Stay at the castle!
Not only an accommodation tip but i reckoned it was a thing to do for me to go down and visit Middelburg - i drove via the enormous Delta Project with its impressive and costly but very necessary network of storm barriers and causeways built following the disaster of serious flooding in 1953 -
and take the opportunity to visit and stay in the castle that is there
(i am rather passionate and mad about castles i think!! must be - visited almost every one of them in scotland and many great ones all around europe!)
which is a medieval castle that is now a youth hostel - thankfully this happens - these wonderful buildings get taken over by youth hostel organisations and we travelling nuts and enthusiastics are given wonderful opportunities to have these great places to put our feet up in!!
So its the Kasteel Westhove run by the Nederslandse Jeugdherberg Centrale - 35 hostels run by them around the Netherlands at the count a few years ago - and is in a lovely spot 15km west of Middelsburg between the villages of Domburg and Oostkapelle.
Out my window i was excited to see that i was actually near the water that makes a sort of moat around the castle!
The place is still fairly easy to get to even without your own car - theres a bus from Middelsburg station to take you there.
it was just such a lovely place - and it was medieval! and in lovely condition, clean, and out in the lovely countryside of the Netherlands!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
This church is also very striking. The dome can be seen from far. The Oostkerk is the first church in Middelburg that was built as a protestant church. Before this time all churches were Roman Catholic.
The church was built between 1647and 1667.
Several architects were involved, first was Bartholomeus Drijfhout, Pieter Post was asked for advice. And work started in September 1648. After Drijfhout died in June 1649 Arent van 's Gravezande, the town architect of Leiden, took over. Only the foundations were finished, so he made a new design. It became a monumental building with little or none of the modesty the Calvinists preached. After all, in that time Middelburg was a wealthy city. The classical style with an octagonal ground-plan is covered by a big dome with a lantern-tower on top.
The church was funded by taxes on alcoholic beverages like wine and beer. The whole population of Middelburg was forced to pay for the church, as everybody was supposed to be protestant anyway.
From 1652 until 1655 work has to be stopped, because the people had protested against this taxes and they were lifted. When the taxes returned construction continued. Van 's Gravezande died in 1662 and the work stopped for several years. In 1666-1667 the church is finally completed.
A 3d picture on the internet can be found here: http://www.xs4all.nl/~pjr/visit/pano/oostkerk1.html , place your cursor on the picture and press the left button to turn the picture.
RONDVAART MIDDELBURG / BOAT TRIP MIDDELBURG
There is a nice possibility to board one of the boats at the Kloveniersdoelen for a nice trip through the old historical heart of Middelburg.
This trip takes 40 minutes and in my opinion it is always a surprise to be able to see a ciry from a the water of a canal, stream or harbour/port.
54 persons can board each boat and you will see the old canals with on both sides lovely, very nice & rich old building dating back to the VOC era when Middelburg was an important port.
VOV stands for Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (in Dutch), Dutch East India Company (in English) you will sail through the newly restored old lock and underneath low, sometimes very low bridges.
Of course the guide will tell everything that you have to know and want to know in English, German, French.........we are all language experts here, as you know!! (We have always been a seafaring / trading nation so we had to learn languages and now it is in our genes! lolol) Moreover, WHO speaks OUR language, I wonder???
OPEN: 1st April - 10th October.
Windmill De Hoop
On the old citywall along the moat you can see two windmills. This one is called De Hoop. It is the second oldest round stone towermill in the city. Built in 1736. In 1754 the windmill burned down, to be rebuilt in 1755. Until 1920 grane was milled here. After that electro machines were placed inside to do the work. Since 1948 the municipality owns the windmill.
The windmill is not open to the public.
The youngest of the three shootingclubs of Middelburg was the Kolveniers or Kloveniers. This club was erected in 1509. They started with a home on the Dam, but in 1611 they bought the Kloveniersdoelen.
When the shootingclub stopped to exist, the building was owned by the VOC for a short period. In 1795 it became a militairy hospital. And lately it was used as a musicliberary.
HET VEERSE MEER / LAKE VEERE
When you have walked through the city, had a boat tour through the city....there is still much more!!
One lovely thing to do is: board a boat and let yourself be sailed to het VEERSE MEER.
This MEER / LAKE used to be part of the sea but we had a very serious flooding in 1953, thousands of people drowned and that awful event made our engineers think and think about another NEW AND STILL BETTER WAY to protect our country that for the largest part is situated BELOW SEA LEVEL.
One of the results of their thinking was this DAM!
People now walk and cycle there, enjoy while standing on top of the dyke the sea on their right hand and the Veerse Meer (the part that once was sea) at their left hand side: very special!
I myself remember HOW it used to be and how we SAILED seawards from the wonderful little town of VEERE!!!!
I couldn't have dreamed of there being a dyke which created a LAKE!
Oh, I could tell / write for hours here but VT space is limited, so let me go back to my advice.
Board the boat opposite the Railway Station and enjoy!!
You will be enthousiastic, I am sure of that!
Boats leave: each day 10.15AM and 14.00PM.
The boats are airconditioned and have a restaurant and a nice corner for children!
WHEELCHAIR users can board the boat easily, there is of course a special bathroom/restroom for these special guests and an elevator.
The boats will sail to Veere and back (you can take a boat back whenever you want!)
In the picture you see the DAM where in winter boats are moored to wait to be sailed back to the Veerse Meer in spring.......Year after year we ourselves in autumn sailed the boat from the Lake to this place and back in spring again.....unforgettable days!!
(See the lovely 18th Century fa?ades!!)
Zeeuws Archief (Zeeland Archive)
There are temporary exhibitions.
Currently one about the waterflood of 1953. Small but poignant.
Entry is free of charge, as is the archive.
Summary in English:
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
LET'S CROSS THE "SPIJKERBRUG"
We now have to cross the SPIJKERBRUG.
Here you see the yachts 3-4-5 next to each other. Our harbour is worthy of a visit!
It is in the town centre and you can use the same Centuries old stone steps to climb from your yacht to the KAAI......the warehouses have been changed into apartments but here too: nothing of the façades has changed!
The SPIJKERBRUG is still used numerous times per day!!
On the KAAI is WATERSPORTVERENIGING DE ARNE and members can use showers and toilets and whatever you need in the morning before having breakfast....
THE OLD FISH MARKET.....
In the City centre, near what used to be the harbour, is the FISHMARKET, no longer used as such....
The old building is still there, at the left of this magnificent tree.....
See this cobble-stoned little square!!
This photo I took on 6th August 2003 during the heat-wave.....really ZOMER IN ZEELAND, SUMMER IN ZEELAND.......wonderful weeks....
As you can see there are cane chairs underneath the trees. They belong to a little coffee shop called ST. JOHN.
A nostalgic place where it is nice to have hot chocolate or yoghurt ice cream inside when the rain runs down the windows but this summer the chairs are outside week after week, which is such a joy!
For fish we have to go to the fishmonger or a supermarket.
Which makes me think of the days that fishmongers walked through the streets with a cart full of fish....he/she rang the front door bells while singing a song to announce his arrival.......
While walking from the OLD FISHMARKET direction Railway station you will be able to walk along DE KINDERDIJK and see these 18th century mansions on the other side of the water that once was the harbour, in the "good, old days (?)" when Middelburg was second important city of the VOC....wealthy.....rich....and that still shows!
Don't forget I took this photograph during the 2003 heat-wave, that is why the boats and streets are so quiet and almost empty: 35 degrees Celsius and I walk there on my photo-safari.....
This church was the FIRST church built for PROTESTANT services here in ZEELAND.
After the 16th Century ICONOCLASTIC FURY (THE "BREAKING OF THE IMAGES") protestants had to use former Roman Catholic churches for their services.
The changed the interior but it is still clear that those churches used to be Roman Catholic churches.
This one, the OOSTKERK, AN OCTAGONAL BUILDING, was built for protestant services.
They didn't have much space to build so they built HIGH, which is the only thing you then can do!
When here: visit the church and....don't forget TO CLIMB THE OLD STEPS UP TO THE place where you can step outside and walk around the highest and smallest of the two cupolas.....let yourself be surprise by the breathtaking views over ZEELAND (better than climbing de LANGE JAN where you have to stay inside and where the windows are dirty with salt!)
Here you see the front of the church, seen from de BREESTRAAT.
LET'S TURN TO THE RIGHT ....
and you will see this magnificent old building at your right hand side.
On it are three stone tablets, wonderfully in relief, and they tell about MIDDELBURG'S GOLDEN AGE when it was an important harbour of the VOC, the East Indies Company. The Z on top is for ZEELAND and the M for Middelburg.
Trade brought richess and wealth in abundance.
SWEET OLD HOUSE.....
MY TIP: put on easy shoes and WALK, WALK, WALK....
there is a surprise around each corner.....
These very old houses are very sought after and....very expensive.
The house owner can install all mod.cons. inside but..........is not allowed to change the façade or anything els on the outside.
These houses are all on the heritage list and thus protected!
The hatch you see leads to a large cellar......there are thick hardstone steps that run down.....quite steep.....
STONE TABLETS: SO OLD.....
While walking direction SPIJKERBRUG you walk along old VOC WAREHOUSES and mansions.
Many of these have names and often a stone tablet......
TERRIFYING FRIDAY is Friday 17th May 1940 called.......
The Netherlands were already forced to surrender after the bombardment of ROTTERDAM. Capitulation was on 15th May 1940 but.........not every part of The Netherlands, ZEELAND e.g. was the exception because there were FRENCH soldiers fighting here..........
But of course GERMANY went on and on and on 17th May they bombarded MIDDELBURG as they had done ROTTERDAM...
Both cities lost their very hearts and so many, far too many innocent civilians.....
We here in Zeeland lost so many precious buildings and treasures that were meant for our children and grand children!!
Lots have been rebuilt, one stone at the time, from the same old material that was painstakingly saved from the rubble and re-used......
No one who doesn't know or hasn't seen the photographs taken that day of the 100 fires, can imagine what we lost...........That is WAR: KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE and DESTROYING well-kept monuments, whole cities.......
This house is named: THE CAMEL so.....see photograph!
ABOVE THE DOORS......
this crazy group: doesn't those angels give you (as they always do me!) the impression that they are laughing at the skeleton that is sculpted underneath them??
This is said to be the architect of the church.
During the construction of the church, which took 20 years, 6 people died by accidents and their names are painted in the smallest but highest cupola, 6 names and six dates, all perished between 1600 and 1700 AD.
Paukenweg 3, Middelburg, 4327, The Netherlands
Good for: Solo
Loskade 19, Middelburg, 4331 HW, The Netherlands
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
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