Hardships of the fishermen, expressed in monument
"Hier wenden zij de steven
en door wie achterbleven
werd hier op hen gewacht.
Hier werd voor hen gebeden
maar ook intens geleden
als de "tinge" * werd gebracht.
Velen in zee gebleven
Hier staan ze ingeschreven
en wordt aan hen gedacht"
* = Tinge = Tijding
These words are written in the feet of the statue, representing a fishermen's wife / mother, that walks away from the sea, but turns her head around to watch over the waves ... to her husband and son. Around it in a wall are 33 marmer plates with the names of the fishermen that never returned. from 1865. There are 353 names carved into the stones, several perished in the stormy waves of the Northsea aged ... only 10, 11 years old!
" Here the lifted their anchors
those who were left behind
here they were waiting.
Here they praid for them
intens suffering took place
when the news was brought.
Many stayed at sea
Here their names form lines
in stone as well as our minds."
The little church by the sea
Built in 1786 this little church shows the religiousness of the Urker fishermen. Only believing in God could be meaning a safe return home on the next fishingtrip. Some fishermen even in those days already went up the Northsea and staying out of port for several days to more then a week. Some ... never returned. The little church was also a place where the wife and children praid hard for a safe return.
Before this church there was another little church for the people of Urk, but ... around 1600 it became trapped on a seperate little island off the main island and people had to go through the water to go to church. The wind and water also turned the building instabile and thus it was broken down, just before the island on which it stands, disappeared into the waves.
The green facaded houses in the alleys
When walking through the chaotic strees and alleyways of old Urk, one falls from one little surprise into another. Time has been kept still here as new houses are also built in the style of the fishermen's-architecture of centuries ago.
The houses are small and when one realises that a whole family (three generations) lived there one could get claustrofobic. Well, one releave (NOT!!!) the men and boys were half the time at sea, catching the fish and earning the daily bread.
The Urker lighthouse
When shipping over the Southern Sea became more and more important, the province of Holland decided to place a firebeaken on the island of Urk. As it lay on the route from Amsterdam to the Northern outlets of the Southern Sea, it had an important role to play, besides that ... it would become a welcome home sign for all fishermen on Urk, seeing the light from a far guiding them to mother and child. The beaken however had to be replaced several times as the wind and waters again and again took parts of the island into the waves. Therefor in 1617 one made a lighthouse on a more fixed place and here it stands still, offering it''s visitors a wonderful view over Urk and the "IJsselmeer" (meer = lake). With clear weather one can see "Enkhuizen" on the other side of the water.