Gouda, Amsterdam in Holland
Delft played a highly influential
role in the Dutch Golden Age (1581, the birth of the Dutch republic, to
1672). Its most famous son
is probably the Northern Renaissance painter supreme, Johannes Vermeer
(1632-1675). The city is
also noted for Delftware (blue-and-white pottery) and canals, which
criss-cross the roads and buildings. Once used for trade, they are now
focuses of leisure and improving the environment.
Oude Kerk, or Old Church
The decorative clock, with its
gold-on-black numerals, sits on a royal coat of arms bearing the gold
date '1605'. The date
must relate to the clock, as the church is much older.
The Oude Kerk was founded as St.
Bartholomew's Church in the year 1246, on the site of previous churches
dating back up to two centuries earlier. The layout followed that of a
traditional basilica, with a nave flanked by two smaller aisles. The
tower with its central spire and four corner turrets was added between
1325–50, and dominated the townscape for a century and a half until it
was surpassed in height by the Nieuwe Kerk (the Protestant New Church
whose tower was built 1396-1496, see below). Carillons in church towers
in Holland, enabling the rings of bells to play tunes at preset times
during the hour or day.
Delft New Church
The City Hall is a Renaissance-style building on the Markt (market
square) across from the Nieuwe Kerk. Resembling a church, it has a
belfry dating back to 1300, however, much of the rest of the building
was destroyed by fire in 1618 and had to be rebuilt. It bears gold
REPARATA' [two monograms]
11, 2611 JZ Delft
Former soap factory Bousquet; the
factory was founded in 1693, but it ceased production in 2003.
huis (East India House), Oude Delft 39
Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) Delft. This was the Delft
chamber of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), founded in 1602. The
College of Delft supplied one representative to the VOC supreme board.
Above: the crow-stepped facade of East India House is typical of a
wealthy merchant's home. The apparent tilting of the top over the
pavement is real: this was designed so that a gantry from the apex of
the building could winch up heavy furniture and goods to the upper
windows without fouling the frontage. This was a common feature of
these 17th century houses. 39a is the entry into a central courtyard.
It was the seat of the Delft Chamber of the ‘United East India
Company’; it came into being in 1631 after joining some older
buildings. The back was later enlarged with a storehouse wing. The
building is now now apartments. It overlooks the canal Westsingelgracht.
Gouda is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands,
between Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the province of South Holland; it
dates back to 1139. It is undoubtedly best known for a type of cheese,
but there is much more it.
The parable of the
rich man and poor Lazarus are depicted on the Lazarus Gate.
Lazarus Gate was made in 1609, probably by the Gouda city sculptor
Gregorius Cool, as a gateway to the then leper house on the Gouwe in
the Dutch city of Gouda; it is now the entrance of the garden of the
museum in Gouda. The corner carving (presumably a
gargoyle) mounted on a wall in the garden bears the date: '16...49'.
This very decorative entrance is
typical of historical architecture in this part of Holland. While it is
admirable that such things are identified, preserved, cleaned and
repainted (and given an information panel for tourists and
architectural students). However, there is a tendency for the ancient
buildings to be 'restored within an inch of their lives'. Some of them
have gleaming surfaces, plasterwork and paint so that they look as if
they were built in the 1980s. One might suggest that the word
'sympathetically' might go before
the word 'restored'. At
least these relics are preserved for future generations to enjoy,
rather than the authorities destroying them to build modern commercial
premises – it's a trade-off worth making.
Gouda’s Stadhuis (Town Hall)
The carillon plays every
half-hour on the bells seen above. Figures in a diorama move at the
same time, central doors open and Floris V hands over the documents
confirming Gouda’s city status.
At the top of the building, to the left of a fine clock face, is a
corner sun dial with golden gnomon.
Gouda Waag (Old Weigh House)
This classical structure was built in 1668 by Pieter Post. Its facade
is decorated by a bas-relief representing the weighing of cheese, which
used to be carried out here; the ancient weighing scales can be seen
Gouda, Hotel de Zalm, Markt 34,
De Zalm is the oldest inn in Gouda city. In 1551 the inn was called the Old Salm
or Gilded Salm. In 1670 was built the historic Waag building by the
architect Pieter Post located next to the tavern. The word zalm means salmon and its
statue was returned to the roof in 2006.
On side of the next-door Hotel de Zalm is
a relief of a glum-looking salmon.
HOOCH NIET TE LAECH
this translates as: ‘Not too high
not too low, just right’. This relates to an ancient dispute
between neighbours. With the construction of the de Waag by famous architect Pieter
Post, and in order to guarantee the prestige of their new building, the
city council demanded that it’s height become a benchmark for other
buildings in the area. The roof of the adjacent building, the Inn
called de Zalm, built in 1670
was required to be at least 6 feet lower than de Waag (also completed in 1670)
according to city government regulations, much to the displeasure of
the inn's owner. This displeasure is recorded in stone with a picture
of an angry looking salmon and the text in old Dutch.
Grande Café Central, Markt 22, 2801
Tucked away towards the rear of
this bar/café is a remarkable 1924 Art Deco mural by artist Piet den
Besten (1894-1972). It is the largest surviving work in this genre in
the Netherlands. Thirteen dancing women (three figures were lost
through previous renovations), with alternating black, blond and red
hair in colorful, elegant robes, adorn the walls of what is stylishly
called the Salon. In
1951, when white decor was fashionable, the work of the artist
who received an encouragement prize for young talent from Queen
Wilhelmina before the war was covered up. The nymphs in Jugendstil
('Youth Style') were lost behind wallpaper. The layer was only removed with the aid
of a steamer in 1991.
Surprisingly, the paintings were still well preserved and could be
restored. The canvasses were cleaned, which brought the colors back to
ANNO VAN PASEE I670'
, Lange Mare 51, zijgevel
Leerhandel is Leather Trade.
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Museum Square
The Dutch national museum, dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam,
had been closed for ten years for renovation. This photograph two years
after reopening (which had occurred in 2013). One wonders what would
happen if The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square closed for ten
years. The design by Pierre Cuypers was a combination of gothic and
renaissance elements. The construction began on 1 October 1876. On both
the inside and the outside, the building was richly decorated with
references to Dutch art history. Another contest was held for these
decorations. The winners were B. van Hove and J.F. Vermeylen for the
sculptures, G. Sturm for the tile tableaus and painting and W.F. Dixon
for the stained glass. The museum was opened at its new location on 13
The date in Roman numerals, 'MDCXXX1X', is 1639: the date
of the Battle of the Downs. A Dutch National Art Gallery (precursor of
the Rijksmuseum) was not established, originally in The Hague, until
Stadhouderskade 78 1072 AE
Built beside the river ... in 1864, the brewering side of the company
moved to a new 'factory' on the outskirts of the city in 1988. The site
is now 'An Experience': perhaps they've been listening to Jimi Hendrix?
The original brewery facade is, as is charateristic of many historic
buildings in Holland, clean and well preserved with delighful dark
brown lettering on a gold background in a tiled band across the width
of the building:
meaning 'Heineken's Beer Brewery
Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam
Painter and engraver Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) lived
and worked in the house between 1639 and 1656. The 17th century
interior has been reconstructed. The collection contains Rembrandt's
etchings and paintings of his contemporaries. The next-door house has a
modern facade and acts as the entrance and shop to the museum. The
fine, wealthy house has a decorative facade with the familiar red
Historic Lettering from outside
Please email any comments and
contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text
or images without express