Thursday, March 27, 2014

Markt and Stadhuis, Gouda, The Netherlands

Like most European cities, Gouda has a central market place (the Markt) which is the hub of activity since the medieval times, when cloth, cheese, and clay pipes were the hot local commodities. Gouda's Markt has the Stadhuis right in the middle of it, marking it off as the civic center as well as the economic center of town. Surprisingly, it is the largest market square in The Netherlands.

Entering the Markt from behind the Stadhuis

More of the Markt

A typical cheese shop just off the Markt

We found a cafe for a hot drink since the October weather was quite chilly. The cafe gave a rather fancy presentation for their tea.

Tea in a large bag with a little biscuit

Fortified for the cold, we went to admire the Stadhuis. It was built around 1450 and is a splendid example of Gothic exuberance.

Three-quarter view

The back with my family not posing

The front has a nice porch from which it was easy to imagine the local burghers talking to the townsfolk.

Townfolks' view

Nice detail on the porch

On the east side of the building is a clock with bells and a bunch of figures who come out and dance to the ringing every half hour. They represent the chartering of the town by Count Floris V in 1272, though the figures themselves were installed much later, in 1961.

Another proclamation point?

The dancing figures

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