Gorinchem Things to Do Tips by Pavlik_NL
Gorinchem Things to Do: 39 reviews and 44 photos
The Southern bastion works at the Merwede
Most impressive are the bastion fortress works on the "Merwede" river side. From here the most possible enemy attacks were to be expected as the Spanish and French were due South and over the river that was as well dangerous at high water levels, as protective against invaders. On this side the starformed bastion works can be walked as there are footpaths running over and along them. Somewhat further one finds the ferry stops, to go to the other spectacular sights within the "Vesting driehoek" (fortress triangle).
The citywall ... last line of defense
Gorinchem was never besieged, but according to the bastion works and citywalls, this could have been a long siege, before the citizens would give up their positions. Water was always available and this means of transport often also couldn;t be cut of completely, so food also could arrive in town. Near the Merwede-side the bastionworks are huge and outwards. As a last line of defense there still was the large thick citywall, making Gorcum's fortress almost invincible.
Tolehouse at the Woudrichem gateway
The road to the river, where ships brought and took people to other destinations, was one of the most important and so was the gateway through the citywalls. Here was the "tolhuis" (tole house) where everyone that entered the town bringing goods and products, had to pay for his / her entry and these goods / products. Often, the means of transport also mattered in the amount to pay. Pedestrians the lowest tole, ships and horse-pulled wagons higher toles.
The reformed house sheads an eye over everyone
Since 1838 the baroque facade of the Roman Catholic church is determining the view of the Haarstraat. The type of the church is called "water state" and is in present times remodelled to house appartments inside. The glass-in-lead windows are still there, something that the church is famous for. In these twelve windowns the 19 marters of Gorinchem were shown. These holy men
were hung in 1572, when the "watergeuzen" (freedom fighters during the 80 years of independance war of the Netherlands) took the town - despite the warning of Willem van Oranje (William of Orange, our father of the fatherland) to leave religious people of all kinds in peace. The church was named aftre one of them: the holy Nicolas Pieck. In the facade is a huge eye that looks down on the passing people symbolising the all powerful God that sees everything (tip with help of vdoortje).
Graceful church tower that is not so popular here
My must sees I end with the church that is along the shoppingstreets. The Saint Nicolaas or Holy Spirit chapel is actually now-a-days only a graceful tower, as the main church was broken down in 1835. In it's place a meathall was built, but the tower remained. Remarkable are the clocks that have only one arm and only appoint to you the hour. Restaurationworks in 1912 have actually left more harm then good and the churchtower is left aside by many passing people.
And then in the middle of the Market-square there is a large fountain, called after the queen that pulled the Netherlands through two world wars: Wilhelmina. The statue on top shows her in her younger years in the role of Diana, Greek goddess of hunting.
The place where stategic plans were made
On the opposit side of the square from the town hall, another large monumental building is stretching wide. This is the former building of the "head of the guards". As Gorinchem was a military important fortress, the population had a considerable amount of soldiers and military men in it's midst. This was the centre of these actions, the "Hoofdwacht" or guard's HQ.
The frontside of the town hall
On the main town square (the Market), that is on one of the main shoppingstreets, one will find three monuments. To begin with the cityhall, a majestic building that is taking a complete side of the square. With a nice decorated front side in neo-renaissance styles mixed with a bit of baroc, is is a lust for the eyes.
Grand facade of the "Artotheque"
Facing the Saint Jan's church and actually being the backside of the cityhall of Gorcum, is the grand facade of the "Artotheque", a kind of small museum for art or exposition.
Beautiful facade of the house called "Bethlehem"
In the shoppingstreet of Gorinchem one will no doubt stand still at the beautifully decorated facade of a guildhouse called "Bethlehem". The owner of this house must have had a very close connection with the bible as more then the name appears in the images set in the front of his house.
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