A Travellerspoint blog

Arriving in Alkmaar

Checking in and Lunch


View 2016 Tulip Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

It was raining like crazy on the way to Alkmaar. We got to the hotel about 10:30 and checked in. It is a big room
Hotel reflected in the canal

Hotel reflected in the canal


Beds

Beds


Wardrobe, TV and Desk (on right) with scooter

Wardrobe, TV and Desk (on right) with scooter


and has both a tub with a shower and a handicapped shower with a seat in one corner.
IMG_5696.jpgHandicapped shower

Handicapped shower


Handicapped toilet

Handicapped toilet


It got to be about 12 and we went out for lunch.
Statue of a shepherd near the canal

Statue of a shepherd near the canal


I decided to go to the museum cafe. This is the building opposite the church. In addition to the library, this is where the museum is and also an Art Center
Stichting Bibliotheek Kennernerwaard

Stichting Bibliotheek Kennernerwaard

Museum building - Cafe on left

Museum building - Cafe on left


View from the museum cafe

View from the museum cafe


There was some language barrier
Flowers on the counter to order

Flowers on the counter to order

Table flowers

Table flowers


but we eventually got a cheese sandwich, a tomato based soup and tea for 25.5€
Box to pick tea bag from

Box to pick tea bag from


Cheese sandwich

Cheese sandwich


Tables in the Culture Cafe

Tables in the Culture Cafe


7625217-Looking_into_the_shop_Alkmaar.jpgPart of the shop next to the cafe

Part of the shop next to the cafe

.
Then I thought the rain had stopped so we started out, but the rain started again so we decided to go through the museum.
IMG_5700.jpg
Lobby

Lobby

On the wall of the lobby

On the wall of the lobby

But first I showed the lady at the desk the copy of the Polaroid of the cheese market that Daddy took. She said her colleague was the "Cheese Father" and would like to see it. So he came and he identified the two men and said that they were both dead (which isn't a surprise as they would be well over 100 years old today). He asked me to bring the photo tomorrow as they would be interested. This was a good tip.

The exhibit was on the -1 floor. That is it was in the basement. There was an elevator. One of the exhibits is the 'Portrait of Alkmaar' which presents the "DNA" of Alkmaar. Alkmaar is full of history and wonderful old architecture. In a thousand years Alkmaar grew from a settlement with ten farms to a proud city with 100,000 inhabitants. In the portrait hall are five themed islands showing important or typical objects. Each theme island is introduced by a special Alkmaarder (in a video). There are numerous portraits, cityscapes and landscapes of the areaPainting of the town

Painting of the town


View of town and country

View of town and country


Portrait of Dirck van de Reemister and cabinet

Portrait of Dirck van de Reemister and cabinet

4A66C75AA06C6D37341AA4234CD60D88.jpgChina display

China display


Officers of the Old Civic Guard in Landscape 1613

Officers of the Old Civic Guard in Landscape 1613


Officers of the Old Civic Guard in a Landscape 1613 - There is no other painting of civic guardsmen on a day out. In the distance is Alkmaar's Great Church, and the artist is in the center with his wife.
Officers of the old Civic Guard 1657. Standing proudly in the center the captains Jacob  Baert and Cornelis Groot

Officers of the old Civic Guard 1657. Standing proudly in the center the captains Jacob Baert and Cornelis Groot


The main part of the museum was called THE VICTORY!!! Alkmaar is very proud of the fact that they were the first Dutch city to withstand the Spanish siege during the Eighty Years' War. There was a seven week siege which ended on October 8, 1573 This eventually led to the creation of the independent Republic of the United Netherlands and the heyday of the Golden Age.
Explanation of the victory

Explanation of the victory


I found the exhibit a little confusing - there were arrows to follow on the floor, and we got to TV screens where we heard from various participants such as Jacob, Catholic farmer Dirk, Protestant dweller Cornelia, and Spanish soldier Juan. Passages from the diary of Nanning Foreest theatrical visualizations, paintings of the siege, letters, musket balls, armor and artillery - including a gun from approximately 1570
IMG_3618.jpgWeapons of the time

Weapons of the time


Battle painting

Battle painting


This is what one of the presentations said:
Part of the video presentation

Part of the video presentation


The retreat
"In the early morning on the eighth day of the month, all the Spaniards left. And so the siege of Alkmaar which had lasted for seven weeks and which had cost the Spaniards huge sums of money and material damage and would be to their everlasting shame and discredit, was lifted.
Part of the video presentation

Part of the video presentation


By contrast, God brought the city of Alkmaar prestige in their joyous victory and celebrated triumph, so the city might justifiably and honourably be counted among the foremost cities of Holland."
There is also a display of a 2010 excavation in Alkmaar where archaeologists discovered skeletons in mass graves - including a skull with bullet hole.
Two skeletons from a small mass grave 1573

Two skeletons from a small mass grave 1573


But I couldn't really tell where the end of the exhibit as the arrows seemed to be circular.
Golden Age

Golden Age


The last part of the main exhibit was "The Golden Age" . To show their gratitude for the city's loyal stand, William of Orange and the States of Holland awarded Alkmaar the Weight House revenues. Painting of the Weight House 1660. It was mainly cheese that was weighed and traded here. In 1679 a record 500,000 pounds was traded in a single day. That was in 1581 and it launched an economic boom: Alkmaar's own Golden Age.
Painting of the weigh house by an unknown artist

Painting of the weigh house by an unknown artist

Gold from the Golden Age

Gold from the Golden Age


Nijenburg Spherical Clock 1690

Nijenburg Spherical Clock 1690

Judgement of Count Willem the Good 1618

Judgement of Count Willem the Good 1618

Golden Age tour

Golden Age tour


Pierre Gole art cabinet with floral motifs

Pierre Gole art cabinet with floral motifs


The old masters are accompanied by a collection of ceremonial silver,
Traveler's cutlery and case

Traveler's cutlery and case


including seven decorated tazza's (Goblets) and seventeenth-century porcelain and glassware of all types and sizes. A particular object is a cabinet from estate Nijenburg with beautiful paintings of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. (below)
Nijenburg Lutheran Cabinet c 1665

Nijenburg Lutheran Cabinet c 1665


On the zero floor (ground floor or our first floor) there was an exhibit of the work of an artist of the name of Van Blaaderen who appeared to have phases where he emulated most of the impressionists.
Introductory text on Van Blaaderen

Introductory text on Van Blaaderen


Van Blaaderen painting

Van Blaaderen painting


Van Blaaderen painting

Van Blaaderen painting


Van Blaaderen painting (winter)

Van Blaaderen painting (winter)

Van Blaaderen painting

Van Blaaderen painting


While we were there a woman came and asked about the Luggie - she said she had a grandson who had been paralyzed in a bicycle accident and he wanted something that made him look less 'crippled' So we showed her the scooter and she even tried it out.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped in the Grote Kerk
Side nearest the square

Side nearest the square


- there were 1700 people buried there, mostly under the floor. It is actually no longer an church, but it is a very interesting building.
Floor composed of slate tile grave markers

Floor composed of slate tile grave markers


Inside the burial stones made a clacking noise when I went over them with the scooter.
Floor burial locations

Floor burial locations

Close-up of an emblem

Close-up of an emblem


Each of the tombstones bears an emblem, mostly coats of arms and occupational insignia. Bob and I took some photos of the slate floor inscriptions. I asked if there was any way of telling where the various burials were, but apparently there was a meeting going on in the room where the information was.
Close-up of one of the inscriptions

Close-up of one of the inscriptions

Pieter Palinck and Josina Willemsdochter van Foreest

Pieter Palinck and Josina Willemsdochter van Foreest


This one is copper and is now on the wall. They did identify the plaque on the wall which was for Pieter Claessoen Palinck & Josina Willemsdochter van Foreest - a husband and wife who died in 1536. The church booklet said this was a copper tombstone on the floor near where we entered, but I saw it on the wall. Rubbings have been done of this copper stone. There are also plaques on the walls. There is a textboard from 1672 with the rules on how to behave in church. In the beginning of the 16th century a brick annex was constructed in the corner of the northern transept for the bellows of the Van Covelens organ. For many years a small prison existed under this annex. Anyone exhibiting undesirable behavior in church would be imprisoned here for the night, unless he was prepared to pay a fine of three guilders. There are two textboard dating from 1605 relating in Latin and Dutch the story of the church buildings that formerly existed here
IMG_5767.JPGPlaques on the wall

Plaques on the wall


Going back a little - We went in the side door of the Grote Sint Laurenskerk (there is a handicapped entrance). And I took a photo of the statue that was outside first. It is the statue to Maerten Pietersz van der Meij. He was the city's carpenter, but became famous by smuggling letters to and from the city during the Spanish occupation. The artist Mari Andriessen did the statute in 1965
Statue beside the church

Statue beside the church


Afterward, I took some photos of the outside of the church. It is a very large building which is built in the shape of a Latin cross (the diagonal is shorter than the vertical). According to the church history, there was a church here back in 600. A church was founded on this site in 901 in honor of St. Lawrence. But excavations have only found the remains of a 12th century chapel. In 1468, when they were building tower on this church, it collapsed and destroyed part of the church, It was decided to built an entirely new church - starting in 1470 and completed in what was, for those days, a very short time around 1520. Much of the interior and exterior was destroyed in the 1566 iconoclasm - this was when Dutch Protestants were destroying the Roman Catholic art (icons). Until 1570, Sint Lawrence church was Roman Catholic. It remained Protestant after the Reformation until 1996 when it was designated as a museum and multifunctional building.
Windows, side entrance and statue

Windows, side entrance and statue

Carvings on the side entrance

Carvings on the side entrance

Side of the church away from the square

Side of the church away from the square


Plain end of the church

Plain end of the church


The exterior is faced with what the little booklet I picked up in the church calls "white natural stone" although it looks yellow or cream colored to me in the photos taken on the 28th - the ones on the 29th were more cream colored.
Red addition on the 'back' end of the church

Red addition on the 'back' end of the church


There was a model of the church inside, and we also took photos of that.
594688187623703-Model_of_the.._X_Alkmaar.jpgModel of the Grote Kerk (inside of the Grote Kerk)

Model of the Grote Kerk (inside of the Grote Kerk)

Model of the church showing the 'back'

Model of the church showing the 'back'


The interior is lined with red-yellow bricks which are partly plastered.
7623757-Interior_with_the_Great_Organ_Alkmaar.jpgThe Great Organ

The Great Organ


At the end of the church is the "world famous Great Organ" which was built around 1640 by father Van Hagerbeer and his two sons. It was modernized at the start of the 18th century by the North German Frans Caspar Schnitger. The case of the organ was designed by Jacob van Campen who also designed several other prominent buildings.
Great Organ

Great Organ


The shutters to close the case are the largest in the world and there is a painting representing Virtue Crushing Vice (in the form of a snake). There is another organ on the side of the church which dates from 1551. This is the oldest playable organ in the world and was restored in 2000. You can also see in that photo the high transept windows which are the highest on the mainland of Europe
Oldest Organ by the high transept windows

Oldest Organ by the high transept windows


I have included in this set of photos, a picture of a painting that is in the Alkmaar Museum. It is a painting attributed to Pieter Jansz Saenredam who was a specialist in church interiors. It matches pretty well with our photos of the church. It was painted about 1665 although it is not signed or dated. Who commissioned it? No-one knows. But it hung in the town hall in the 18th century. Pieter Jansz Saenredam worked meticulously basing his composition on preparatory drawings and measurements. If he painted it, it was done toward the end of his life.
1665 painting of the interior

1665 painting of the interior


Ceiling of the vault painted by Jacob van Oostanen

Ceiling of the vault painted by Jacob van Oostanen

IMG_3666.JPG
I took a photo of some woodwork which has the date of 1635. Originally I thought this was the place where Floris V was buried, but the date doesn't match, and I can't match this up with anything in the church information.
May be the Confessional or Stalls

May be the Confessional or Stalls


Bob took some photos of a ship hanging in the church. This was unexpected. According to tradition, this is the scale model of a ship from 1667 called "De Ruyter mijn naam" (De Ruyter is my name), which refers to the victorious expedition of Michiel de Ruyter to Chatham. It has on it (which you can't see in any of the photos) paintings - on the mirror at the stern the panorama of Alkmaar. There are also four portraits of ladies in the windows of the officer's quarters. So if you go into the church, look for the paintings
Scale model ship

Scale model ship


The sacristry has a wooden vault on which are painted the crests of Delft, Oudewater and Alkmaar (towns once united through a trade agreement). There is also the crest of the patrimonial lands of Charles V and a mirrored Dutch lion honoring the crest.
Crest near the sacristy

Crest near the sacristy

After we got back to the hotel and dried off and warmed up a bit and it stopped raining, Bob walked over to the RR station
Street near station

Street near station

and got some money changed and came back with Burger King for dinner. Tomorrow we visit the Cheese Market.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:24 Archived in Netherlands

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