Local Heart, Global Soul

October 19, 2015

Leidsestraatweg: Where Is A Dutch Cyclist When You Need One?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Not too far away from Station Den Haag Centraal (The Hague Central Station) is a road that runs along an area of parkland called the Haagse Hout (literally translates as “woods of the Hague”).

It is the location of yet another of my “billboard series”, where large billboards were placed around the city by Gemeente Den Haag (The Hague City Council) over five years ago as part of the celebration of one hundred years anniversary of the Gemeente archive department.

Each of the billboards in the exhibition depicted a past photograph of the city taken between thirty and one hundred and fifty years ago and was located as close to the present day physical spot where that photograph had originally been taken.

At the time I was fit and mobile and Himself and I had a lot of fun visiting almost all of the billboards, taking photographs of both the billboard photograph and the current view that has replaced it in the last century or so.

I couldn’t find too much information on this particular location, mostly because it is largely a park are that is still a park area, and it’s usually buildings that generate a written history. The billboard text is sort and sweet, reading: “Leidsestraatweg circa 1890” (Leidsestraatweg, around 1890)The fashion has most certainly changed and it’s funny because almost every time I take urban Dutch photographs, a cyclist cycles through the picture, yet on this occasion, when it might have been handy to have had a member of the public in the photograph to contrast the fashions of the times there was nary a cyclist to be seen. The “Now” photographs to the left, right and opposite the billboard show that the park itself, and the path though it as largely unchanged, but the skyline opposite is clearly very modern and vastly changed. I love the children in the 1890 photograph, who knows what their individual stories turned out to be and how much they saw the world change… and who knows what this spot will look like in another century ?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 16, 2015

De Passage, Den Haag: So Much More Than A Passageway…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a unique shopping area in the Hague that charms both locals and tourist alike.

Effectively it is a small covered street, where the roof is largely made of glass and is both a shopping street and a well used short-cut for pedestrians between the busy streets of Spuistraat, Hofweg and Buitenhof.

You might well image that this is a recent addition to the Hage city centre, but far from it, “de Passage” is the oldest shopping center in the Netherlands and ranks among the Top 100 of Dutch UNESCO monuments.

I’ve translated information from Wikipedia (Dutch language entry only) in italics, and link to websites below.

“Passage” (pronounced “Par saar je”) “was commissioned in 1885 by the NV ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Passage Society, which was co-founded by the famous Hagenaar Petrus Josephus the Sonnaville (1830 to 1925), also one of the founders of the Kurhaus in Scheveningen.

The original passage of 1885 runs from Spuistraat towards the Buitenhof. In 1929 Hofweg was added to the pedestrian area. The oldest part (the Spuistraat- Buitenhof and arm) was built by architects Herman Wesstra Jr. and JC van Wijk according to an international orientated Renaissance style, while the later part towards Hofweg is built in an expressionist style.”

Where the three different “points” of the Passage meet together, there is a round tower-like effect topped off with a glass dome in the roof. The patterns are captivating and over the years whenever I walked though it, it was highly likely that you could spy someone with a camera pointed upwards towards the dome, straining to get all of it into the photograph, or pointing the camera downwards at the stunning inlaid marble centerpiece directly benieth the center of the dome. There are apartments above the shops, and the only bar to getting a great photograph are the special nets stretched across the open area towards the roof to stop any birds that fly in from getting trapped inside. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture so let’s take a look around…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 The Passage, Den Haag
Offical Website De Passage

March 7, 2015

s-Gravenhage … The Hedge Where The Storks Hang Out…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Hague has three names… It’s official Dutch name is ” s-Gravenhage”  (The Count’s hedge) but locals call by the shortened older, but more modern name of  “Den Haag” (The Hedge) , and of course the name in English is “The Hague”.

I found a good, easy (and short) explanation on a Dutch language website, so have translated it here for you:

“The 17th century name give to The Hague refers to  “des graven hage” or “the count’s hedge”, named after the Count of Holland.

The older name was Den Haghe (“the hedge”), which continues to be the name of the city in modern use, although it’s more usually written as “Den Haag”.

The symbol of the Hague is the stork.

Even as far back as the 14th century there are accounts that detail the local government’s intention of restoring stork’s nests but it only started actually happening in the 16th century.

The  stork is on the coat of Arms of the Hague and the earliest known example of it is on the coat of arms found cast into the tolling bell ” Jhesus”  which was cast in 1541 and located in the St. Jacob’s Church. After 1586 The Hague wax seals show a stork with an eel in its mouth. The current arms Hague still shows the stork with a eel.”

The image of the stork is to be seen all over the city… here are a few that I have found…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%27s-Gravenhage

March 12, 2013

Students of Architecture Please Take Note…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our unit at work is having an internal move-around to accommodate a newly introduced method of working.

Instead of  each member being a specialist in a specific area and working in our specialisation for large group of clients:  A, B  and C,  we have now been divided into small teams with mixed specialities, will each start to cross-train in the speciality of the other members of our team and will work together specifically for either just  group A, or B. or C.

I’ve effectively gone from working for about 90  we will call them “customers” to round 30, but will have to deliver more types of work to them than just the one I currently specialise in. The training  and study regime  is therefore rather full on at the moment to say the least.

This has required a re-jig of the department so that the colleagues of each team are now working in rooms close to one another so I spent today packing, shifting and unpacking…

…actually I have some very helpful  muscle power in the shape of the lads from Internal Services to do the actual shifting, but I had to direct where things went and wait whilst my electronics were reconnected in the new room etc.

I spent most of the day standing and my foot is now considerably swollen and letting me know that it’s not too happy about that decision. That’s the excuse I have long way of saying I’m way too tired to start a complicated blog post that requires research and clear thought to put together.

After recent posts featuring modern architecture, I had a hankering for some architectural detail so rummaged though my archive photos and found some to drool over… Modern architects and architectural students  please take note:  people don’t stop, gasp and take photos of your ugly soulless square boxes in grey concrete and glass… they do  stop, get dizzy with the beauty of,  and photograph stuff like this…

(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)

March 10, 2013

At Least Part of This Building Managed to Jump Out of The Box…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of architectural  detail, especially in older buildings. On occasion, a modern building will take my fancy and draw  enough interest for me to want to take a photograph.

On the Laakkwartier  (pronounced “lark-quart-tier”) side of Hollands Spoor (train) Station, there is a building labelled on Google maps as  “Vestia Den Haag Zuid-Oost” that is located at Leeghwaterplein 45.

Yes, indeed most of it is what I call a ” square box” building of the type that I despise,  but part of it looks like it made a break over the fence of right angled conformity, straight sided boringness and featureless deign and actually started having a little fun once it leapt rather literally  “out of the box”.

I rather like the staircase-like part that ends in a ship’s bridge-like compartment…

…the helm of the organisation? or just a fancy stairwell?

I have no idea what sort of company inhabits this construction, but hopefully they exhibit  the creativity of the interesting side of the building and not the boringness of the rest.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 20, 2013

A Little Bit of France in the Haagse Bluf…

Following  yesterday’s post about the Haagse Bluf buildings,  here is a photographic post about the two fountains that can be found there. The only fact that I know about then is that they are original French fountains… and on a personal level … I think they are 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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 24, 2013

All Shapes and Styles in Brick and Tiles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes in this busy life it’s easy to rush around the city from one appointment to another without really looking at the buildings you are passing.

Before my accident I tried to walk regularly as part of my fitness regime and my little pocket camera was always with me so that whenever I spotted something I thought was interesting I could grab a photograph.

In any large city there are always buildings that represent different styles and eras and as fashions come and go some of them would eventually be replaced or superseded by something newer whilst others remained in place.

In Europe it’s especially easy to find city buildings that span some 300 years or more in age and old buildings are slotted in with new ones as the city grows and evolves.

I like a few modernist styles but really at heart I’m deeply enamoured by the detail of the older styles: I love Gothic arches, Deco tiles, and the organic natural forms of Art Nouveau.

I adore beautiful patterns in wood, iron, tile or stone and most of all I find architectural detail interesting, bewitching and mesmerising.  The more of it the better. I’m the person on the tram in the window seat craning my neck upwards to see the details on buildings as they pass by, I’m the one who’s photos of tiles, stone carvings and ancient ruins in my travel photos outweigh the ones of vast vistas of scenery.

Here are a few photos of beautiful buildings from my walks. Several of them were taken in the vicinity of the Weimarstaat area where I was visiting a fancy dress shop for a costume for Little Mr. There are a lot of beautiful buildings here so I’ll be back at a future date to look around.

(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)

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