I already mentioned Maarten van Rossum in my Arnhem page. This warlord from the 16th century had a house in that city, but he also had one in Zaltbommel. And like that other house it's quite nice, a combination of Gothic constructional principles and Renaissance details. The man was a total piece of scum, no doubt about that, and he only ever came to The Hague to burn it down and plunder it, not to defend his acts for a warcrimes tribunal, but there's no denying he had an excellent taste. The house is now a museum about the history of the region. Entrance for adults, 2 euro 30.
For a long time people thought this building was just the entrance to a much bigger house that was demolished long ago, but more recent research has indicated that this is actually where the man lived. It's big enough. After all he had that other house in Arnhem as well.
It seemed I had chosen just the right time to visit this town. The sun nicely lit the front of this big Gothic church, revealing many of its details. This is one of the most important and best preserved Gothic churches of this part of the country. It even survived World War Two without a scratch, unlike most churches in the area. The church suffered the biggest damage when a storm blew off the spire in 1696. There even is a song about that event. But I don't think this tower needs a spire.
Unfortunately the was closed, but I returned on another occassion, this time being able to go inside too. Quite nice.
The church is open daily, except for Mondays, from April 1st until October 1st, between 13.30 and 16.30. The rest of the year on Saturdays and Sundays only, between 13.00 and 16.00.
The tower can be climbed from May until October, Saturdays and Sundays between 14..00 and 15.00. Seems a rather short time for what must be quite a climb, but I don't know if you're supposed to be down again at 15.00. Anyway, I recommend you to arrive early, just to make sure. The view should be great, depending on the weather of course.
BTW, the name St. Maartenskerk (St. Martin's church) dates from the period when it was still used by its original catholic owners. Many churches in the diocese of Utrecht were named after this saint, who was the patron of the diocese. When the protestants confiscated the church this name was no longer official, but people have continued to use it anyway.
Apart from the one of the big St. Maarten another tower graces the Zaltbommel skyline. This tower is part of the chapel of the former hospital ('gasthuis' in Dutch), a big old complex in the heart of Zaltbommel. The hospital has been turned into apartments and people are still trying to find a new public use for the chapel.
Only one town gate is left, this one facing the river Waal. It's nothing fancy, but still quite nice. Judging from the picture it is a small miracle that it survived anyway, being too narrow for heavy traffic.
Or better: the former town hall. Unfortunately the local counsil decided that it needed a new town hall and now they are trying to sell the old one. Its current shape dates from 1760-1763 when an earlier building was rebuilt in Classical style. The balcony with the double stairs is older and dates from 1724.
This was built in 1535 by an army captain Maarten van Rossem. It's got a bit of a renaissance feel to its late gothic architecture. The little towers make it rather grand but also like a defense object.
Besides museum, it is also a non-official tourist information office.
Tue-Fri 10.00 - 12.30 and 13.30 - 16.30.
1 April to 30 September on Sat. and Sun. 14.00 - 16.30,
1 October t/m 31 Marchop only Sun. 14.00 - 16.30 uur, and on Sat. only for expositions.
The St. Maarten's church has been protestant for ages, so the catholics built a new one of their own when they had the chance in 1837. They called it St. Martinus, dedicated to the same patron saint only spelled a bit more "classy", which was the trend in much of the 19th century. This church is a typical example of a late neo-Classical church. It was designed by an engineer instead of a true architect and is virtually identical to some other catholic churches from the same period. In Dordrecht and Gorinchem for instance.
This is the main church in Zaltbommel. It was built in the 13th century. It was built on the foundations of an earlier 11th century church. During the weekends you can also go inside to take a look. The church is opened from 1 to 4. From april to october it is also open to visits on weekdays.
This is also a Jewish cemetary, and it is located just a few meters away from the first one. It was used from 1786 to 1830. About 120 people are burried here and only a few grave stones still remain. In 1810 Napolean ordered that noone could be burried within the city walls. Therefor a third cemetary had to be built. You are not allowed to enter the cemetary, but you can get a view of it from the old fortifications.
This is the first Jewisj cemetray in the city. The raised earth was a burieal place that was in use from 1748 to 1786. It is believed that some 50 people are burried here on top of each other. The burieal site is loacted in the botanical gardens. You are asked not to walk on to of it, in respect to the dead.
These gardens give a pretty clear example of the plants and flowers you will find in this part of the country. There are over 150 plants from the river area. The whole garden is made up of several smaller areas. For instance they recreated a piece of river bank. The name of these gardens, Mispelhof is derived from the local tree the mispel, which is also part of the city weapon. The gardens are opened every day from 9 in the morning to 8 in the evening.
Zaltbommel used to be a fortified town. And you cans till see the remains of these fortifications. Around the city center you'll see a lot of the old city walls. But it is also nice to walk around the old moats and dikes. They have been transformed to parks. From there you can have a nice view of the city walls. And on your way you will also encounter a few of these old canons from the early 19th century.
This is the house of Maarten van Rossum. He was the patriot of the province of Gelderland and has won lots of battles protecting his area. His house was built 1535.
Nowadays the house is in use as a museum showing objects and art about the life of Maarten van Rossum. Admission to the museum is 2,30 Euros for adults.
The Maarten van Rossumhuis was built as the town residence of the famous Gelrian chief Maarten van Rossum, feared by many. The house that is still there today is actually only the gate building, but it is still very interesting!