Local Heart, Global Soul

January 16, 2019

Royalty, Resistance Fighters, I Am Finally Joining The Dots…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The final section of the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren (Zierikzee / NL)”Walk of Fame” Information board, tells us about everything from Royalty to Resistance fighters. 

I live in The Hague, and have travelled past the “Catshuis” more times than I could possibly count, and of course know that it is the official residence of all Dutch Prime Ministers.

What I didn’t know was the connection that many of these famous historical names had with each other, the Dutch royal family and the role the all played in forming the roots of todays Dutch royal family and the Government we have today. What especially helped was knowing which important people lived at the same time as a specific person and if there was any interaction between them.

Knowing bits and pieces, sometime large, sometimes small pieces of history, the famous people in it, is useless unless you can connect the dots and clearly see where each of them fit into the entire picture.

Strangely enough, this information board went a long way towards my connecting the dots.

Even as a casual tourist walking into a costume exhibition in Zierikzee back during the Easter school holiday break of 2017, I found these gems of learning that added many threads to the tapestry of Dutch history I am accumulating as I live here.

Kenau Simonsdaughter Hasselaer (1526-1588) Resistance Fighter and Ship Broker

The Hasselaer family belonged to the city of Haarlem’s notability. Family members were involved with the Eighty Years War, and were connected to the Prince of Orange’s inner circle.

Kenau married a ship broker, and when he passed away, she took over the company as an independent entrepreneur.

Between 1562 and 1571 a total of 16 ship’s letters were listed in her name.

Each letter was a public tender for so called “Caravel ships”. Caravel built ships have a taut and smooth hull.

The first caravel ship of Zeeland was launched in Zierikzee. Kenau took part in a beer stabbing, and maintained personal contact with clients and shipyards, bringing her to Zierikzee as well.

Kenau stood out for her courageous actions during the Siege of Haarlem by the Spanish in 1572 and 1573, and this was noticed by friend and foe alike.

In September 1574, the States of Holland swore Kenau in as Weigh Master in Arnemuiden, which in those days was a very unusual job for a single woman.

Today, the Stads-en Commerciewerf (City and Commerce Shipyard) in Zierikzee has kept part of this tradition. Currently a caravel ship -a boyer- is under construction.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Prince William of Orange Nassau (1533 – 1584) Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht

William of Orange was one of the prominent noblemen at Charles V’s Court.

He was sent to Brussels to receive a Catholic upbringing. Charles V’s son Philip II Inaugurated William as Stadtholder. His attitude was one of optimism and tolerance, and he turned out to have a talent for diplomacy.

William had high esteem for critical humanist Erasmus. The Prince, who was officially Catholic, converted to Protestantism in 1573, and he thought highly of freedom of religion.

William played a significant role in the Eighty Years War against the Spanish commanders, as well as in the birth of the Republic. Zierikzee was Orangist, and in the course of several centuries quite a few royals visited Schouwen-Duiveland.

William stayed in Zierikzee five times, and it is recorded that in 1572 he stayed with Mayor De Witte in House “The Mussel”. Prince Maurits, who succeeded his father as Stadholder, visited the city in 1600, while Prince William II stayed there in the year 1647.

Jacob Cats (1577-1660) Lawyer, Statesman and Poet.

Jacob Cats was born in Brouwershaven, and went to the Latin School in Zierikzee when he was 11 years old.

Subsequently, he studied at the University of  Leiden, received his promotion in Orleans, and took his lawyer’s oath in The Hague. In 1603, he worked in Middelburg, where he was appointed City Lawyer.

In 1623 he moved to Dordrecht in order to become City Pensionary there. His career boomed, and he was appointed Grand Pensionary of Holland in 1636. Under his chairmanship the States-General’s first Great Assembly took place in 1651, in the Knight’s Hall in The Hague.

Jacob Cats’ former residence “Sorghvliet” is now known as the “Catshuis”, and since 1963 it is our Prime Minister’s official residence. “Father” Cats became famous, both for his educational poems, as for his phrases like “Children are hindering”. Jacob Cats’ statue and his residence can be found in Brouwershaven, where the Brouws Museum shows a video of Jacob Cats’ life and works.

Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687) Diplomat, Scientist, Composer and Architect.

Constantijn Huygens was born in The Hague. His father Christian, who was Secretary to William of Orange and to the Council of State, bought him up conscientiously. In the year 1616. Constantijn moved to Leiden in order o pursue his studies at Leiden University. His study was mainly a way to make new contacts that would prove useful while building a career.

In 1618,  Constantijn had an Internship with lawyer Anthonis de Huybert in Zierikzee. De Huybert moved to Amsterdam in 1622, and studied in Leiden in 1623. The erudite De Huybert was an authority in the field of Dutch grammar, and enjoyed writing poetry. Constantijn Huygens used to send poems to “Poet Laureate” Jacob Cats from Brouwershaven as well. The latter encourage Constantijn to continue writing poetry. Constantijn was appointed Stadtholder Frederik Henry’s secretary, and served under two Princes of Orange: Prince Frederik Henry and Prince William II.  Thus, during many years Constantijn was an adviser of great importance within the Orange royal family court.

January 15, 2019

A Walk Of Fame, From Kings To Warlords…

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

Following yesterday’s post, I am detailing the text of an information board in the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren (Sint Lievens church tower) In Zierikzee, in the Dutch province of Zeeland.

The board reads:

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) Renaissance Artist

Dürer was oneof the most well-known Renaissance artists from Northern Europe. Not only was he a painter, he also produced drawings, engravings and woodcuts.

Accompanied by his wife Agnes and their maid, Dürer travelled to the Netherlands in 1520 and 1521.

They undertook this journey in order to avoid a plague epidemic in their home town of Nurnberg, and he described their trip in detail in a diary.

In every city he was received with the utmost respect, and he met with numerous characters of his time, e.g. Desiderius Erasmus and Charles V.

At one point the traveler learned that a whale had washed ashore near Zierikzee, but unfortunately it had already perished by the time Dürer arrived.

They showed him a walrus instead which he portrayed, using watercolours. His travel report is not only important as a rare ego document by a famous artist, but especially historically it is of great significance.

Charles V (1500-1555) King, Emperor and Lord of the Netherlands.

Emperor Charles V visited Zierikzee on July 15, 1540, and he spent the night in House “The Mussel”, the residence of wealthy ship-owner De Huybert, captain on the ship that bought young Charles V to Spain.

Mayor of Zierikzee, William Simonson, was an expert on water management, and he advised Charles V on water management affairs. He showed the Emperor how the sea was a serious threat to the island of Schouwen-Duiveland.

The Water Board and the Municipality called on all dike workers and farmhands to come on the dikes that day. The Emperor was surprised to see that the seawall coast so much manpower and money. By grace letter he donated a most generous amount of money to this project.

Schouwen’s oldest map probably can be contributed to this visit. Historians assume that this map was made especially for Charles V.

A copy can be seen in the Chart Room of the City Hall Museum (Stadhuismuseum), saying “as it was in 1540”. Both a portrait of William Simonson, and the old map of Schouwen are displayed. Medallions of Charles V and his son Philip II are masoned on it’s front façade

Cristobal de Mondragón (1504-1596) Spanish Warlord

During the tims of the Revolt, or Eighty Years War, Zierikzee had chosen the side of the insurgents and the Prince of Orange, the Spanish Fuke Alva dispatched Mondragón to set things right.

Alva formed an army, and advanced to the gates of Zierikzee. The purpose of this conquest was to drive a wedge between the rebellious provinces Holland and Zeeland. More than 1,200 rebels were brought inside the gates to defend fortress Zierikzee.

The siege lasted a full five months in 1575-1576. Several attempts to rescue Zierikzee filed, even one led by Prince William of Orange. Soon after taking Zierikzee, ‘s mercenaries started a mutiny for lack of wages. Mondragón was locked up in House “The Mussel* on Oude Haven (Old Harbour).

Everything and everyone was robbed, and since no food was left in Zierikzee, the soldiers moved on to Brabant and Antwerp, thereby starting the Spanish Fury. Also Mondragón, who was forced to relinquish the occupation, left the heavily hit city. To this day Mondragón’s sword can be seen on top of historic North Harbour Gate, as a reminder of the siege of Zierikzee.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

January 13, 2019

Points To House: “I Live There!”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch) on one of the walls of the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower is an enlargement of an old city landscape. the etching this was made from shows Zierikzee’s church and tower prominent in the left centre section and the illustration gives a lot of detail to show how the city looked in the fifteenth century. A cupid holds a shield in one corner with a lion and water, possibly the emblems at the time for either Zierikzee or Zeeland, and another cupid holds a shield, possibly with the coat of arms of the church, or of the Bishop or someone high up in the church at the time. I love the cupids, they have been given pride of place at the top of the etching and have been drawn in amazing detail. The city scape is also an exercise in detail, even down to the small canals at the far right of the etching (the last photograph in this post). A very, very early type of “Google Earth”, people have always been fascinated by cities, where things are, landmarks, boundaries, fortifications, streets and where they fit into to it all. I can almost image someone looking at the original print of this etching and pointing to one of the houses, saying, “I live there!”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 12, 2019

This Little Landmark Makes It’s Mark…

The stairs to the top of the Zierikzee Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower are not even a dream for me these days, crutches and spiral staircases not being an ideal combination. Luckily this is a tower I climbed as a kid, whilst on holiday in the Netherlands with my parents. The information board showing how tall the tower was intended to be is so tall that I can’t get it into a single photo.

The stairs are now just of photographic interest, the architectural detail and design problem: how to fit a  stable structure into a small space that efficiently gets people from one level of a building to another. The spiral staircase is a brilliant solution, especially for many church towers where space gets more and more limited as the spire narrows. Even the “short” tower here in Zierikzee can give wide views on a clear day of the surrounding countryside as the land is literally “as flat as a pancake”. We have driven up from the south on many occasions and seen this tower from afar, this little landmark may not be the world wonder that it’s early makers intended, but it is a little landmark that makes it’s mark.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 11, 2019

Feeling Like I’m looking Up At A Painting…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The historical costume exhibition that took place in the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren  church tower in Zierikzee during Easter 2017 had an excellent location to provide the correct atmosphere for the costumes.

The ground floor space in the tower has a high ceiling, something I didn’t expect to see in a tower that was created to be the base of what would have been the world’s tallest tower (at the time), had it been completed.

The ceiling is so far away that the natural winter sunlight did not really illuminate it much, so I moved around until I found the angle that gave the best light, then used the camera flash to boost whatever light was coming in through the windows.

I think that in summer when the light is stronger and brighter, it would be possible to see the details of the ceiling better, but that said there is also not so terribly much to see.

There are no painted decorative elements, not carving of wood or stone except in the gallery and window sections, and yet I find this plain ceiling compelling to look at.

The reason is that due to centuries of damp, sunlight, or lack of, and whatever aging process takes place, the ceiling looks more like a painting of a ceiling than a real ceiling.

I can easily image that the lights and darks are brushstrokes and I’m in a gallery staring at a canvas.

I am not even sure why this ceiling has been built so high, there was a church planned to be attatched to the tower after all, and they usually has grand vaulted ceilings. I can imagine the walls festooned with the flags and coat of arms of the ruling families of the day, possibly some sort if entertainment and festivities on the ground floor with the V.I.P’S  in the gallery observing, or for church functions. I make a wild guess and wonder about the acoustics, if they are any good in this compact tower space. Who knows?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 10, 2019

The Height Of Fashion Throughout The Ages…

As I continue my costume tour of the exhibition held in the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower in Zierikzee, I discover the weaponry accessories as well as the fabric pieces…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Woman’s Viking costume (800-1000)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) This could be mistaken for a rolled up shag pile carpet but this Woolly Mammoth skin custome was apparently the height of fashion (or more likely, plain necessity) for our pre-historic ancestors… (approximately 15 000 BC)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Renaissance Dutch (1450-1550)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Dutch Baroque (1625-1640)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 9, 2019

Clothing The Centuries…

When I visited Zierikzee’s ZierikzeeSint-Lievensmonstertoren back in the Easter of 2017, I was delighted to find they were hosting an exhibition of historic costumes. As a lover of handcrafted things, embroidery and cloth is at the top of my list of favourites, and since I embroider on occasion myself, I understand the amount of time and effort that goes into stitching beautiful fabric pieces. There were people busy studying the costumes and standing reading the information boards at various points of the exhibition, I photographed around them therefore my photographs are sometimes severely out of chronological order. I could have sorted my photos into better order but to be honest I don’t have the energy for that and I figure that as long as you see all of the photos in the series, does it really matter what order you see them in? Any OCD tendencies I have, stayed remarkably silent on this one. Small information boards accompanied the costumes with the dates when they were worn and the style they represent, I used these as much as possible to give information about each of the costumes in this post.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is not a lot of light in some parts of the tower so it was difficult to get good photographs sometimes, this is the costume of a Dutch woman (1570-1600)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Spanish costumes (1550-1600)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Renaissance English costume, (1450-1550)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Renaissance Saxon (1450-1550)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Gothic costume (1350-1400)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There was even a childrens section where kids were invited to try on costumes and “become” one the Knights Templar for a little while. If I remember  Little Mr. at the age when he was interested in this sort of thing, the possibility of using the swords and shields would have been the biggest attraction in taking part of this.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 8, 2019

Heavy Shoulders Never Used…

The Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower in Zierikzee was meant to be constructed to a height that would have made it the tallest building in the world at the time. Financial difficulties meant that building was discontinued so what was supposed to be the base of the large tower, became just the small tower we see today. These walls were meant to shoulder the weight of a massive tower, instead they sit like a heavy fortification never put to test. There are decorative elements around the tower, it’s well worn but that’s to be expected when you are 565 years old. I take a look to see how the tower was built.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 7, 2019

Saint-Livinus Monster Tower, Was To Have Been A MONSTER Tower…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Zierikzee in the Dutch province of Zeeland is famous for the small squat tower called: “Sint-Lievensmonstertoren”.

It’s not the only time I have visited this tower, the first time was waaay back in 1988, as a kid whilst on a trip to the Netherlands with my parents.

Back then I climbed to the top of the tower, and somewhere in the dark vaults of storage boxes tucked in the back of one of our cupboards I have photographs I took of views from the top.

Wikipedia was most helpful in telling me all about the history of the tower and that the sight we see today was not the one originally intended, but rather just the beginning of a far grander endeavour.

In fact it’s worth going to the Wiki page: Wikipedia / Sint-Lievensmonstertoren / Zierikzee / The Netherlands (English text) to look at the drawings because this “would have been” the tallest tower in the world had things gone to plan.

Wiki tells us:

“The Sint-Lievensmonstertoren (English: Saint-Livinus Monster Tower), also known as the Dikke Toren (or Fat Tower) is a 62 metre tall, unfinished, free standing church tower in Zierikzee The accompanying church was destroyed by a fire in 1832.

In 1454 work started on a church tower, designed by Andries I Keldermansdermans in the “Brabantine Gothic” style.

It was planned to be according to different sources, either 130 metres or 204 metres tall (the latter would have made it the tallest church tower in the world by far).

The work was continued by his relatives “Antoon I Keldermans and Rombout II Keldermans. Work halted in 1530, when the city went through a financial crisis.

The tower is now 62 metres tall, on a base of 24.5 metres by 24.5 metres. Since 1881, it is a property of the state, and it has been designated a “Rijksmonument” (National Monument building) “Monster” in the Saint-Livinus Monster Tower name doesn’t refer to monsters of any scary type, but to a “Minster”(church). I’m trying out my new telephoto camera lens, so even sitting on the steps in front of a house in one of the main streets, I can still zoom in enough to get detail and even see visitors at the top of the tower even though they are some distance away from where I am sitting.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Later shots from below…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / Sint-Lievensmonstertoren / Zierikzee / The Netherlands (Longer article, in Dutch language)
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sint-Lievensmonstertoren

January 6, 2019

Little Faces Stare Down From The Façade…

Continuing through the streets of Zierikzee I photograph beautiful pieces of architectural detail: a house that has an entire series of female faces around the upper edge, just before the roofline. At first I thought that maybe they were angels, closer inspection reveals that they are one face, repeated around the façade under the eaves. I have no clue if this was done for luck or was just the fashion of the day, but if you keep your eyes peeled, small details pop out at you one after another. I find old brickwork, beautiful doors, a place that has a Royal Warrant, meaning that they have some official connection in supplying their goods/service to the Dutch Royal household, this is a way to boast about it. The motto of the Netherlands (always written in French): “Je Maintiendrai” formally translates as “I shall maintain” or more loosely as: “maintain, sustain, ensure, preserve, secure, keep enforce, hold, establish, protect… (thank you Google) but I’m not quite sure exactly what it is that is that is being maintained, the Dutch State? I’m assuming it must be that at the very least. I managed to take one door handle photograph in such a way that it looks like it’s floating. Other ornamental pieces are just pleasing to the eye.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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