Monday, August 08, 2011

Apeldoorn and Vicinity, Netherlands

As I mentioned last post, it was a week ago that we went to Apeldoorn, 60 miles NE of us here in the Netherlands, for our first photo-hunt in over a month.

Guess what images I processed before anything else:

Yup. Weathervanes. I'm enamored of them.
All of these, except the one of the 2 gold horses, are outside of Apeldoorn.

Which is another way of saying it's the journey and not just the destination! Even though Apeldoorn was our 'hunt' of the day, we sure saw a lot before we got these two water towers:

The one on the left is in Woudenberg, from 1937.
The one on the right is in Radio Kootwijk, from 1922.

In Woudenberg, our first stop, someone needed a potty break (not to mention any names), so since we always come prepared (when nothing else is available), how can you beat this:

I stayed behind with my camera, loving the Klompenpaden sign.
Klompen are wooden shoes, of course = wooden shoe paths.
Leave it to the Dutch!

Once back in the car, Astrid directed TomTom to Kootwijk, 15 km west of Appeldoorn, where we stopped for our prerequisite koffie met apeltaart. It's one of our coziest times of the day when we go out-n-about. Kootwijk was a typical medieval settlement for the 6th-11th centuries, so it was fun to walk around in the immediate vicinty to see something of the area.... this Dutch Reformed church from the 17th century.
Kootwijk means "sheepfold area," so the sheep sculpture makes wonderful sense.

Kootwijk is a farming community, with a nearby campground for summer vacationers.
Besides a group of kids biking through the village, we watched horseriders stop for koffie.
Gotta love the architecture, especially with the thatched roofs!

Then it was Radio Kootwijk, 5 km east of Kootwijk, with approx. 120 inhabitants. It was known as the "center of the world" for the Dutch in the 1920s because of its shortwave transmitter which connected them to their colony in the Dutch East Indies.

On a cloudy, overcast day, the main building appeared ominous and foreboding.
It was designed by a Dutch architect, Julius Maria Luthmann,
and was called 'Building A,' 'The Cathedral,' or sometimes 'The Sphynx.'
And yes, as you'd imagine, it was taken over by the Germans in WWII.

It's a perfect building for apocalyptic processing, don't you think?!

All of that before reaching our destination of Apeldoorn! Did I mention that my brother Jim married Wilma, whose parents came from Apeldoorn before moving to America in the 1940s. Wilma even has a sister buried in Apeldoorn, so I felt more connected to the city than usual.

We parked acrossed the street from the 1892 Grote Kerk, "one of the most important neo-Renaissance churches in the country, if not the most important."

It so happens that Apeldoorn is the city of one of Holland's royal palaces, which I'll get to in a minute.
The Grote Kerk serves as the "royal church," so it's not surprising that Queen Wilhelmina stands outside.
She was the Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 - 1948, longer than any other Dutch monarch.
"Outside the Netherlands she is primarily remembered for her role in World War II,
in which she proved to be a great inspiration to the Dutch resistance."

So when you walk into the "royal" church, you see the royal box!
It's at the back of the church (where you enter) and faces the altar.

As a Dutch Reformed church, it's wonderfully open and bright,
in stark contrast to the Roman Catholic churches we see.
Notice the chairs set up in front of the altar....

...look at how they are kept in order!
This is so typical of Dutch ingenuity. Ho-hum for Astrid.

And look at that high pulpit!
I wonder if it's used every Sunday, as well as the low pulpit?

We climbed upstairs behind the altar to find the organist who was playing from 2-4 p.m.
His tongue helped him play, of course, and was out more than in. :)

From the church we walked to city center to visit City Hall and the Saturday market, one of the biggest we've ever seen.

On the way, we passed a memorial to all the Canadians who helped liberate Apeldoorn
from the Germans during WWII. This is for you, Sham!

In the top-left image you see a corner of the very modern new city hall.
The old city hall is the typical backdrop to Saturday markets everywhere in Holland.

These are two different ladies in their klederdrachten = national costumes.
The top lady took off her jacket so I could take her picture. She was so proud.
This was the first time I have seen ladies in their klederdrachten at market!

From city center, we walked back to the car...with all shoes on...

...not seeing nearly as much as we wanted but enough to get a taste.

We had one more landmark to visit, before calling it a day...the Dutch royal Het Loo Palace ("The Woods Palace") which was the residence of Queen Wilhelmina till her death in 1962. Now it's a state museum. Queen Wilelmina is the grandmother of Holland's current Queen Beatrix.

Astrid stayed in the car while I took a few pictures of these Royal Stables.
That's all we saw of the much bigger palace site but at least we could say we had been there!
One day maybe we'll go back to see more?!

How's that for a way to end the the parking lot of the Royal Stables.
It somehow seemed appropriate. And Granny Towanda did not mind!


  1. Not to mention any names, but you'll show a photo, ha!

    The thatched roofs are great. What a cute town.

    I really thought your "Sphynx" photo was an old postcard!

    How wonderful to see where Wilma's parents came from. This is very special. The interior of the church is just beautiful, I love the ceiling. And those beautiful costumes on those beautiful women!

  2. Your blog is just fine on my iPad. The only difficulty is that I cannot view the blog while in the comment screen (as I am able to do on the computer). So I have to trust my memory (HA!) in order to comment on specific images. Since it's early and I've not yet had coffee to wake up, I'll just have to come back later to comment properly!

    I think the reason my images don't scale properly on the iPad is because I hacked the code on my template! A little knowledge... :-) More later!

  3. Ruth: No names, just pictures, right! Astrid is so good at taking a joke. :D

    I loved seeing this area of the Netherlands, almost in our backyard. The landmarks, like Radio Kootwijk, are significant. So much history! Wilma should be very proud of her heritage. I feel like it's also mine!

    Thanks, Sister.

    Victoria: Thank you for clarifying about the iPad. With everyone seemingly going the way of it, I thought I was doomed. HA! Anyway, I am honored that you come so early in your morning without a cup of coffee. Thank you.

  4. It must have been culture shock for my Grandpa and Grandma Nieuwenhuis when they landed in Grand Rapids!

    I love the Dutch Reformed church, especially with the sheep. I hope the congregation is still being shepherded well.

    And the national costumes are so... authentic! (Duh).

    Thanks for doing this. It means a lot.

    Love from New Amsterdam ;-)

  5. Nathan: Awwww. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! What a nice surprise. I just can't believe it's taken us this long to get there (Apeldoorn), knowing all this time that your mom's family is from there. It's a small world after all!

  6. Alright, I'm back to comment properly :-) now that I've had my coffee and breakfast and done a few chores too! I'm in LOVE with the Dutch Reformed Church and sheep images in that collage... a perfectly marvelous collection of images including the photographer barely in the frame!

    Radio Kootwijk is indeed ominous in appearance and perfect, as you noted and perfectly executed, for the post apocalyptic processing! (say that last 10 times fast)

    Your church interiors always capture so much detail... they inspired me to take more photos myself of such things... and still I found myself wishing I'd done more, differently to capture some of the details now that I'm looking through all my images! Next time!

    I love the chair collage and the high pulpit... my goodness... that is a hike! And the concentration on the organ player's face (tongue hanging out and all) is marvelous. Oh... and the women in their native costumes! Well, you can see why I need to be able to see both your blog AND the comment window in order to let you know what images really caught my eye. I used to think I wanted to have a Jaguar one day (if/when I could ever afford it)... but they are lovely to look at and not so lovely to own if they ever need repairs!

  7. Drat... left out the weather vanes... MARVELOUS assembly of the variety of them you captured... till next time... :-)

  8. "When you have to go, you have to go".... grin...
    After that break I could think again :)
    It was a delightful day, we went by a lot of backroads, that way we see more of the authentic country.
    I know Apeldoorn is special to you because of Wilma's relatives.
    It is a wonderful city with a rich history.
    Radio Kootwijk is very different from my imagination, it almost looked unreal.
    Another great post of a delightful trip, one to remember.
    Dank je wel MLS.

  9. Victoria: Your comments always greatly humble me because you take so much time with them. THANK YOU. I love finding out what things in my post grab your attention.

    It's funny how the weather vanes are what excite me these days almost more than anything else. I keep hoping to find aother unique one and I usually do, which continually surprises me. So many of them appear to be cutom-made. I wonder.

    Astrid: As they say, "We all have to go sometime." :) I love that nothing about your humanity embarrasses you.

    I love driving the backroads of Holland. It's new every time. We are so lucky, aren't we!!!

  10. Oh boy!!! While waking up this morning I had this big pull for Europe.. Quite possibly it was the universe telling me to read your blog (and more)...

    I just love the architecture and that village of Kootwijk. Now that modern city hall reminds me of a building we have here called the Crystal Gardens. The architecture is quite similar!

    I'm still itching to figure out how to travel with Cammie to Europe. How and were we might do it too!

  11. ET: HA! You always make me feel so good about my posts of Europe. You and I both come from the States, so no wonder we're both enamored! The architecture really does charm the pants off of us, doesn't it.

    Whenever you figure out coming back to Europe, I know you'll let us know. I hope we're still living here then. :) Thanks, Jen.

  12. I really enjoyed looking at all those photographs, Ginnie. It's like been there :-)

  13. Anyes: Awwww. Thank you so much for stopping by here and commenting. It means the world to me. :)

  14. Wow! It looks like you have been doing quite a bit of touring! The organ looks like one that would require a master to master. :)

  15. Tim: We love our day-trip photo hunts! And what's especially nice is that most of them are so close to home. We feel so lucky. Thanks for your comment.