This year there has been created an ice skating facility in the Castle of Woerden, for that reason it has been baptized the Ice Castle. It is great to skate so high above the ground floor, with an view on the town.
Around this time of the year great tasty beers are on the market. In summer you can buy fresh, lime and lemon flavorous beers, in winter there are spicy dark beers, those are the ones I like, so I always make a little stock to get me through the rest of the year.
There is a street with real villas in Woerden. It is a row of villas build at the old entry road of Woerden. That would have been the 'East gate/ entry of the town, in those days they were the first houses you would see entering town, now they are in the middle of the centre. Some are very beautifull so here follows entries about the row of villas. The first house is called 'Alpha', the last 'Omega'.
Early this morning I took this picture at the canal. Though it doesn' look like it, it's in the centre oposite the castle. The litlle house on the water is an 'tea house' which used to be in fashion in the 1800's.
A side from the central square there is a small square, inside the 'inner court' of the former army barracks (1700 army barracks). This square used to be hidden and not used until they reorganized the centre a few years ago. It's an intimate little square which is used by restaurants and an Italian delicacy shop.
The National Symbol of Holland, a lion. It is placed above the entry gates of the former army barracks. It is build in the time The Netherlands was a republic. The Netherlands was a European republic between 1581 and 1795. We funny enough prevered a to be a Kingdom.
Woerden used to be a place big in cheese. There is stil a cheese factury and a cheese freezer? company. This picture is taken from a former cheese storage booth. A place to store cheese but also for the process of ripening. It is now an appartment block, with one appartment for sale..., the one on the top, so if you care to live in Woerden in a former cheese booth, now is your chance!
I took this picture from the entry of a group of appartments. The message on the post boxes is indeed "NO", no un-addressed advertisement material, no local newspapers and above that no parking - private area.
This is the backside of the old cityhall. I have learned that it just escaped the demolition hammer. At a certain point in time middle aged buildings were seen as unattractive landmarks. The city council hold a secret meeting where they voted it should be removed. However some history loving count or earl was tipped, he just arrived in time to prevent the decission... (this was arround the 1920's).
Sinterklaas Stockholm 2008 was quite a happening again! The Dutch community sponcered my coming to Sweden to play Sinterklaas. It was great fun to do and to see all the places and people again! Just as if I haven't left. Thanks to Lise van der Eijk we have a lot of action pictures!
Sinterklaas arrived at Slussen by ferry, from there in a great procession the crowd walked to the Dutch embassy, there the embassador hold a little speach and all the kids received their gifts for the holiday season...
Before Christmas is coming we have Sinterklaas, that is a National festivity celebrating the visit of Saint Nicholas from Spain (see Ineke's blog, Rotterdam, for more Sinterklaas entries). Usually holiday gifts giving is done on this holiday at the 5th of December.
This is a box with 12 happy looking Sints and Piets..
I will be going to Stockholm for a weekend to play Sinterklaas for the Dutch community in Sweden. It is great fun to do and maybe the Hanninge blog will do an entry..
The chocolats are for our hosts in Stockholm (I will be staying on Ostermalm!)
As I write this the snow is falling outside and it is all quit at home and outside. For some reason snow always reminds me of peace thats probably because flocks wihrl down so slow. This is a pricture of the Calvinistical Church across the street, oposite my house, taken from my window. The building is from the 1930's build in the tipical Dutch thirties style. It is quite a lively community as I see a lot of people go to church on sunday morning. Some times when I pass by you can hear the psalms singing of the evening service. It reminds me a lot of home and childhood when our parents used to take us to all the services in the traditional church of my home town.
The color shop, sells paints and paintings across the street. I have had a poster framed at this shop it was cheeper than the other options, but eventually I am not satisfied with his work and I can't get a refund.... :(
Yesterday was a sunny day. I have taken 3 days of from work to study. When I took a stroll to strech my legs I saw that the statue of a couple was tucked away behind the back of a stall. The statue is life size. It used to be part of a horrible work of art, made of bronze and plastic. I am glad that it has been removed but they kept 'the couple'.
Tonight is St Martens Eve, that mainly means that kids with Chinese laterns go past the doors and collect candy. My closest city celebrates Saint Marten quite big, because it is the protection Saint of the city. I believe it is also the protection Saint of The Netherlands.
The celebration is experiencing a come back but is not really a religious event.
A kids song:
Hier woont een rijk man, Here lives a wealty man Die ons vast wat geven kan, Whom could gives us something, he can Geef een appel of een peer, Give an apple or a pear We komen 't hele jaar niet meer. We will not come until next year
Last week I took my mother to with me for a visit to the Koningshoeven Monastery. This is a monastery close to the border of Belgium. About an hour drive. This is a beautifull monastery known for its beer. When we were at mass a robin flew through the entry door and kept the peoples attention. It was a beautiful robin and I hope he found his way out..
Each year in the month of October and November there is a Poffertjes Eat House at an open field in the centre. Poffertjes are some kind of yeast pancakes. You eat them with powder sugar (not really my treat).
I needed to know and yes, I knew I have seen it. A group has placed all along the former Roman Empire border singposts, saying this was the outer Northern border of the Roman Empire. We have one in Woerden aswel. I happen to pass it by when I drive to bring a visit to my mother.
Another emblem which has been on the entry gate of Woerden. This is an Austrian emblem? I think so, we have been part of the Austrian Empire onces, but that is so long ago. I have tried to find some more info on the web on the entry gate. I couldn't find anything on it on the web. I should ask at the museum.
In the museum are a few big stone tables with the emblems, one of them is of the emblem of Woerden. After enquiry it appeared they belonged to the old entry gates. The walls around the city has been removed a long time ago but the entry gate remained longer. At a moment it was decided to demolish it. One building contractor was willing to do it for quite a low price. Later on it appeared this man made a fortune with demolishing builings of the middele ages because he know they contained a lot of lead (which was a valuable metal at that time).
The diamonds in the embleem is a figure which comes back in heraldic signs in this area.
Among the finding of the Roman eara is an altar stone to the Syrian sun-god Elagabal from the mid-second century. It was found in the remains of a monumental building in the village near the fort discovered in May 2003. It was erected by a soldier who may have been born somewhere along the Danube, but who may as well have been a native from the Low Countries.
For the good health of the emperor caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, to the invincible sun Elagabal and Minerva has Lucius Terentius Bassus, standard bearer of the third unit of Breuci [erected this altar].
Books... I love books and I am always reading a book. However the moments that I am tucked away in this chair with a book are quite rare. The pile of books on the chair and beside the chair are books I still need to read. The speed I buy books isn't keeping up with my reading speed..... :)
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. ~Mark Twain- Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all. -Abraham Lincoln-
City in the west of the Dutch province Utrecht, founded by the Romans in 40 AD as a castellum at the Northern Fronteer of the Roman Empire. Received city rights in 1372, forensic city for North and South Holland's bigger cities, 33.650 inhabitants.
Woerden Community contains the towns and villages: Harmelen, Kamerik and Zegveld.