The tourist information offers a city walk in various languages for sale. Actually there are 2 versions of the same walk. One ios in a brochure with names of restaurants, hotels and all that. And there is a more specialised one with more detailed information of the buildings and some streets. I took the last one but i forgot what i paid for it. Probably somewhere around a euro or 2-2.50.
The walk will take you along most of Gouda's main attractions. It takes around an hour and a half if you just stop to take pictures. If you're like me and hop into a museum, church and all that, you can easily be busy for a whole day (like i was).
From www.goudagids.nl :
"Gouda was granted the privileges of a city as far back as 1272 bij Count Floris the Fifth. Favourably situated at the junction of the IJssel and the Gouwe river, Gouda grew to become the sixth most important city in the powerful County of Holland during the sixteenth century. Its good accessibility and central location has led to Gouda traditionally fulfilling an important role as regional centre, with weekly cheese and goods markets. The stately merchants' houses and the many imposing monuments form the decor of a flourishing past and present. Gouda offers a range of images and impressions. Gouda is internationally renowned for its beautiful gothic Town Hall dating from 1450, which can also be viewed on the inside. St. John's Church: Its fabulous stained glass windows dating from the sixteenth century certainly deserve closer inspection. And of course, nobody should leave Gouda without trying the famous syrup waffles! "
When we get into the city they were busy with the market, right in front of the "church" Incredible number of shops managed by old guys and ladies selling vegetables,animals and I am not quiet sure about minerals...We were hungry and decide to eat before looking around. I decided to eat and take pictures of the market lately. While we were having lunch (Late lunch!), the market dissapear...pufff!!!!! They were cleanning the floor of the squeare with pressurized water. So let's try a firs picture in front of the "church"...
Fondest memory: The ice cream....I will tell later.
By the way, the market is a great experience in any country you visit. I do regret letting my stomach to dictate the pattern of that day. Markets open in the square in fornt of the Town House on thursdays and saturdays. There is people who avoid it, there is people who love it. But at least they are people...Bad is when you find people that struggle to be people.
- By the way, what's the name of the "church"?
-Church? It isn't a church. It is the City Hall !!!
-City Hall??!!!!!!! Damn, I though it was the famous
Gouda's Saint Jacob.
-No, this is the city hall. We will take you to Saint Jacob but it is not open today and you will need a flash to take pictures even outside because is dark already.
-No flash , no pictures. Let's give a second try to a smile here and let's have an ice cream in the shop I can see from here on my left.
Fondest memory: LEt'sd make not jokes of the town Hall becasue this is a quite respectable building. You can gueess that it is not being used in the sense of a modern offcie building. Beauracry moved to different venues and this building, besides being a symbol for the city, is used in ceremonies. Why i though of of it as as church? Simple. Because it is a Gothic Style Building and in my mmind Gothic and Churchs are put together like dirt and nails.
Gouda is famous for the Gouda cheese, however this place is not producing cheese anymore. They imported from People Republic of China. In China they can produce it by one millionth of the price and they can sale it for 5 million times the price they get it. SO, producers , consumers, importers, exporter, and even the cheese are happy. The idea of importing the cheese form China was first put forward by the former primer minister of Israel: Gouda Meyer!!! (-;
The Cheese market depicted here has in the front wall a splendidn high embossing chiseled in white marble(?) showing the old good days when Gouda produced smiles for its inhabitants. Let's old traditions to come back. Proletarians of Gouda! Make cheese!!!
Fondest memory: The ice cream shop close to the marquet square in front of the City Hall has a selection of yummies. Travel with kids. Convince them to get a different kind of ice cream each. Enjoy the mixture. Keep your diet going on...
The St. jans Church is known for its 70 stained glass windows. In fact this is one of the biggest collections of stained glass in the world! Its very impressive and i guess tiy can spend several hours there gazing at the immens scenes painted on the glass.
A visit to the St Jan church should not be missed by anyone visiting the netherlands who is interested in art and history!
View my travelogues for pictures of the stained glass
The Tourist Information office you can find on the main Square on the side where the back of the city hall is turned to.
It is located in an old building with the name Arti Leggi that dates back to 1855.
De Waag is the building of the cheese market. Its open every thursday from April to October.
IN Summer, roughly from mid june untill the end of August, there is an open air cheese market in front of the Waag every thursday morning.
Gouda's city hall is, in my opinion, the most beautifull in the Netherlands. Its the oldest free standing Ghotic city hall in the Netherlands.
I can be visited every day, except on sunday.
Entrance is 0,75 Euro
Fondest memory: The hospitality of the Dutch people. Staying with my friend's parents was a very interesting experience. I learnt that not all Dutch people are fluent in English - though really the language barrier didn't create any problems. One fond memory I have was of our fondue evening outside on a lovely summer's evening.
Every Thursday between 12 June until 28 August from 10-12:30 hrs
Cheesemarket and old crafts.
During the year the normal markets are on Thursdays and Saturdays around the Town Hall.