdenboek / Book of Hours
Wikipedia / Dialogus creaturarum /  Collection 122 Latin-language fables , dialogues of creatures. First book ever printed in Sweden (1483).

August 31, 2017

The World Travels Of Erasmus, He Flew High And Got His Feet Wet…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst himself and Little Mr were busy in Gouda’s specialist Lego shop during our summer weekends, I took several visits around the city centre.

In some places it was hard going with the wheelchair so I was pleased to find the little garden that I passed by earlier empty and peaceful.

The shade was also welcome because I’d forgotten to bring sun-screen.

My crutches were on the back of the wheelchair so instead of attempting to wheel myself over the grass I used the crutches and stretched out my back a bit at the same time.

At the entrance to the garden there are two signs, the first says “Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenhuys) and the second has a text in Dutch, referring to one of the two statues in the garden and which translated here reads:

Erasmus was born in 1469 as the illegitimate son of a Gouda priest and his housekeeper. In Gouda he attended the Latin school. After a stay in Deventer and Utrecht he entered a monastery just outside Gouda where he continued his studies in a rich library and here he wrote his first books and letters. This bust is a pre-war work by Hildo Krop. originally it was to be placed in Batavia (Jakarta).

After the state of Indonesia as proclaimed it was to be re-sited in Paramaribo but instead the statue ended up as a scarecrow in the rice paddies. It was saved and for a long time it stood in a Surinamese garden. Eventually “Erasmus’ returned to the city of his childhood.’  Wow, this poor statue has had quite a journey around the world and a very interesting time of things.  It is nice to see that from now on this bust rests in this little garden, available for the public to see and enjoy. It was difficult to get photographs of the face in the shade but I did my best. Erasmus I think, was probably very relieved to see his home town again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another information plaque on the statue itself…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 30, 2017

Showing Some Amazing Flexibility…

Filed under: GOUDA,Historical,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Having found the site of the Gouda’s Molenwerf and (rather disassembled) Motte of yesterdays post, I find myself passing a small garden.

My destination at this moment though, was to find the house behind the motte that had the fish ornamentation   which was at the back.

The only way to it was via two small bridges on a tight curve. Having photographed the “fish house” I turn my lens to a building directly opposite it, one that can not fail to capture a visitors attention.

It’s quirky leanings had me wondering about  structural integrity and how on earth it was possible for a small building to be leaning out at the spot over the doorway and leaning in at the end of the same wall just a short distance away.

This is what  building would look like if it were drunk. It also looked like someone thin, frail and elderly who bends at the knees, and has at the same time hunched shoulders. That said, here is probably nothing thin about the walls in a building this old. Thick walls were standard in the 1600’s and this buildings stout construction helps it to bend when age and subsidence crept into it’s bones.

I am delighted to find that here is an information plaque on the side of the building, but as usual, only in Dutch,  translated here Thanks to Himself (I was tired and making mistakes).

The name of this building is “het Tapijthuis” (which literally means “carpet house’). “This late medieval building owes it’s name to the Flemish weavers who fled at the end of the 16th century to the northern part of the Netherlands (from an area that is now present day Belgium). In buildings such as these they continued their work where they left off when they had to flee. Later, in the 17th century,  it housed one of thekloppenscholenfrom Gouda. 

Aklopjeis a woman who does the work of a nun but who is not a nun herself.  (teaching, visiting sick etc) Such catholic schools were prohibited, but the city council  in Gouda did not enforce that rule. At regular intervals the church council of the adjacent St Jans church (Protestant) asked for the school to be closed, but in vain. At a later stage it housed a brewery and after that, the auction house of the father of the writer Herman de Man.

It’s interesting to see that in a time when relations between Protestants and Catholics was fractious, that some people and organisations such as the city council of the time exercised common sense. They must have seen the good work in the community done by these “klopje” women and found that this contribution overruled the pesterings and annoyance of the St Jans church council.

This Catholic / Protestant divide is a theme that I will expand upon in a future post,  since I have discovered some quirky information about this that is bizarre when seen from a non-European perspective. That however is for another day. (Soon!). The occupants and use of ” het Tapijthuis” changed greatly with the times and so over the centuries this building has both literally and figuratively shown some amazing flexibility.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This last photograph if the rear of the building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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