Oudewater is a small place, so best discovered by foot. You should start your tour on Leeuweringer Straat which also houses the town's best-known sight, the Heksenwaag (witches scale). Here, women who were thought to be witches were weighed in order to see whether their weight was that of a normal woman or of a witch. A witch was supposed to be...more
As I had parked the car, just outside the town center, I passed something that looked like a Centaurus, you know, half man half horse.Except this was half old church and half modern building.It is the Ursula chapel that was built in 1412. During the centuries it was used as school, convent, police station. I saw people working inside but couldn't...more
So here's the story of the weighing house. It's hard to believe that this is not a legend, but this is how people actually dealt with these matters during the Middle Ages:Back in those days, being successful in business, casting a single dark look at your neighbour, keeping a dozen cats or even something as natural as going for a stroll on the...more
A must to see is the Town Hall, or as they say in Dutch, the Stadhuis ....In 1588 a begin was made with the rebuilding of the Town Hall that had been partially destroyed by the Spaniards in 1575. It is typical of the Dutch Renaissance style. In the facade of the building the coat of arms of Delft and Alkmaar flank those of Oudewater itself. They...more
~~~~~~~~~~~~Oudewater has always been well known throughout the centuries because of its Witches' Weigh House, the Heksenwaag.In the old days thousands of people were put to death on suspicion of witchcraft. There was however one place in Europewhere you could get a certificate proving that you were not a witch and that was in Oudewater.more
Oudewater's centre is completely put on the monumental list of the Netherlands. It contains 164 state monuments added by 140 manucipality monument statusses. Some of them I will tell about in more details, but one should not forget about the complete scenic environment that this town offers. This is best experienced by just taking a walk along the...more
This weigh house was used for trading. Specifically hemp for the rope industry. Until the 18th century ther were also persons weighed here. Persons that were accused of being witches. It was believed that witches did not weigh anything (see Local Customs tips for further info).more
The year of the building is unknown but in 1575 it was demolished by the Spaniards in a feat called the Oudewater Murder. It was rebuilt in 1588 in renaissance style but no luck rests on this building in 1968 it burned down! So it was again rebuilt and reopened in 1972. You can see the coats of arms of Delft, Alkmaar and Oudewater. Three important...more
From Utrecht Central station, take Connexxion bus 180, direction Gouda. The ride is 44 minutes and it's a direct route (no changes).You can also take bus 505 but that involves one change of bus and it takes longer.From Oudewater busstation it's a few minutes walk into the center.more
Oudewater canb be reached by car on a very easy and fast way. When traveling between Utrecht and The Hague one can take the exit at either Nieuwerbrug/Waarder/Driebruggen (nr 13) or Woerden/Linschoten and follow the signs to Oudewater. The drive is through typical Dutch low and green landscape and takes only 10 minutes from the exit to the centre...more
This little shop stands out in Oudewater where in general I did not find fashion shops to be of high standard.
Pardoes does, definitely! There were various clothes I would've liked to buy.
Can be described as very modern, not mainstream fashion, good quality and as I noticed: very well made. Not cheap though!
What to pay: The nice blouses I saw were € 100 or more.
Right on top of the Oudewater townhall is a chimney with on top of it a large nest. this is not just a storches nest, but the oldest nest of the Netherlands (as it is said). Already in the painting of Dirck Stoop (1656) that represents the destruction of Oudewater by the revenging Spaniards, the nest is painted in. The attack was in 1575 and since...more
Weigh house is on the left, beside the white building. Witches were believed to be weightless and could thus fly. Until the 18th century people accused of witchery were weighed here. But here the story goes differently than in so many other places. Weighing was always honest! So in fact, if you were afraid of being tried as a witch (and condemned...more
A historical Danger tip.
During the Dutch Revolt, when the Spanish occupied these regions, the Oudewater population was murdered out completely in 1575. Only three persons survived.
A painting about this historical fact was made in 1650 by Dirk Stoop, and now hangs in the Town Hall.
During the 16th and 17th centuries women would visit the Weigh House, to be weighed & issued with a certificate to prove they were not a witch.
The scales are from 1482 & you can try them & also be issued with an appropriate certificate !
Tourist Office Oudewater supplies information about Oudewater and surroundings.Address: Kapellestraat 2, 3421 CV Oudewater Tel. 0348-564636 Fax 0348-565372 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Located in the Kapellenstraat, just round the corner from the Town Hall. It's the white building.Opening hours:1 April – 1 October Tue to Sat : 10.00 – 16.00 Sunday...more
Oudewater is an old town that got it's cityrights before 1265 by the bishop of Utrecht. The town was situated on the border between the bisdom Utrecht and the ducy of (South) Holland and therefore a fortified place of strategic importance. Trade in - for example rope that was manufactured here - was an important economic drive to prosparity, but...more
In the here and now, Oudewater is a town that is hidden inside the green heart of the Randstad Holland. Not getting it's share of visitors that it deserves as the complete inner town is appointed as monumental and houses beautiful houses on scenic canals, as well as churches, bridges, a wonderful townhall and of course the "Heksenwaag" (weighing...more