Local Heart, Global Soul

September 29, 2018

Hopefully Back To Former Glory…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Turning around 180 degrees from the Scott statue in Christchurch, my eyes come to rest on another impressive historic building, and one of the cities oldest. Wikipedia tells me:

Now known as “Our City”, or “Our City O-Tautahi”, registered with the istoric Places Trust, and located at 159 Oxford Terrace, this Heritage New Zealand building in the Queen Anne Style, was built to be the Municipal Chambers but since 1877 has had several changes of use.

From 1887–1924 it was used by Christchurch City Council as their civic offices, providing room for meetings of the council and for housing staff, before they moved to the Civic.

It was then used for many decades by the Canterbury Region Chamber of commerce and served as the main tourist information. These days it is an exhibition and events centre.

The Christchurch Municipal Council first met in 1862. Later that year, it became the Christchurch City Council. The council used Christchurch’s first public building, the Christchurch Land Office, as their meeting venue and for housing council employees.

The Land Office was built in 1851 on Oxford Terrace on the banks of the Avon River, just north of where the Worcester Street bridge crossed the river. The building had various public uses. It was built on Reserve 10, which was a section of land reserved for public buildings.

In 1879, the council administration had run out of room in the Land Office, and a competition for new civic offices and Town Hall was announced. After all the competition entries proved too expensive, the project was abandoned.

Another competition was called for in 1885, this time for just civic offices (i.e. for a council meeting venue and for staff), and on the same site as the Land Office. Controversy erupted when the competition was won by Samuel Hurst Seager,  who was young and relatively inexperienced, and his design in the Queen_Anne style, an architectural type unfamiliar to New Zealand.

The building was completed on 24 March 1887 and council met for the first time in their new premises on 4 April 1887. The south façade of the building has two terracotta sculptures by George Frampton that represent ‘Industry’ and ‘Concord’

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In 1919, Council concluded that their premises were once again too cramped and started looking for an alternative.

A bill was put to Parliament, seeking permission to extend the building to the north of Reserve 10 on land designated for public gardens or promenades, Instead, Council purchased the burned out shell of the northern half of the Agricultural and Industrial Hall in 1920.

Construction started in 1922, and the new offices, now known as the Civic, opened on 1 September 1924 .

In 2010, council moved into their fifth civic office; to date, the Queen Anne design is the only purpose built civic offices in Christchurch.

Parliament passed a Christchurch Municipal Offices Leasing Act in 1922, which allowed council to lease the building that was situated on Reserve 10.

The Canterbury Chamber of Commerce took the lease and held it until 1987. Part of the building was subleased to the Canterbury Promotion Council, later known as Christchurch and Canterbury Marketing, and they were in the building until October 2000. Part of their function was to provide the main tourist information centre for Christchurch.

On 2 April 1985, the building was registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now called Heritage New Zealand) as a Category I historic place, and is a feature of the city.”The building was taken over again by the council and opened as an exhibition, event and meeting space for the community in July 2002, branded as Our City O-Tautahi.Damaged in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake and closed with heavy bracing installed around the building. The building is insured for NZ$5.8m, but repair options are in excess of that. One of the options has been estimated at NZ$10.5m

I knew this building when it was a tourist Information site and love the architecture. I realise that restoring it will be quite an undertaking, but hope that one day soon it can be bought back to it’s former glory.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / “Our City” / Heritage Building / Cr. Worcester St & Oxford Terrace / Christchurch / New Zealand
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_City,_Christchurch

May 29, 2018

Finding The Beehive…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the buildings in Wellington New Zealand is not only iconic and famous, but also etched into my childhood memories.

That building is of course the “Beehive”, the name of New Zealand’s Parliament building.

It stands next to the old parliament building, of typical English colonial style, square, grey, columns, graceful and formal.

The Beehive in contrast looks exactly like it’s name, taking the form of a medieval beehive, an upturned basket, small, compact, and … round!

Interestingly New Zealand’s national co-ordination centre for Civil Defence is (or at least still is, as far as I know) in the depths of the building, ready to co-ordinate all sorts of agencies, rallying in times of a national or large disaster.

When there are “events” such as the large Christchurch earthquakes, all of the emergency services become quickly overwhelmed.

Help is therefore recruited from local organizations, businesses, clubs and volunteers who have practiced for these situations.

For example: four wheel drive club members turned up to help get Doctors and Nurses to hospitals over broken roads impassable to anything except off-road style vehicles. Businesses go through practiced drills to account for staff members and get them into safe areas.First Aiders will gather at places like schools to help assist with the many minor injuries and triage those who need urgent transportation to hospital. The irony is that the Beehive sits on top of a huge fault line, how they would manage co-ordination should the “big one” hit Wellington, I don’t know, but I assume that they have a range of measures in place. My sister, Mother and I did a holiday tour here in our early teens; I still remember our time in the old parliament building, and eating lunch in the sunshine on the steps outside afterwards. The building is not high compared with its downtown neighbours, and there are so many new high rises that we found the Beehive harder to locate than we thought. It peeks out with us on the wrong side of one-way streets, until finally it pops into view.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 28, 2018

Both Foreign And Familiar…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON,WELLINGTON & REGION — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Following on from yesterday’s post, Himself and I are driving back into central Wellington for a dinner appointment with the daughter of one of my oldest friends. I’ve known her literally from the day she was born, and even though we have been continents apart for most of her life, there have been plenty of visits and time spent together over the years. She is a very talented artist and is finishing up her Fine Arts degree in Wellington. On our way to her flat (apartment) we take a look at the center of Wellington city. It’s changed a lot since the first time I visited here as a kid, I feel that with each visit more high-rise buildings have been added. The rain abates for part of the journey and I try to document a city center that is both foreign and familiar.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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March 12, 2014

Going To The Stadhuis To Get Married…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes there is a place, the mention of which always conjures up and instant image. In Delft this image is for me that of the Stadhuis (City Hall).

It stands in the central square of Delft, the “old centre” the sort of which can often be found in old European cities.

The building used to be the main building of Delft’s city council (city hall) but these days most of the civic duties are held elsewhere and just the wedding ceremonies are held here.

Such is the popularity and beauty of the building that there can be a waiting list of up to a year to get married here, although that depends entirely on the day of the week, with Saturday’s being the most popular. In the Netherlands you are “legally” deemed married by the State after a ceremony that takes place in the Gemeente Stadhuis (City Hall) and a religious ceremony is an optional extra that has no legal standing.

My Sister in Law was lucky enough to be able to change her second choice venue to her first choice of the Delft Stadhuis only due to a late cancellation by another wedding party, and having attended the ceremony inside I can vouch for the beautiful historic interior.

Wikipedia tells me: “The City Hall in Delft is a Renaissance style building on the Markt across from the Nieuwe Kerk. It is the former seat of the city’s government, and still today the place where residents hold their civic wedding ceremonies. Originally designed by the Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser, it was heavily changed over the centuries and was restored in the 20th century to its Renaissance appearance.

In the town hall from 1618 are some group portraits, and portraits of the counts of Orange and Nassau, including several by Michiel van Mierevelt (1567–1641), one of the earliest Dutch portrait painters, and with his son Pieter (1595–1623), a native of Delft. The oldest part of the complex is the tower covered in “Gobertanger” limestone from Wallonia, a building material used often in important renaissance buildings in the Netherlands up to 1600.The tower, called “De Steen” or “The Stone”, was originally built around 1300 and has decorative clockfaces from 1536 and the bells were made by Hendrick van Trier and Francois Hemony. The facade has a “Justitia” statue. Under the tower is an old city prison where the assassin of Willem the Silent, Balthasar Gérard, was kept before sentencing.”

It’s of course an imposing and beautiful building, but in this respect it’s not alone because facing it at the opposite end of the square is another especially imposing building that vies equally for the attention of the visitors and residents of Delft….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Hall_(Delft)

October 21, 2013

The Weather Is Glorious, But Kiwi Daughter Is Thunderous…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This page of my diary finds me in Bruges, Belgium and is a journal of our travels last summer.

We now walk for lunch and a well earned rest  to the Bruges  market square and Gementehuis  (City Hall). Again the area is thronged with tourists, horses and carriages plod by  regularly, but we are pleased to be here on a market day, so browse the stall under the deep shade canopies.

We find some steps to sit on in the shade with a bag of fresh cherries and strawberries and sit people watching as we eat.

Himself and Little Mr  went off earlier to do some other things and to catch an extra dip in the pool, Kiwi Daughter isn’t in a good mood after opting to stay with Velvetine and I at The Chocolate Line shop and then later wishing she’d opted for the pool option instead.

She’s got her nose out of joint that we won’t now take time out to walk to the other side of the central city to deliver her back to the hotel, and I’m annoyed because I want her to realise that once you make a decision you should live with the consequences and not expect everyone else to change their plans to accommodate your  change of heart. I also want her to accept that then turning on a tantrum and trying to ruin my day definitely isn’t the way to get me to change my mind either. Velveteen tries to talk sense to her and also fails, we try phoning Himself but he’s not at all pleased at the prospect of  dragging Little Mr away from his swim just to please Kiwi Daughter so he declines to come to us (and fair enough too, I totally agree with him).

It’s a physical impossibility for me to manage a back-and-forth to the hotel and back so Kiwi  Daughter will just have to suck it up on this occasion. She’s not doing that particularly well so this day is turning out to be not such an easy one. As a consequence the photos we took around the Bruges market square and Gementehuis  were a bit rushed. We were distracted and a little too tired and hungry. A rest was certainly in order and after some stern words, a few tears (mine and hers) and a good sit down, she and I calmed down and got ready to go where Velvetine and I wanted to go next.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 18, 2013

Thousands Of Old Buildings, Hundreds Of Beautiful Ones…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

Another page from my last summer’s diary as Family Kiwidutch and visiting Singaporean friend “Velveteen”cram in as many adventures together as possible.

In this diary page I’m going to show you why central Brugge (a.k.a. Bruges) is such a tourist magnet: the entire city centre is brimming with antique olde worlde charm. Of course it’s all very kitch and over the top.

For example there are troupes of horse drawn carriages full of tourists clop,clop, clopping past us on the cobbled streets every few minutes, almost no matter which part of the central city we are in, but when it comes down to it the carriages just all part of the Bruges experience. There are old buildings by the thousands, beautiful ones by the hundreds, so avoiding tripping over tourists who stop suddenly in front of you so that they can take their next photograph is also a hazard to be aware of, but having said that I’ll have to admit  Velveteen and I were “that” tourist  fairly often too!

We were here over several days and were treated to extremes of the weather as we were drenched in the hosing down rain or bathed in brilliant sunshine in turn, so our joint photos show the typical fickleness of a northern European summer too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

July 14, 2013

The Dutch Stadhuis: Where Marriage and Judgement Sit in Adjoining Rooms…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I didn’t know anything about the history of the “Stadhuis” of Veere  (City Council Building / City Hall) so went to google for some help… I found a Dutch text there and translated the most interesting bits into English for you here:

The Stadhuis of Veere can be found on Marktstraat (Market street) in Veere, Zeeland.

It is built in the gothic style and features in it’s ornamentation statues of the four men and three women of Veere.

The Stadhuis is one of the top one hundred UNESCO monument buildings in The Netherlands. On the ground floor is the “Vierschaar” (this translates literally as “four square”) which was the term used in Dutch for a tribunal, or early court.

Before national laws were introduced each town had a committee of seven men (noted townspeople and sheriffs) who acted as judges and “vierschaar”referred to the four-square dimensions of the benches in use by the sitting judges.

Many historic Stadhuisen had a room set aside for this purpose, which were also distinctive because they were often decorated with scenes from the Judgement of Solomon. Construction of the Stadhuis began in 1474 and was completed in 1477.

It’s undergone two restorations during it’s history the first in 1885 and the second in 1930-1935. Since 1591, the Stadhuis has had a tower with a set of carillon bells.

The melody of the carillon is changed four times a year by changing the drum, a process that used to be a two day process but now takes about five hours with modern tools.

The Stadhuis has a wedding room on the first floor, and today the Vierschaar Museum is also located inside the building where a permanent collection of art and the silver cup of Maximilian of Burgundy are on display. The building also hosts annual exhibitions.

Kiwi’s Note: Many people are surprised to find out that you have to be married by the Gemeente (city council) for your marriage to be legal in the Netherlands. A church ceremony may be done as an additional and optional “extra” but is not the legal ceremony.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For this reason every Stadhuis in The Netherlands has a wedding room where marriages take place and often, especially in an old historic Stadhuis, these rooms are beautifully and ornately decorated.

Due to the narrowness of the streets and the arrangement of building around the Stadhuis in Veere, it was difficult to take photographs that captured the building as a whole.

In the end I came to the conclusion that maybe this was a good thing because by taking photographs of the “pieces” we can better appreciate the detail of this amazing building.

There are a mixture of photos here, a few are from the first trip we made to Veere four months ago and the rest are from last weekend’s second visit.

In case you are wondering about who the “four men and three women” are who are depicted in the statues, I have no idea, and couldn’t any documentation to tell me either (most likely because any information will be on local Zeeland sites). I intend to ask our friend if he knows.. but I do find it interesting that there are seven statues and there were seven judges… a coincidence?  I’ll try and find out.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadhuis_van_Veere

January 20, 2013

My Old Point And Shoot Really Doesn’t Do This Place Justice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These photographs were discovered in a camera chip that I accidently left in a camera that met it’s demise in the hands of Little Mr.  in 2008.

To be fair he was an energetic and inquisitive toddler at the time, who upon the discovery of tablecloths and shiny silver gadgets must have thought all of his Christmases had come at once (although in our case it was actually Saint Nicolas, not Christmas).

In these photos I had gone for a wander in the Hague central city very close to the Binnenhof complex of old and new Parliament buildings.

The new Parliament building was added between the Binnenhof complex of the old Parliament buildings, and the old and highly ornamented Department of Justice building and the joining of old and new is a bit startling from some angles.

There is of course now a far larger Ministry of Justice building not too far away because this building is now far too small for all that is required for a modern day court system in The Netherlands but I have already resolved that this building deserves a closer look once I’m properly mobile again.

The last photo is of a large department shop called “Peek & Cloppenburg” and there are a few beautiful doorways thrown in for good measure.

For the full account of Little Mr’s nefarious deeds read here: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/new-960/?preview=true.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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July 17, 2012

The Whizz-Through City Tour …

Filed under: Kids and Family,LIFE,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are following my retrospective tour of New Zealand, a trip we made in December 2011- January 2012. In this post we’ve come back in Auckland City and need to make a small detour … so take a tiny bit of the scenic route back out to the motorway.

Sadly we don’t get to stay long,  another visit is necessary to see the sights properly and this visit we have too many other things that have taken priority.

Driving through the central city in early January, the kids spot Christmas decorations  on buildings and let out whoops of delight.

Noooo kids  this doesn’t  mean there are more gifts on the way any time soon. Little Mr. who was six years old when I took these photos still believes in Santa … we will have to see if that lasts until this Christmas as I predict that various classmates might be intent on spilling the beans later in the year.

Needless to say, any glimpse of  “Santa”, even clearly fake ones on the sides of  buildings  is enough to remind him that Christmas is still in the very recent past and that being on holiday may extend the flow of treats if he’s lucky.

Well, it might score him an ice-cream if he’s good and doesn’t attempt to kill his sister in the back seat but we know he’s dreaming very unrealistically about very large boxes of play mobile (that we have no hope of getting on our suitcases and home) he can definitely dream on!

Our family policy is that since they already get to “double dip” because half of our family celebrates Sint Nicolas at the beginning of December and the other half celebrates Christmas on the 25th, that one large-ish and one smaller gift  each at each event is enough, they have more toys already than they need.

We head on out of the city and I catch a few shots out of the car window as we go.

I’m pleased to pass by the Parnell Market (the two photographs of the red brick place with big chimney) but disappointed not to have time to go inside… but the mixture of architectural styles keeps me both happy and busy with my camera.Of course I end up taking mostly photos of the more traditional buildings as they always catch my eye the quickest as we go by.

Regular reader  and fellow Foodie blogger Raymund  from http://angsarap.net/ lives in this beautiful city and will probably know all the places I passed there off by heart….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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July 16, 2012

A Tower in the Sky and a City of Sails…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are perusing the pages of my Travel journal, and following our New Zealand travels of December 2011- January 2012.

It’s early January at this point and we are leaving Northland and heading south.  Whilst I’m too amoured with the South Island and the Christchurch region to ever want to live in Auckland (for me there’s far too much motorway and way too busy) there are some aspects of the city that I love and get a buzz from every time I see  again.

Auckland and Manuaku Cities sit back to back on two adjoining harbours, and a relatively tiny strip of connecting land is all that prevents New Zealand’s Northland from being an island.

Consequently the two harbours have many bays and sailing is a very assessable and popular pass-time so it’s little wonder Auckland has earned the nickname “the City of Sails”. Christchurch’s deep water harbour and  port on the other hand is on the other side of the Port Hills in Lyttleton and whilst sailing is also popular there it’s not a patch on the marinas that are seemingly almost everywhere around Auckland’s shores.

Auckland’s Sky Tower is also a new addition to the Auckland skyline since I left New Zealand to live in The Netherlands.  Wikipedia tells me:

The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. It is 328 metres (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast,[4] making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.”

The sky tower is imposing as we round the bays and I never tire of the views as I come over the Harbour Bridge and back into the city…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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