Monday, January 07, 2013

Nijmegen, NL, at Christmastime

Remember when we drove to the Christmas markets in Köln, Germany, the last day of November?  After spending the night there, we decided to NOT stay and do more of the same but to visit Nijmegen on our way home.  It's a city in the Netherlands we've had on our back burner for a long time, population 165K, because supposedly it's Holland's oldest city, celebrating it's 2000th year in 2005..

Like always, we headed straight for city center, where everything was decked out for the season...

...and because it was Saturday, the market was in full swing on the city square.
Pay attention to how close the church is.

We love to arrive in these cities at koffie-break time.
So right there midst all the market stalls, we spied this Atlanta Grand Café and Restaurant.
You know me and how I make connections.  It was a no-brainer.
Having lived in Atlanta for 25 years was not for nothing.

From there it was a short walk to the church through the market square...

...past the Weigh House (Waag) from 1612 and through the city port/gate.

And past 2 of the city's iconic statues!
The one right in front of the church is Moenen by Piet Killaars.
The lady is Mariken van Nieumeghen from a 15th century legend.

And because it was right there in front of us, we visited the Sint Stevenskerk from the 16th century.

 What a grand church from the outside.  So majestic.

But OMG, when we walked was the polar opposite of the Köln Cathedral from the day before.
Wonderfully bright and inviting.  The sun was streaming in everywhere through HUGE, unstained-glass windows, right on the magnificent organ pipes!

Did I ever mention I am a glutton for wood!

And these salmon colors!

As far as European churches go, this is one of my favorites thus far.
But that may be because the one in Köln really did depress us the day before!

Once outside again, we immediately saw a Zwarte Piet (Black Peter).
Remember that this was December 1 and Sinterklaasdag is December 5!

Speaking of which...yup, he was all over town in store windows.

Not hard to get into the spirit of things!

This is how it's done in the Netherlands!  HA!

By now we had walked through city center and were on our way to the railway bridge.

A pedestrian, cycle and train bridge, to be exact. No cars allowed.

Isn't that fun!

Daddy and daughter making a great memory!

All good things come to an end, they say.  We had to go back down!
But not before watching these 2 guys push their bikes up the side bike track.

From on top of the bridge we had seen a castle in the distance and headed for it straightaway.

It's the Kruittoren from 1425...

...and sits in this lovely Kronenburger Park.  
Black swans are rare in the Netherlands, so we were lucky to see one.

 By then we were ready to go home.  Enough is enough.
(I'm guessing you're saying the same thing.  HA!)

I even got some fancy weathervanes!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Today is my turn at Vision and Verb again...on The Answer is Within You.  You might be surprised by how I found an important answer to the beginning of my new year!  Here's a clue:

Hope you're all off to a great New Year!


  1. Such a cornucopia of beautiful photos! I think you could make several posts out of this city – there is such a wealth of historical sites.

    I know you like to look at churches but, you know, I just can’t forget who built them. At least in France, peasants were forced to work on buildings, unpaid (forced labor I think it is called) then have to pay taxes in addition to keep the buildings maintained – that is one of the major reasons for the French Revolution and why 95% of French people don’t go to church anymore – unless to take a look, since the old ones (pre-1905) are considered museums and are maintained by the state – if not, they would not be maintained at all as nobody wants to pay for them now. I don’t know if it was the same in Holland? I think now, instead of churches, forced labor is making cheap stuff in Asia for overseas market – but it’s the same concept, no? Anyway, it’s nicer to look at an old church than an old sneaker…. I did not mean to go on like that.

    I really like the series of photos of Astrid with the ducks – she is having a ball, no?

    1. You make a good point, Vagabonde! And since most of these churches began as Roman Catholic churches, especially in France, I really see the opulence in ways that disturb me, knowing of what you have written. The great divide between those that have and those that haven't is perhaps most seen in these churches.

      What I HAVE seen here in the Netherlands is the change in the church after it has become Dutch Reformed. Not so much opulence. More light is let in (usually the glassed isn't stained). I feel like I can breathe and rest and, yes, even worship.

      And yes, Astrid was having a ball with the ducks. When I look at the pictures I take of her, I see the little girl in her and fall in love with her all over again! :)

  2. Sometimes I am surprised what we do in one day. No wonder we sometimes come to a point, enough is enough. Absolute fabulous collages again. That church is so beautiful.
    Vagabonde is right. The same happened/happens in Holland.
    Those ducks gave me a laugh, I think they expected me to have bread or anything...
    Black swans are so beautiful, rare in Holland, maybe that is why I love them.
    Thank you MLS, for this wonderful document to keep. A memory added to the big list. A picture tells more than a thousand words.

    1. You're always my biggest fan and keep reminding me that I'm doing this for matter how many images I might show. Thank you. This IS for us, but if others can get a taste of just a bit of it, I'll be delighted.

      I love everything I learn from you while we are out-n-about. Hartstikke bedankt, MLMA.

  3. Oh how I adore your posts that give us an opportunity to follow along on one of your outings. It is the next best thing to being there! And now that I've experienced first hand one of your koffie-breaks, I'm sooooo envious! OMG I am so in love with Black Peter! Oh, and tell Astrid my chocolate R was devine! I also love how you both can experience so much in such a short period of time! xoxo

    1. You are one who does indeed know how these photo hunts go, dear Robin. I love that you can "picture it." All of it. They would all run together if I didn't keep track of them like this. One day we won't be as able, I'm sure, to keep up with the trips, but till then, I want to document them...for the day I can look back on them all!

      I'm glad you don't feel a need to be politically correct about the Black Peters! They are indeed adorable and have nothing to do with discrimination...any more than our American Santa's elves! xxoo

  4. The more I see of your days spent out and about, the more I am convinced that the Netherlands must have several more hours to its day :))

    Wonderful architecture, both old and new. I particularly like the Weigh house.

    1. That is a wonderful way of putting it, Anne, if only it were true. But then we would REALLY be tired. HA! At first I thought the Weigh House was city hall but no. Those Dutch sure knew how to build them!

  5. Beautiful as always Ginnie and I especially love the railway bridge - such fun for everyone!

    1. You'd go crazy here in this country, Linda!!! Thanks for stopping by to see what we see. :)

  6. All these beautiful architecture and churches and wonderful experiences - I'd go crazy shooting all of thse.

    1. You already go crazy shooting where you go on your trips, Maria. So "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" comes to mind. :) Thanks.

  7. Always so much to see... Love the pics as usual. :)

    1. Thanks, Jen. Almost TOO much! Well, we always get to a saturation point on these photo hunts and know when to stop. That's the good news. :)

  8. The black swan stole the show for me here. I have never seen one before. I guess for me, the old churches are amazing due to the craftsmanship and detail. Artistry at its finest. I do believe the peasants took pride and joy in the churches, but yes, I understand what Vagabond says, and agree.

    1. Black swans are rare in the Netherlands, Margaret...something Astrid tells me every time we (rarely) see one.

      And yes, the huge cathedrals/churches are more like museums for me because of all the craftsmanship. Some of these Dutch Reformed churches still have meaningful worship services, I believe, but so much is missing these days for people who aren't getting their spiritual needs met at church. It's really quite sad. The church really needs to figure this out!

  9. Terrific images... I love the lady statue outside the church.. the collage of Astrid feeding the wild fowl is such fun! And all those Christmas goodies in the store windows... feast for the eyes to visit you. See why I miss coming here! About Black Swans... I read somewhere once that they are native to only Australia and New Zealand... but I don't recall where I read that. Wikipedia of course has a reference:

    1. You of all people know how fun these photo ops are and can be, so how you respond to these posts always means the world to me, Victoria. THANK YOU.