Maarssen-Dorp – A Walk On King’s Day

It is thoroughly by accident that I arrive at my lodgings in the village of Maarssen on the eve of King’s Day. With nearly everything shut for the holiday, I […]

An Introduction To Den Bosch

Naked bodies frolic around the garden. Oversized fish lay scattered about on the ground. A naked woman carries a gigantic mussel shell on her back. Inside it is an equally […]

Amersfoort – A Journey To The Centre of the Netherlands

In 1661, around 400 people wander out to the Soest moor where a 10-tonne glacial boulder lies. They put ropes around it, and use sticks to dislodge it. They then […]

Amersfoort – Where Johan, Jacob And Piet Once Lived

In 1619, a 71-year-old prominent Dutch lawyer is led to the gallows in the Hague. During his 8 months under arrest, he isn’t allowed to defend himself. A kangaroo court […]

Dordrecht – The Revenge of the Royalists

Cornelis de Witt is released from prison. He has been tortured so badly (see my Hague blog) that he cannot walk. He sends for his brother Johan. But its a […]

Kinderdijk – A Brief History Of A Dutch Polder

Should I be nervous knowing that only a dyke protects me from a salty swim? Everyone knows that the Kinderdijk, like much of the Netherlands, lies below sea level. After […]

Dordrecht – How an Island Was Made, How a Country Was Formed

It’s the 18th of November 1421. A heavy storm from the North Sea lashes Holland. Dykes collapse all around. Hamlets and villages surrounding Dordrecht disappear under water for good. When […]