Museum "De Roode Toren"
This is a area historical museum with all kinds of historical artifacts of this particular area and town.
Tuesday to friday 10.00-12.00 and 13.30-16.30 hrs.
Saturday 13.30-16.30 hrs.
Sunday (july and august) 13.30-16.30 hrs.
Free of charge.
This very fine building in Gelderland architecture dates back to the 15th century. It actually is a complex of more then one building now-a-days as in the 1800's the "Schepenen"-house (a schepen was a city-official and seconds to the mayor of the city) and the old winehouse nextdoor. The old red-brown bricks are typical for the region that knows the art of "baking stones" already several millenia. The river provided the necessary clay, that has shown of amazing good quality.
In the same style (Gelre-architecture) as the cityhall is right oposit the crossroads the "Waag" of Doesburg. This old building can be found in many historical towns of The Netherlands and used to be the place where trade transactions were made and the goods were officially weighted before selling. One can see it as the medieval variant of the now-a-days World Trade Centres.
High above the houses and monuments of Doesburg a tower is rising to the sky. This tower can be seen from large distances in all directions, but especially along the river "IJssel", it's silhouet is a very recognisable item in the Gelderland-landscape. Without it's graceful shape, Doesburg just wouldn't be Doesburg. The Martinitower has had some sad history of destruction. Cityfires and the second worldwar have taken it's tols, but rebuilt every time, it gave the town it always it's skyline back.
Inside the "Great" or "Martini" church there's another treasure of Doesburg. A monumental pipe organ and the largest in it's kind in The Netherlands. This early 20st century organ has electronicaly steered pneumatic drive (that what blows the pipes). The 75 registers contain not less that 5415 pipes are played by a four leveled organ! For it's time an amazing work of art and ... only hear it play and you will have heared angels sing!
Doesburg has always been an important town within the history of Gelderland. Therefor royal Gelria-families often had a house or court within the Doesburg centre. Nextdoor to the cityhall, one finds an example that was the "Hof van Gelria" (Court of gelria) and dates back to the 15th century. It was also a place where law and order were guided from, when a visiting duke of "Gelre" had to be there as a judge.
Doesburg means mustard and mustard means Doesburg. A visit to Doesburg is not complete when you are not going to go to the Mustard-museum. It shows the importance of mustard to this Hanze-town as being one of the top-quality products that was exported from here throughout Northern Europe (along the Hanze-network). In the museum one explaines how mustard is made, but ... doesn't tell the secret of the Doesburg mustard, which recepy dates back many centuries.
Doesburg is one of the few towns in The Netherlands that has made a herbs-garden in the style that many towns used to have one in medieval times. The place where this wonderful and special garden is situated used to be the garden of the grane-warehouse "Spijker" of the lords of "Voorst". This wealthy nobel family was of great importance to the region and had many houses, mansions and businesses.
Older then the Martini-church is the also much smaller Saint Anthonius-chapel. The chapel was a part of a complex, a kind of monastry. It dates back to the 14th century and was founded / built here between 1337 and 1354. Later the Lutheranian church took over the building and since then it is belonging to this religious order. The nextdoor guesthouse (beguinage) is part of the complex.
next to the Saint Anthonius-chapel one finds a wonderful green courtyard surrounded with rather nice houses. This is the Saint Anthonius Guesthouse, a refugee (or somewhat like a beguinage) for less fortunate that are sheltered by the church and helped out for a while. Originally the houses go back to the 16th century. The houses have been restored and are now living-houses. With this restauration each two houses became one! This shows that the original appartments were no more then small rooms.
Doesburg is already very long a city. It got it's cityrights in the early medieval times and was one of the larger and most important towns then. Now-a-days it is a small town and it has miraculously kept it's village spirit (maybe because of that). People know one another and there are a few monumental farmhouses flanking the citycentre. One of them is now a kind of meetingplace, where activities are organisied for all age-groups. Dancing, for example.
Everywhere you go you see old and monumental houses. The streets are filled with them and they are so many that one could easily loose attention to them. So, keep looking and find out more about each building that you pass. With 60% of everything being a monument, Doesburg is a true open air museum.
On the houses one also can see that Doesburg was quite wealthy and had a prosperous economical promiss to it's inhabitants. Many houses are exquisit and must be very spacious inside. These traders houses are left and right in all streets and date back to 16th and 17th century.
Doesburg also had it's typical medeival defence line. Walls surrounding the town, followed by earth walls and a canal in starshape. This is still visible on the map of Doesburg or from the air. The Northern part is now changed into a peaceful and green park, where water and hills are the remainders of the defences of this town. A welcome walk after the streets of the centre.
Walking the streets and alleys of Doesburg, you have to look sharp to see the Reformed church of Doesburg. Missing a churchtower and looking from the outside like a warehouse or large livinghouse, one could easily be mistaken. A closer look will find the small belltower on top and the long windows, showing that the space behind the outerwall much be a large room or hallway. Then finally one might see the small plate, telling that this building belongs to the Dutch Reformed church.
Take the small roads, the alleys, or dive into a small corridor that leads away between the houses. Some gates at first look closed, but already one can see through the iron bars green gardens that are well taken care of. These little parks in between the houses are called "Hofjes" (courtyards) and in old towns that have preserved them well, there are still mamy left. They bring green and peaceful hidingplaces with them and just visit a few ... you'll know what I mean then.