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And there I was, making my way from the port back to the city going through the Catharijne gate. As soon as I pased the gate, on my left side, I saw another old building. It wasn't special and looked just like another house of some rich family of the historic Dordrecht. But the name was funny: "Huis Bever - Schaep" which means House Bever-Sheep. Funny but not surprising. Dordrecht was known as a very wealthy town, sort of a paradise for traders and merchants, so I automatically assumed that it was some kind of a warehouse. But then the "bever" didn't make any sense. Sheep could be associated with wool, but what about the bever??
But the story is actually much more simple. Dordrecht had a mayor named Willem van Beveren. Van Beveren was one of the richest and most important families of Dordrecht, who were merchants as well. The son of Willem, Cornelis was the one who married a woman from the family Schaep.
The house by the water was named after Cornelis van Beveren and Cornelia Schaep, and therefore got its name as Huis Bever-Schaap.
If you look at the top of the building you'll see the family shiled held by a bever and a sheep.
Looks like the house is private and there's no way to get inside. But it was nice to learn more about the history of the city and its buildings.
Written Jun 3, 2005
Dordrecht has only two city gates that survived. Being a very wealthy city by the water, of course Dordrecht had many more. The Catharijnepoort is the gate that you find right by the water, few meter away from the water-bus taxi. It is believed that the gate was built around the year 1652. The name of the gate is a mystery. Some say that the architect could have a wife or a daughter called Catharijne, but some say the gate could have beem named after the wife of the mayor Cornelio van Beveren's wife.
The gate is not big, but very interesting. The stone has a very light color, unsual in compare to many other constructions that survived for such a long time.
The gate leads to another hostorical building of Dordrecht, called the House of Bever and Sheep
Updated May 30, 2005
While in Dordrecht, pay attnetion to the buildings. Being a very old city Dordrecht has some very interesting and old structures. Walking on the Museumstraat I saw these 2 houses, in a long row of building, that was leaning toward the street more than other houses. Strangely, it looks like this was the original design because the first floors of the houses are perfectly straight and only starting from the second floor the structures are crooked.
We found similar houses on our way from the Grote Kerk to the port. Now I have to go back to Dordrecht to find out about the mistery of the leaning houses.
Written May 29, 2005
Not that my Dutch is good, but even for me it was easy to understand what the name means. Guessing that the original name is written in Old Dutch it can be translated as "Kijk over de Dijk" which means View over the dam.
We came across this windmill looking for something else, which was actually at the opposite direction, as we found out later. Unfortunately, we were too late to look inside of the Windmill, which is open only on Satudays from 10am to 4pm.
Like every other windmill in the Netherlands the Kyck over den Dyck had its agricultural purpose. It was used for corn.
There were times when people actually lived in this windmill, but since 1932 it is just another windmill.
The area in which the windmill is located is interseting too, but rather strange. Right next to the windmill there is a bar but not that kind that would recommend to anybody or made a VT tip about. We were thirsty for a beer, but didn't feel like walking inside.
I still think that it was nice to see the windmill of Dordrecht. I bet the views from its top are really beautiful. Maybe next time....
Written May 29, 2005
Johan and Cornelis de Witt are two very important figures in the Dutch history. Natives of Dordrecht the brothers are mentioned in many historical facts of the Netherlands.
Johan de Witt, who studied in University of Leiden and excelled in math and law brought prosperity and financial success on the provinces of Holland and Friesland. And also known as a person who led the Dutch people to the end of the First English War by proposing the famous Treaty of Westminster he also was the one who brought the Dutch people to the Treaty of Breda during the Second English War.
His brother, Cornelis, besides being the burgomeister of Dordrecht, became famous accompanying general de Ruyter in his battles against the English. When Cornelis bacame ill he returned to his hometown to find out that he is accused of disloyalty and soon was brought to the famous Prison Gate in The Hague. Later his brother Johan came to visit him in the prison, on the day Cornelis was supposed to be released. Instead of returning to Cornelis his freedom both brothers were caught and brutally lynched.
Nowadays, the statue of the Brothers de Witt is standing in Dordrecht infront of the "Raadhuis" (City Hall)
Written May 29, 2005
The Dordrechts Museum won't impress you with paintings by van Gogh, Vermeer, or Rembrandt, like many other musems in the Netherlands. This place has the collection of paintings by painters who where natives of Dordrecht. Personally, I never heard of the painters such as Willem van Leen, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Jacobus Leveck, Arnold Houbraken, and many other 17th century's painters whose works are now can be seen in the museum. Additionally, the museum has a collection of works of painters of art school of The Hague and Amsterdam.
The first building was built as cloister and served as a house for people who suffered from diseases and mental ilnesses. Later the complex was expanded and since the year 1904 it became a museum.
The Dordrechts museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Addmission 5.50 Euro is
Written May 29, 2005
Address: Museumstraat 40
Phone: 078 - 648-2148
As we arrived to Dordrecht we just wandered around the city without having any particular place in mind. This is how we came across the Park Merwestein. The entrance was a gate with a very medieval look, so we actually thought that we're getting into another "hofje" which are usually found in every city in the Netherlands. But what actually found out was a nice park with canals, little bridges, and even animals. Not that Dordrecht lacks nature, but this little park in the middle of the city was really nice to walk in.
Later we found out that this park was created in the 1885 in the style of English landscapes and untill today has the status of "Stadspark" the city park.
It is not one of the must see attractions, but if you come across this park I am sure you will enjoy your visit
Written May 25, 2005
In 2005 VTer Urzu was jumping through this court, like a monkey, but in the 16th century this was the place where William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) became the offcial "stadholder" of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. He even lived here for a while, before he moved to his residence in Delft.
Het Hof was build as a monastery in the late 13th century, later, during the 80 years war with Spain the sons of William the Silent had their headquarters here. The monastery was later called Princenhof and then renamed to its present name Het Hof, because this was the popular name for it.
About 40 years ago, 't Hof was almost destroyed completely by the city council who owned it by then. Fortunately this idea wasn't accomplished. Instead, the complex was reconstructed thanks to the new foundation "stichting het hof".
Written May 23, 2005
This used to be an Augustin cloister built as early as 1275. Around the inner court yard there were a hospital, bakery, brewery and other service buildings.
After a fire in 1512, the whole complex was rebuilt in Renaissance style.
It's an enormously important location. In 1572, the 12 States of Holland came together for their first meeting of free states, deciding to revolt against Spanish rule. It was here that William of Orange was made Stadholder, the leader of Holland. This is also the link to my hometown Brielle which was the first town to be liberated on April 1st 1572.
Written Apr 6, 2005
Address: 't Hof
The Scheffers square was actually a bridge called Tolbrug which was broadened in the 16th century to create a stone cover over the harbour. The square itself could only be reached by stairs. On the square a commercial exchange was built to promote trade with England.
Written Apr 6, 2005
A.S. Design Suites Dordrecht
2 Reviews and 4 Opinions Very nice accomodations, only 3 rooms in the "hotel" nice view of the street below