Local Heart, Global Soul

July 14, 2011

The Ingenuity of Merging Cities but keeping Traffic Seperate…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Most large cities today have encountered the phenomenon that I am about to describe.

A century ago, nay, even maybe 50 years ago, it may have been possible to have see the green boarder that expended around the perimeter of  The Hague and separated it from the districts,smaller cities and villages around it.

Scheveningen, Loosduinen  have since merged into the greater Den Haag area but the Voorburg, Leidschendam, Rijswijk, Nootdorp and Delt are still separate municipalities even though only the last two have any degree of physical separation from The Hague.

Today I am taking you to part of Rijswijk, (pronounced ” rise wyke”) which is effectively just a short tram ride from the Hague and there isn’t much to show you have crossed from one to the other since once side of a street is now Rijswijk and the other is Den Haag with only a name board to designate the two.

Most of Rijswijk is like any other city, shopping centers,  suburban houses, light industry, commercial areas etc but this walking tour  is through a nice park area called the Rijswijkse Bos, Von Fisennepark and  other smaller parks that now run into each other close by.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First, let me show you how the Dutch manage to merge foot, cycle, tram and vehicle traffic.

Of course there are many old and narrow streets nearby, but there are also larger streets and these have been divided up in such a way as to keep the various traffic flows as separate as possible.

There are even little mini-versions salt trucks and road sweepers that are especially designed to fit, clear and clean the cycles lanes.

In some sections the tram lines are closer to the road, some lines are in the road, but here there is a decent grass strip that contains the tram rails and a healthy distance away the cycle path and a little further away again the pedestrian path.

This makes for safe  and easy cycling and it would be an understatement to say that bikes are well used here, in fact for every photo I take, I usually have to delete 3 others because some stray cyclist rode though the middle of the photo just as the shutter closed.

So if you found yourself here and didn’t know which was the footpath and which was the cycle path, how would you tell? It’s a little hard to tell from my photos by in general cycle paths have red bricks and footpaths grey ones, and the cycle paths are the straight ones.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Or if you still make a mistake, the cycle paths are the one with the cyclist bearing down on you at a great rate tinging madly on their cycle bells to warn you to please  get out of their way sharpish before they hit you.

I can tell you now,  that if “someone” has to give way and evacuate to the grass verge to avoid a collision it won’t be the Dutch cyclist… you are on his cycle way and you are fully expected to move.

These shots were taken on the Burgmeester Elsenlaan .. so let’s enjoy the views along the canal and try and creep up with my camera on the the “reigers”  fishing on the banks.  A Reiger (pronounced “ry gher” ) is a Heron in English and they also have the nickname here called “Haagse Ooievaar” which literally means ” a Hague Stork”.

The Stork is the official emblem of the Hague, but they are scarce to be seen, mostly because of their preference of nesting on the flat roofs of only the highest buildings, and herons on the other side are plentiful and look  like the storks far smaller cousins.

The one thing that is mandatory though, is that if you want to call a Heron a  Haagse Ooievaar, you must then pronounce it with the thickest and broadest working class accent of the Hague. (but more on that one in another post).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 13, 2011

A Place to Return to…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More trawling through photographs taken last summer (I have so many folders of photos on my computer it’s  wonder the laptop still runs LOL).

This set took my fancy to show you today.

This is the Tram Remise on the Laan van Meerdervoort.

The word “remise” ( the Dutch pronounce it “ra meeze”) comes from the French word “remettre”  (to return, to put back).

The best word to use in English (I think) would be “depot”  because basically this is where trams come to sleep at night, and where maintainence and repairs are carried out.

It’s owned and operated by  HTM (Haagsche Tramweg Maatschappij) and there is another a few other remises around the city, including one in the Frans Halsstraat that was built in 1906 but is no longer a working remise because it’s now a Public Transport Museum.  When I can walk properly again I aim to go to the Museum and give you a virtual tour afterwards.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the meantime, here are photos of a working remise, had I been bolder I might have just walked right in and asked for a tour and some history but I wasn’t quite feeling that “forward” at the time so you will have to make do with photos taken from around the perimeter.

The windows hadn’t been washed recently so I had to press the lens right up to the glass to get any image at all, but still, it’s an insight into the private lives of trams and the tram system itself.

The whole remise is the size of about two city blocks , so we shall start at the entrance…  the poles and overhead wires are the guidelines for the electric power supply that runs the tram system and there are 21 “bays” for the trams to housed in at night, and each line can house more than one tram from what I can make out from the massive length and depth of this part of the building.

I leave the Laan van Meerdervoort and start to walk down the Lijsterbesstraat, where on my right I quickly encounter the biggest car wash you’ll ever see, ok not car wash of course, it’s for washing trams.( Photo number three).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before I turn into the Vlierboomstraat, I can see trams in the maintainence workshops and later around the corner, separate bay doors lead to the place where several historic trams are in various stages of being stripped down and restoration.

Turning into the Ribesstraat so that I can head back to the Laan van Meedervoort, it’s clear that is is were all the administrative and such is done, there’s not much to see on this side, but a quick look in one window a little further down the street startled workers inside on a coffee break (and I’m not sure who got the bigger shock, me or them!) I waved at them hurriedly and smiled because I didn’t know what else to do and by now red faced, walked on as quickly as possible.

The tram service here clocks up an amazing 137 million tram passenger trips per year, in a city with a population of 485.000 and they run on electricity and not petrol or diesel so I really like trams and it’s lovely to see the historic ones being done up (There are some older trams that can be hired as “party trams”)

I must mention though, that there are even newer trams now in service than the red ones in my photos, I haven’t been out and about enough to compile photos yet though, but they are sleek and modern,  and blue… so here’s a link for a photo: http://www.freewebs.com/randstadrail/rrvoertuigenhtm.htm

So now my history bent has extended to Public Transport, after all,  are not trams surely be the coolest public transport of them all?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 12, 2011

Three Beautiful Figures…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On one of my walks last Summer,  I crossed over the Conradkade Bridge, situated at the junction of The Hague’s longest street:  The Laan van Meerdervoort.

The bridge is a favourite of mine because it’s beautifully decorated with these simple but stunning  figures of a young woman who accompanies two children…

There is extra detail too, like the car at the base (best seen in the  second to last photo) and although I searched I didn’t find a plaque or date anywhere.

I’m no car expert but might that style of car be from the 1930’s ?

The older female looks almost too young to me to be the mother of the children, an older sister perhaps? … a nanny?

I wonder about who this sculpture might have been based on every time I pass by here.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2011

Grand and Beautiful, and a Mystery to Why it Disappeared…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another posting in my series of historic photos that had been posted on large billboards around the city of the Hague by the The Haagse Gemeentearchief  (the Hague City Council Archive).

All of them are photos of various points in the city taken between 20 and 150 years ago… and all are situated as close to the spot as possible  (and where practical) to where the original photos were taken, so that viewers can see both the past and present views.

Even though the billboards are long gone now, I went and took photos of many of them whilst they were up and have been trying to look up any historical information on them so that I can learn more about what The Hague was like in bygone times.

This billboard photo shows the Tournooiveld , and a large building on it, amongst the information I found about this area is that in the 17th and 18th centuries, this was the area where the “ Leydsche wagenveer” coach service would come to take  people to to the city of  Leiden, and apparently there used to be five of these beautiful 17th century buildings here but three of them were demolished some time in the 20th century.

The title of the billboard is ” Tournooiveld 1, het huis van Caen. 1860” which translates Tournooiveld (street/location) house of Caen  1860″. Please note that the number 1 in this case denotes that it’s the first of two billboards at this location and isn’t the street number of the building in question.

Whilst I couldn’t find information on the  exact positions of the houses were that had  been demolished, but since the buildings in the “then” and “now” photographs don’t match at all, it’s fair to assume that this must have been one of them.

What a shame, since the old building looked very grand and beautiful. Sigh, “progress” eh? One saving grace is that at least the broad  and leafy boulevard remains, this time trams take the place of horse and carriage and traffic, but no, sadly you can’t catch a tram directly to Leiden.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 4, 2011

A Statuesque end to my Peace Palace Tour…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing my posts from my archive stash, of the area around the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace) in the Hague.

The Carnegielaan loops it’s way around three sides of the Peace Palace so I followed  it around to where it meets the Groot Hertoginnelaan and on my way I encounter three more statues.

I will show you them in order of appearance … and once again they are all on very busy stretches of road so probably many people have passed by in haste to be somewhere but never actually stopped and lingered long enough to see the details.

The First statue is very much a counterpart in style to the Van Karnebeek Bron of yesterday’s post.

The panel on the left side translates into English as:

“Freedom is the natural atmosphere of spiritual and economic life, Freedom  limited by responsibility and Justice”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The middle section depicts the portrait of Mr. H.C. Dresselhuys  (1870 – 1926).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Dresselhuys was a Dutch politician, statesman and was involved in a political party that advocated resolution to conflicts by peaceful means.  It therefore becomes clear why this monument  to him has been placed on one side of the Peace Palace grounds.

The panel on the right side translates into English as:

“To bring Peace, warless or labour peace means to reconcile: to build up and to give of your own free will, Good is only borne from Peace”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Second statue is just a short distance away on the same side of the street. It’s far more classical in design and depicts portraits of  the Maris brothers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Jacob Maris (1837 –  1899) and  Willem Maris (1844 –  1910)  are two of three artist brothers who belonged to a group of artists  known as  “The Hague School” of painters.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Jacob became famous for his ability to capture the famous “dutch light” in the brooding skies of his landscape paintings.

Willem Maris followed in his older brother’s footsteps but was also very well known for his animal paintings, and later for his dutch landscapes that exhibited more colour and freer style of brush strokes than his brother Jacob.

The classical female figure writes the text on the monument, which translates into English as:

“Artists do justice to the land of Rembrandt”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finally, some distance down the road is a Third and more whimsical statue of a lady with a parasol.

When I took the photo, I  looked around but found no plaque to identify her, but Himself recognised her immediately because she is Eline Vere, a famous character from the novels of the dutch writer Louis Couperus who wrote and rose to fame in The Hague in the 2nd half of the 19 century.  The character of Eline was melancholy socialite from The Hague who was depicted in a natural and realistic way that defied writing convention of the time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Thus concludes my tour around the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace) for the moment, but once I am mobile again these photos have inspired me to put a visit inside the Peace Palace high on my to-do list.  Peace is always worth visiting far more than once, right?

July 3, 2011

Remembering the Foundation of Peace…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This monument  called the ” Van Karnebeek Bron” (Van Karnebeek Spring)is named for Mr. A.P.C. van Karnebeek  (Jr)(1836-1925) who was the  chairman of the Carnegie Foundation.

For his work in founding of the Peace Palace, van Karnebeek and the board of the foundation were honoured in 1913 with this  monument that also commemorates the opening of the Peace Palace on the 28th of August 1913.

The fountain was designed by Willem C.Brouwer (1877-1933) and stands on the edge of the Zorgvliet Park on the corner of the Scheveningseweg and the Carnegielaan in The Hague.

The text on the monument outlines the names of the Board, the architects, the boards of the building committee of the Peace Palace and the committee of the Carnegie Foundation.

(information from wikipedia, text translated by Kiwidutch from Dutch http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Karnebeek_bron)

Considering that this fountain is right on top of the famous Haagse Beek, it would appear that the “spring” in the title  may not be quite correct. Surely it means that it takes water from the Haagse Beek … after all the  Haagse Beek emerges above ground in the grounds of the Peace Palace directly across the road as my last two photos illustrate.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 2, 2011

If the Free don’t walk this Path, Who will?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Next to the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace) in The Hague there are not only pretty mosaic seats to sit on, but also an unassuming stone column that deserves closer inspection. Inside this slim column  is The World Peace Flame, and it’s surrounded by a small path called the World Peace Pathway.

The inscription in the plague  on the ground reads:

The World Peace Flame. In July 1999 seven flames from five continents were united to create the World Peace Flame.

The World Peace Pathway.  96 nations joined together to cooperation  and solidarity to create the World Peace Pathway. Opened 27 April 2004. Please add your prayer for peace as you walk around. www.worldpeaceflame.com

On the information board that lists all of the countries that have contributed stones to circle this path, there is the following joint statement made by each countries representatives as  Ambassadors for Peace.

Ambassadors Statement for Peace:

We believe our coming together in this initiative forms a powerful statement that the nations of world can unite in peace and friendship. We are convinced that peace is  not only possible;  it is one of the most urgent needs of our time.

We affirm that ecvery single human being has the right to peace and justice and that at the same time peaces is a responsibility we must all assume. We also endevour to provide full and satifsying lives for humanity’s future generations.

It takes courage, faith and committment to unite in the cause of peace. The World Peace Pathway  will serve to inspire individuals and nations worldwide to come together in peace solidarity and friendship.

This is a little path, easily overlooked in the hustle and bustle of being next to a  very busy road. People rush by, many oblivious to the  small monument here. That said,  Peace is often like that too… a little side thought, on the edge of the busy humdrum of work and life in general.

Yes, as suggested, I did add a little prayer for peace as I walked around. Clearly the road to Peace is a rocky one.

I prayed that each and every one of us who enjoys freedom might be encouraged to actively work harder than we do, to promote Peace. That we walk-the-walk, instead of just talking the talk and wishful thinking.

Now all I have to do, is to figure out how I can personally put that into practice. Any advice welcome…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 1, 2011

The Mosaic of Peace…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today’s post is another taken from my archive  of photos taken last summer.

These are arty, sculptural,  functional seats that stand outside of the Vredespaleis  (Peace Palace) gates.

Obviously the theme is “Peace” and for me at least, mosaic is a perfect choice of medium, after all, are we not wishing and striving for Peace amongst all styles and colourful cultures of humanity?

And are we not all bonded together on this planet,  looking  to fit all our various shapes together in harmony?

I know all is far from perfect in the world, but I do think that for all but a very few selfish people, that Peace is something  most of us would all love to see in our world in our lifetime.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 29, 2011

The Lady who sits on the Anna Paulownastraat…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

No walking this summer so I’m diving back into my photo archives of last summer.

This little statue sits on the Plein on Anna Paulownastraat.

Anna Paulownastraat is named after Anna Paulowna Romanov,  the Grand Duchess of Russia, wife of King Willem II of the Netherlands.  Anna was born on January 18th, 1795 in Saint Petersburg and died in The Hague March 1st 1865.  Anna’s Father was Tsar Paul I of Russia between 1797 and 1801  and in February 1816 Anna was married to the Prince of Orange in Saint Petersburg.

The newlyweds first lived in Brussels  but were then required to move to The Hague which Anna found to be more provincial than she was used to  and she had difficulty adjusting since she used to the more formal and ritualistic style of the Russian court.

When her husband succeeded his father Willem I as King of the Netherlands in 1840 she was a supportive Queen but did not get overly involved in political affairs. They had five children together,  the oldest of which became the future King Willem III.

This statue sits under the centre-most tree of the plein by the intersection of  the street that now bears her name: Anna Paulownastraat, and the  Bazarstraat in The Hague.

Each summer some of the local cafe’s put out benches and seats onto the Plein for their patrons, and I thought it rather amusing as the statue looks like she’s sitting in the middle of  them as one of the patrons.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 28, 2011

Forget Boys Toys…

Filed under: LIFE,Miscellaneous,PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Himself picked me up from physiotherapy the other day and wanted to make a stop at a shop to get some DIY stuff on the way home. I waited in the car and a few moments later, this vehicle pulled into a parking space across the street. My camera was in the car so naturally I took the opportunity to grab a photo.

Lady, I like your style!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.