Things to see, part 2
The pain in the neck page
The facades of the old houses in Gouda are lovely,
Particulary those which have an inlaid stone to explain the purpose
of the house.
The biggest of these stones you have already seen on the previous page,
the cheese weighing on 'De Waag'.
But there are many more, and as they are all quite high up, this page is called the
'Pain in the neck'.
The subscript of this one is 'SPARTAM~NACTI'
which means 'They have reached Sparta'
The explanation is simple,
only the strongest reach Sparta,
only the strongest get old.
Yes, it's one of the oldest old people homes in the world (1614)
The cloth guild, once a big industry in these parts.
Saint Christobal on an old church, a friendly sign for visitors
as he is one of the patron saints of travelers.
Sadly he's gone completely out of style since then,
even lost his sainthood in the catholic church.
The swans are impressive being such large and aggressive beasts.
Gouda once could boast it's castle called 'Swanenburge' or Castle of Swans.
The reason for naming the castle after this bird is understandable.
It's all water around here, home of an incredible number of swans, geese and ducks.
They take much pleasure in crossing the roads and generally act as if they own the town.
This stone isn't as yet completely clear, something to do with food distribution ?
'We'll shoot these cannons for King and Country"
It dates from the nineteenth century and comes from a barrack.
Above an electricity shop and made in the nineteen twenties.
The utensils used are less clear.
There are even some remnants from the depression years.
The shoemaker is urging his clients to buy Dutch instead
of foreign. This would be to the customers' benefit as well since these shoes
would be easier to repair.
Hotel De Zalm is the oldest hotel in the Netherlands.
It dates from the 16th century; it was reconstructed in 1670. The front was added at the end of the 19th century. A few years ago plans were made to change it into a showroom for cars. After heavy protest new owners started a hotel again.
This was the owner's protest against the decision of the city council. It had stopped his plans for reconstruction, because it didn't want a building next to the Weighing House that would be higher.Grumbling, the owner had to agree with this early example of urban planning.
In the wall of the building you can see a plaque from 1670, showing the salmon after which the hotel has been named, with the inscription 'Not too high, not too low, just right'.
At the marketplace, compare the size of the two buildings. The pain in your neck will remind you of the state of mind of the owner in the year 1670.