Gouda (history)

Yes, we’re still in Gouda! (Coming week too, we predict you!) Reasons: (1) we are in absolutely no hurry, (2) we love Gouda, (3) a sister(-in-law) lives nearby, (4) the mooring fee is more than reasonable and (5) we planned to pick up good friends in Bodegraven on the 28th. Since it is just one leg from here we decided to leave not later than the 27th. This ‘borrowed’ Google Earth overview shows you where we are and how that relates tot the city(-centre). It’s a 15 minutes walk into Gouda’s very centre.

It is not exceptional in Gouda that the houses are often not built perpendicular to the street. Here you see an example, on the other side of where we are moored. It's the same on 'our' side, although less noticeable.

As noted earlier, the last part of the Hollandsche IJssel is a tidal river. This photo shows what it looks like at low tide. We even saw a former freighter, now used as a houseboat, lying on the riverbed. That happens twice a day…

The number of old buildings in this town is overwhelming. Apart from the gorgeous weather lately and the beautiful and impressive church-tower, this combination -composition almost- of antique facades is soooo nice… Did you notice that the little white building left from the picture’s centre claims to date from 1506?

Again here’s Gouda’s centre-piece, its (former) late-gothic town hall. For more, see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadhuis_van_Gouda. Use Google Translate if necessary!

  • Side

    It’s striking that the central square is fan-shaped, triangular if you like. The side speaks for itself.

  • Rear

    At the back is the scaffold. Rest assured: the latter no longer in use as such. We think. We hope.

The town’s ‘waaggebouw’ (around 1670), nowadays in use as a combined museum/tourist information. See https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waag_(Gouda).

‘A cartload’ of buildings inside Gouda’s medieval city centre are either Rijksmonument (‘national monument’) or simply Monument (‘monument’). This picture is the nicest we were able to monumentalize, because of the immaculate state of maintenance. Applicable to a Rijksmonument: don’t change anything. Applicable to a monument: hardly change anything. Well, authorization is needed in (almost) any case. Hereunder you’ll find the sign on a building that is classified as a Monument.

This is the facade of the museum ‘De Moriaan’ (the moor). The current gable was built around 1617 in Dutch renaissance style. This facade was built ‘op vlucht’, meaning that it leans over. The upper floor is thus 1 metre (over 3 feet) longer than the ground floor. Furthermore the facade (with the windows) is not directly exposed to the falling rain.

The official inland shipping route around the 13th(?) century and beyond between Amsterdam and Rotterdam – or rather between Flanders/France and the Baltic Sea Region. The route is indicated in blue; Gouda is situated more or less halfway (inside Holland (not yet: The Netherlands!)).

Map of Gouda around 1650 within its moat. (See the first picture. We are moored in what once was Gouda’s moat.) It took literally ages before Gouda started building outside the city moat. © Joh. Blaeu – Groene Hart Archieven

See the map of Gouda, before this picture. This is the route inland ships had to follow when passing this town. The dark blue part is tidal (until 1815) as there is a direct connection with the tidal river Hollandsche IJssel. Three locks had to be negotiated while passing.

Here’s the pair of gates at the beginning/end of the lock, named ‘Amsterdams Verlaat’ (verlaat = a name for sluis/lock). This lock was built in 1436(!) at the expense of Gouda and five interested other cities. These other cities had an interest in a speedy passage and forced Gouda to build through a lawsuit. Gouda itself had no interest in a quick passage because the longer ships were anchored in the city, the more their crews consumed. Together with the next pair of gates (‘Donkere Sluis’) the length of the lock was around 400 metres (around 1325 feet). After building the Havensluis (1615) the longest lock in the world was created.

Before reaching the (initial) end of the lock a nasty bend loomed in front of the ship.

The end of the aforementioned nasty bend is visible here in the background. The gates of the ‘Donkere Sluis’ (dark lock – one can see why) are also visible. These are double, one set turning inwards, the other outwards, depending on the tide. This lock is decommissioned since 1954 and restored as a hydraulic engineering monument. There’s more to tell. Too much, though, here. Therefore, see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkere_Sluis_(Gouda). In Dutch, admittedly. Nevertheless highly recommended!

A view of the ‘Donkere Sluis’ from the opposite side. It clearly shows the narrowness of the system. At least by today's standards. (The good old days…)

The history of Gouda’s harbour, the connection with the tidal river that is. In 1954, a dam with a culvert sluice was constructed on the outside of the Havensluis (‘harbour lock’) (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havensluis, yes Dutch…), due to the heavy road traffic in the area. This put an end to the main shipping route.

This is what is left of the once most important Havensluis and tollhouse. The car is prove of being a busy road there at present. One culvert is visible underneath the road. As you’ll understand the tidal river has its course behind the road.

A piece of dark history to end with. During WW II some 500 Jewish men, women and children were deported from Gouda, factually ending the existence of a Jewish community in this town. The building, in front of which these memorial plaques are anchored in the sidewalk, was from 1892 until 1943 the central (nursing?) home for Israelites in the Netherlands. On April 9, 1943, all residents were deported. Gouda’s synagogue no longer exists for the same reason. It’s still utterly sad -and shameful- to realize what has happened only 78 years back…

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 18 minutes (0,3 hours) – only up and down to a water-tap. On Saturday.

Generator this week 0 (zero) hours. Shorepower!

Weather: summer, sometimes even errr, hot! (We pity the dog.)

Hope to see you next week again!