along the canal in old Delft are mostly built of stone, but there is one
exception, The Venetian Bridge.Back in
the 17th century a brewer fromDelft visited Venice and he was so appalled at the extremely poor quality
of the local beer that he showed the locals how to make decent beer.TheVenetian’s were so grateful that they built a bridge over the canal in
Delft and presented it to the brewer. The bridge was placed with one end
leading the brewer’s front door.
A window tax
was im posed on the citizens of Delft in the 18th century and many
people blocked up surplus windows to avoid paying such a tax.Not so for one merchant who wanted to show how
rich he was and that he could well afford to pay the tax – he enhanced the
front of his house with huge windows.
merchant from Amsterdam moved to Delft he brought his house with him and
re-built it in a narrow plot on the canal side. Unfortunately the plot was just
too narrow and the façade had to be made to fit. The result was that the window
arches were not quite symmetrical.
During WW2 a
convent building on the canal side was destroyed. The Nuns were unable to
afford the rebuild and sold the site to a college for just one guilder on the
understanding that the building would be rebuilt as an exact replica. The
students had little to guide them – just sketches and drawings of the old
convent – but they made a very respectable replica. Recently a surveyor studied
the building and declared that it had been re-constructed as accurately as
possible with the exception of the roof tower. He pointed out that originally
the tower was in fact on a brewery a few plots away !
house with a black façade on the canal side has been identified as the oldest
house in Delft and a really great survivor.In 1536 the town was burned down ina great fire and this house was the only one left.
King moved to Delft he brought his doctor with him and provided him with a
small house on the canal side. The house has two front doors, a large one and a
small one. Of course,
the larger door was for the King to use whilst the doctor and his family used
the smaller one.
In 1661 Jan
Hartman a merchant from Germany,
bought three adjacent houses one of which faces onto the canal at No 40
Oudezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam.
Hartman was a Catholic and at that time Catholic worship was officially banned
Between 1661 and 1663, Hartman built a clandestine church across the attics of
his three houses – an amazing church now known as Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
(Our Lord in the attic) and one of very few such churches still in existence.
It remained in use
until 1887 when the Great St Nicholas church was built nearby.
The Hidden Village
is a tiny forest village in the Veluwe National Park not far from Arnhem in the
Netherlands. from April 1943 to November 1944 during WW2 a number of Jews were
forced to hide away in the forest from the German oppressors. Between 80 and
100 people lived in ten makeshift wooden huts which they constructed partly
underground. The conditions were extremely primitive – they had no light and
were unable to do any cooking for fear of discovery. They were tended to by
local people, especially an elderly couple known as Aunt Cor and Grandpa
Atvarious times they were joined by a variety
of fugitives, allied airmen, a Pole and a Russian and even by German deserters.
track known as Pas Op led to the village, the name of which recalls earlier
times when bandits used to rob travellers on this route.The hidden village was actually discovered
when two SS men were hunting in the forest. Of the 86 Jews hiding there most of
them escaped but eight were captured, including a young boy. They were shot in
nearby Tongerenseweg where there is a memorial stone.
Three of the
huts have been renovated as a lasting memorial and a nearby memorial stone
“ As a reminder of the hiding camp
and its founders,
In particular AUNT COR and GRANDPA
Presented by the many people who
could anchor in this safe haven
From April 1943 till November 1944.”
beautiful wild sheep with huge curly horns can be seen in the forests of The
Veluwe in the south east of the Netherlands. They were introduced to the area
in the 18th century from Corsica and Sardinia and relatively small
numbers have survived to the present day.
A very fine
sculpture of one of these animals can be seen on the edge of the forest just
behind the railway station at Nunspeet.
A mystery sculpture
A very fine sculpture of a man carrying a horse on his back can be seen alongside a canal at Gouda. Nothing seems to be known about it - perhaps you know the story?