Sunday, 22 August 2010

Now, Where Was I...?: Dutch Things

the hague, 1600

In with the new, out with the old...  erm... well, no.  In with the old and out with the...  No.  Ach. See, the trouble with moving back to a place where you've lived previously is that you presume you already know about the area and the art, architecture, and other pretties that you're moving back to. Then you realise you the extent of your knowledge is based on either 12 year old memories of your very first visit, or blurred remembrances of places seen whilst whilst singing on tour.

Memory 1: Grote, of Sint JacobsKerk in Den Haag.  Dubbed 'The Place With The Longest Curtains In The World', The Great, or Saint James' Church was a highlight of my first visit to The Hague in 1998.  It seems it was only open a few days of the year, but we found it on one of those rare days.  I didn't remember anything of the interior except for a pair of the longest white curtains I had ever seen in my life, separating the choir from the rest of the church! Going back with my LS last month, I was pleasantly surprised - yes, the long curtains were there, now changed to a fetching mustard yellow colour, but there was so. much. more!

Well, yes, for me that did mostly mean mmmm-scrummy stained glass, but I have to say it was a beautiful space and very peaceful.

Of course, there are many more things to see in The Hague, and no doubt I shall be showing them to you in the future, but I had to include the visit to one of my favourite Dutch towns here: Delft.

delft, 1580

Memory 2: The Great Delft Tea-Shop Hunt.  Rumour has it that there's an absolutely amazing tea-shop in Delft that serves the most delicious scones with cream and jam that you've EVER tasted.  Yes, in Delft.  And on my numerous visits to this beautiful town, I have never found it.  I've found numerous shops selling antique Delft tiles and Delftware, even more numerous tourist shops selling modern (and somewhat tacky) 'Delft' ware, some lovely little cafés and restaurants, and several beautiful churches, but no sign of the Tea-Shop From Heaven.  But hey, the churches aren't really a booby prize!
oude kerk, delft
The Old Church of Delft is a charming, charming building, dating from the 13th century.  The most charming of its charming aspects has to be the leaning clock tower, which was begun in 1325.

And the stained glass wasn't bad, either!

Sister church to the Oude Kerk, is the Nieuwe Kerk.

Set at one end of the market square, and begun in the late 14th century, it's really only new in relation to the other church, though!  This is the church that's related mostly to the House of Orange, the reigning royal house of the Netherlands, and inside can be found the recently restored, and rather austere, tomb of Prince William of Orange (d. 1584).

And of course, there is a multitude of stained glass on offer, too...

I'm also a fan of antique maps.  Can you tell?!


ZaftigWendy Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 16:42:00 BST  

I wonder if the curtain colors change according to the seasons of the ecclesiastical year?

Library Secretary Sunday, 29 August 2010 at 18:25:00 BST  

Fab photos. :D

Mair Bloag Weejits

Footerin' Aboot

Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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