Saturday, February 28, 2009

View on Choir of Dome Church

A shot of the choir of the Utrecht Dome church. A magnificent building with a lot of history. I took one picture inside, I will leave that for tomorrow, the Sunday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

To Eat & To Drink

If you can't come up with a name for your restaurant.... you take a number!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cooky Bakery

Some things are so old that it makes me think how did it survive the times? This building started on the 5th of June 1726, as a 'Tekantjes and Cooky bakery', the bakery stayed there until 1985. The shop stil has it's interior of the 1700's.

The bill board with the dubble eagle says: "Cooky bakery of the Dubble Eagle" (the origional is in the museum).

The sign above the ground floor is the symbol of the University of Utrecht. The text ‘SOL JUSTITIAE ILLUSTRA NOS’ means 'sun of justice, enlight us'. The seal with the round text says ‘AMICORUM CONSENSUS VIRTUEM ALIT GAUDIUMQUE’, which means 'Unanimous friends is a basis for determination and joy'. The date 1876 is attached when the bakery became the 'court' supplier for the student corps.

This bakery was very popular when it started and played a role in a 'cooky hype' about 200 years ago.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Belgium Cafe

A photo shot stop at the Belgium Cafe besides the entrance of the station. I actually never new it was there. It is located in a previous 'shelter church' this is a Catholic Church without the external display that it actually is. For hundreds of years Catholics had to be it in secret. Now the church is turned in to a cafe.

The picture is taken from the place where the organ stands. Looks like a great Grand Cafe to taste one of their beers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Ah, some scenes are too good not to share. This is Utrecht, in my opinion the most interesting town/city of Holland. The tower you see is the Dome, when I am home I can see it from afar. It is build in the 1500's and is the highest tower in Holland, it is the symbol of home for me.

(I had comments when I will post the nude woman, I will do that soon, be patient :))

Monday, February 23, 2009

Utrecht Central

Five minutes later I arrived at the train station of Utrecht, a huge hub for human transport. In the hall is an interesting piece of art. A nude man and a nude woman, waiting for the train I suppose. This is the man excited about the time schedule.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Time Table

This is a shot of the train time schedules for the train in Woerden. I live right across the train station. In Holland the public transport is well developed, if you wanted you could do without a car. The prizes are reasonable... ,it is often in my mind to consider to get rid of my car. But I found that I can't, a car is so convenient, on the other hand... a car is getting so expensive.. -haven't made my mind up yet.
I am going to Utrecht, a trip of just 5 minutes to visit a Roman Church which I discovered. I will make some pictures along the way..

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Smoking Room

This house has a bay window, nothing special, but I noticed that you can't reach it from the inside of the house, you can only enter it from the outside (you can just see this in the picture). Taking a better look, the owners use it as a smoking room....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Cat

On the same walk I noticed yet another cat watching me! Two cats a day does that mean luck?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A cat watching me

When I was taking a walk to picture the former cheese warehouses I noticed this cat observing me from behind a window. What a beautiful cat! take a look at his eyes, I wish my eyes were as green as his.

He will not be very helpfull in helping the birds through the winter I just realize..:)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Help the Birds

I am back home and thought, "let's start with a message for this winter": 'Help the birds through the winter'.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Hague 22. Orthodox Church

After more then three weeks in The Hague I figure it is time to return home. I reached my car and will had back from the west of the country to the centre in just 45 minutes!
I parked my car close to the Orthodox Church, yes there are a few. It can't be compared to the Orthodox Church of Nice. I have been inside ones, not to attend church, but the community rents rooms. I was a student and needed a room; I thought it was odd, man in black ropes, religious images everywhere and no locks on the doors! So I skipped the option.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Hague 21. It takes two to..

A tourist shop had this icon of Holland in the window, usually they come as small trinkets, this one was a lot bigger.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Hague 20. Marriage Photographer

The Court Quarter has a lot of art photography and other shops us usually don't find in city centres. This is the shop window of a marriage photographer.

The Netherlands is also in a recession, but that is something which is happening on high level. On public level it still is remaining quite unnoticed. The last St. Nicolas and Christmas celebrations had record sales. Even now public sales are still increasing. The crisis seems to be something bankers and companies have. When I read the news however it seems there are a lot of really big problems coming our way. I don't know anybody who last his job, or any shop which needs to close however. Maybe this is because the Dutch don't have the tradition of living on dept. Of the European countries Holland is the country with most public savings and pension funds. Well we will see which direction it goes to. I hope the Court Quarter will not be effected.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Hague 19. House Art

Not street art but house art, I have seen a similar scene at Sevilla Daily.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Hague 18. The Lithography Shop

The Lithography shop in the court quarter has a parrot? at the entry. It didn't look friendly, but I bet he was more shocked of me then I of him when I entered.
Besides lithographies the shop is specialized in cow paintings.

I need to get to my car because I want to go to back to Woerden. However I still will make some shots of some shops while I am walking back which I want to share..

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Hague 17. The Prince of Orange

Opposite the Palace is a statue of the Prince of Orange on a horse. Quite some skilled work of art. Every time I see this statue I have to think of a story. The statue faces the Palace, while this originally wasn't so. The story goes that Queen Wilhelmina ordered it to be turned around. This because she was irritated looking at its back side. When you take a closer look at the following picture you know why. The artist did a very realistic representation of a horses backside...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Hague 16. Wallonian Church

The entry of the Wallonian church, just besides the palace. This is/ was a Huguenots church, the congregation might still be French. But I actually don’t know.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Hague 15. The Royal Palace

I have reached the Royal Palace, one of them, it's the work palace of the Queen, and here she keeps office. In the front you see the state symbol with the crown, in the back the balcony from which the family sometimes stand and wave to us. I have lived 7 years in The Hague, never seen anything of them though.

No one time I saw one of the princes. It was the opening of 'Miss Saigon’; I worked in the VSB Circus Theatre. I had to go up the stairs in the guest area to fetch something and there was one.. we passed each other on the stairs.

It was a moment when a heavenly choir started to sing and divine light was illuminated... eeuh.. That is what we call the 'Orange spell', their aura and institution is so intertwined with nationality, history and social-something, that the Royal Institute is still going strong.

A closer look.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Hague 14. Cafe Interior

This is the interior of a cafe/ restaurant which used to be a bank. You can still recognize the bank features in the building. It has been preserved very well. While I studied the features of the building I realized that it was made by people who lived, and believed in a class system. It has been a bank for the well to do.

The class system is gone, and very well so. Reading history in fact WWI imitated the fall of the classes, that is the class system, WWII finished it. Yet we are a Kingdom and you could label Holland as a country with a tiny upper-class (Royal Family, upper management and upper government) a gigantic middle class, and a small lower class (immigrants and typical drop out city folk). But still anyone ambitious (not necessarily intelligent) can obtain a high position in government and an immigrant can become the Princess of Orange.... :)

Tomorrow the Royal Palace!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Hague 12. Hollandia

Hollandia, the proud symbol of The Netherlands. This is old; it's placed on the 'Prisoners Gate'. A former entry gate to the city. It is the place where the state kept its prisoners. The English equivalent would be the Tower (it's really small though). A famous man of Woerden stayed there before he was burned on a stake. More about that later.

The second picture is located opposite of the gate that used to be the place where people were publicly hanged, burned or tortured to death. The statue resambles Johan de Witt. He was murdered there by an angry mob in 1672, a complot of Royalists against Republicans. Prince William III of Orange had a dubious role in this.. read more here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Hague 11. The Powder Box

The Hague is a city on the black list of at the Cultural Heritage Foundation. Duringthe war the city was badly damaged (The Nazis thought D-day would start at the Dutch coast). After the war the city council for decades abused the city and tor down a lot of precious architecture. Where you see now the colourful building used to be the city council, the most ugly concrete building you ever have seen. But it was too much for most. So it was torn down a couple of years ago and this great building replaced it. It is called 'The Powder Box' it hosts clothing shops.

The interior is pretty impressive, shoping in style.

And a picture from the inside on the spot where I took the picture.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Haring additon/ addiction

Vogan Poet blog asked me a question on the text on the haring stand, here is your answer :)


MALS means tender
MAATJES is more difficult to translate, literally it means 'a plural amount of small friends' or it could mean 'several small sizes'. Probably it originates from the last meaning. It stands for haring prepared the Dutch way. The way Dutch haring is prepared is different from other countries, as far as I know. When the haring is captured the gut is removed with a special knife. It leaves the pancreas, then it is put in a wooden jar, with salt where it ferments. The grease from the pancreas has some effect on the meat. After an amount of time the haring is ready to be eaten.

Raw fermented fish is usually disgusting but in some way very good, addictive even. Northern countries (especially Scandinavia) have all kinds of rotten fish dishes which smells horrible but actually has a saliva-ing effect on your pallet.

I couldn't find an English page on Haring, but here is one. It also shows the stand in the Hague, so I have been speaking the truth.... :)

BELEGDE BROODJES means 'dressed roll' which would be a white bun with Gouda cheese..

The Hague 10. Haring stand

The haring stand just besides the entry gate of the old government buildings. This stand has traditionally always has been there. So politicians can go for a new haring when they want to have a snack. (The Dutch haring is raw, fermented haring, in fact it is actually nice, served with raw union on a white bun is just divine, the only thing is the after taste, for a day you burp the flavour of the haring, I stopped eating it)

Especially for Salma Ala. Daily Photo an extra photo of the Inner court.

It's a bit dark, but when you zoom in you can take a better look... :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Hague 9. The Inner Court

Where the city began, the inner court, the building you see is the former hunting castle from the middle ages. This building which looks like a church is the 'crown hall'. I believe it is really used ones a year. It is also called the 'knights hall'.
I am not particular fond of this image. It is very iconic for Dutch politics. It is symbol for political The Hague. Every Dutch person will recognize it immediately. Dutch politics is really not interesting, in my point of view... So we will quickly move from this place!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Hague 8. Inner Court

The backdoor of the 'Inner court' that is the centre of the historic government buildings. There the city started with a castle from the early middle ages. The central part of the castle, the Knights Hall is still there, it is now the 'Crown Hall' where the Throne of the Dutch Kings is, ones a year the Queen gives a speech at the opening of the governmental year. A photo of that tomorrow..

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Hague 7. Mauritshuis

An advertisement at the Maurits House. (It is called Maurits House because Prince Maurits lived there, he is one of the decendants of Prince William, don't ask me how and what!

The Maurits House, located on the Square, is an art museum. This is a tourist destination. It houses some of the Old Masters, I asume, I have never been there. Not for any reason, but it is simply such a tourist destination thay you don't visit it. But would be interesting to do one time I guess.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Hague 6. The Square

The Square, at least I think it is called that way. This is the square behind the oldest government buildings, or the government centre. That is in the middle of town. This statue is the statue of Prince William of Orange I, The Father of the Fatherland. Also the initiator of the Dutch Royal House.

William of Orange fought for the independence of the Lower Countries from the King of Spain. Liberated the country of the Catholic faith and.. eeuh, some other things. He was killed at the height of his reign, that always gives you a place in the history books.

This is the view on the other side of the statue. The new government buildings with in the front housings of another generation.