A small town not far from Brielle and worth a visit! Old houses, narrow streets and the quiet atmosphere of a place away from the main tourist paths make Goedereede a town out of a Netherland picture book. (Pic 1)
The Hotel/Restaurant "The Golden Lion" was build in 15th century and has once been visited by Pope Adrian VI in 1522-23 (Pic 2)
St Catherine Church was intended to become the largest church in the Netherlands but never completed. In 1417 construction began but in 1456 it burnt down and in 1482 funding ran out and construction stopped. Only the nave and the 57 meter blunt tower were completed.
The huge Tower is very typical for southern Netherlands Chruches. They were used as a fortified landmark and lightfire and can be seen from far away.
My impression was, that this kind of big and mighty church tower looks a bit strange between all the small houses.
I am sorry, but I do not have a pic of the church. For a very similar church please see the next tipp about Goedereede, a smal town not far from Brielle.
The museum is in a building, which has combined the former town hall, the city prison and the Stadtwaage (the city trading and weighing center). Going around you'll find very interesting exhibitions of the long history of Brielle starting with finds from the stoneages and showing portraits of known Brielle citizens.
I was very much impressed by the old prison cell, with the noice of creaking old doors, when I entered. There are also some old grafitties of people who suffered in the cells.
Of course the main exhibition is dedicated to the liberationg from the Spaniards in 17th century.
I liked to stroll around the quiet streets of Brielle and to discover all the lovely corners and sideways. Brielle is a town which is visited by many tourists in summer. But I was luckky to see it in November 2008. It was cold but the light was mild and the streets were almost empty. The small houses have interesting details, which tell about the glorious history.
This church has quite something to tell. At first the church was supposed to become much bigger. And the remaining foundation for the part that was never build, is stil buried under the grass that surrounds the church.
In 1575 William of Orange married his 3th wife, Charlotte de Bourbon here.
And in 1688 Mary Stuart waved goodbye here to her husband William the 3th when he set sail for England.
I wanted to climb the tower myself. But unfortunately the tower is closed in november and december. So no wide views for the tower for me. And i must admit, i was sourly disappointed.
The worst thing is that since then i've been in Brielle several times and still haven't made it up the tower....
The old town hall used to have a section that served as the town's prison from 1623 till 1891. The Brielle museum is now located in this old town prison. It is mostly just exhibition area but you can see the old purpose when you try to have a look out of the window..
If there is time, I take my guests to the windmill and around some little streets just off the main street where there are many quaint little houses. Then we return to the main street and I let them loose to do some shopping or they can sample a local drink here.
The STADHUIS in Brielle is located in the town centrum. The Town Hall dates back to 1623 and over the years was used as a jail and a weigh-house (waag).
It also houses the Brielle VVV or tourist information. I went in and received some brochures on Brielle. The attendant was friendly and helpful. Right after me, a gentleman from Vancouver, Canada asked about lodging for the night in Brielle. A fellow Canuck in the little town of Brielle. Imagine that!
This little square is hidden away between the old town hall, the main square and the area around the St. Catherijne church. It is very small and is build around an old well. A simple translation of the name would be 'around the well'. It's very pittoresque. And the big cannon rather dominates the quare..
I found that i wasn't the only one taking pictures of this square. That professional photographer was taking several shots here too..
This gate called Brighitte gate was part of the Brighitte convent. The convent was very poor. It was founded in 1493 and already in 1558 it was abandoned. After that the buidling was torn down. And all that is left of this, is this small gate.
One of the staff of the museum went along with me for a while. And before she left me to my own devices she told me that if i came upon the first floor cells, that i should step inside. It was a very dark cell so i slowly took a few steps inside. And almost got a heart attack.. I won't spoil your fun by telling what happened.. Just go and visit it one day..
Just a liitle place but look at it so lovely in a wonderful setting ,a great location along the Harbour ,a cup of coffee , a croissant a stroll along the beautiful harbour ,that is all you need ,and Brielle has it.
'' Chez Andre '' is written on the gable .
It may not be the Seychelles exactly. But being the Netherlands you are never very far from water and there there are some lovely spots just to sit and soak up the sun.
Would you believe this is an inlet of the North Sea in March? Yes, that is our own ATLC relaxing with me!
Brielle sits so peacefully on its little watery island, it's easy to forget that times were not always so happy.
So hard by the church you can find these reminders of a time when life was much less easy for the townsfolk - a cannon for seeing off outsiders, and a pillory to keep the locals in order!
I didn't find out whether there were plans afoot to use the pillory to keep in order those English people who lodge in Brielle while working in the port!
The other thing every Dutch town ought to have is a drawbridge, and this one is a splendid example.
Brielle is a genuinely historical town, once larger and more important than Rotterdam. You can see, I think, from this picture how older, traditional Dutch buildings sit side by side with newer housing built to meet the needs of the Europoort. It works surprisingly well. Brielle is very much a living working town, not a museum.
I did try to get a shot of the windmill and the drawbridge together, so I could label it "the only picture you ever need to take in the Netherlands!". But I couldn't get an angle on the two together, even though they are close.