Hidden Gems

I took a quick walk today to see a couple of Reitveld store fronts here in the city center. That post will come later, but for now, I’ll mention a few other buildings I saw today. I was back behind the Stadhuis (City Hall), which has a lovely variety of buildings, ranging from modern (as seen in the next photo) and very old (as seen in the photo above).
I stopped to look at the buildings, including the one with the date Anno 1584, because of this little corner.
Fenced In
It’s a decorative and old-looking corner, with the beautiful iron gate topped with gold tips. The building the gate protects is a lovely brick building. Simple, but with great little rooftop details.
Hidden Corners
The fall of changing color leaves on the bush/tree in the front adds to the sfeer (atmostphere). The basket-weave pattern of the brick over the windows is also a nice touch.
As for the old building, here’s a larger view of it, standing next to the little gated corner. The little turret on the side is eye-catching, as well.
Old and New

4 thoughts on “Hidden Gems

  1. It is a beautiful house isn’t it. But I thought 1584 seemed a bit too old for that type of façade. So I looked it up in my ‘encyclopedia’ of Utrecht houses and found that the present day façade is actually from 1656.

    The house was built from 1580 on the site of a former monastery. But in 1656 the city granted building permission for a grand ‘make over’. It was then that the turret was first built (it holds the staircase). The ground floor façade (the shop window) is more than 200 years younger. That dates from 1882, but it is nicely in rhythm with the rest of the façade. The upper floor windows of the house looked quite different in the first half of the 20th century (similar to the big ground floor windows) but they were restored to their 17th century appearance in 1956. So from then on the façade looked exactly as it was 400 years earlier when it was first constructed that way.

    Utrecht is full of houses like this (as are many other cities in the Netherlands). Many Dutch take them for granted though. They’re just there…

    • Thanks for looking it up; you saved me some work! I’m also very interested in this encyclopedia of yours!

      I was curious about the date, myself, because the facade did look too “modern”. It’s not that unusual for facades to get a makeover, so none of what you posted surprises me, but it does fascinate me. I love learning the different histories and previous uses of some of these buildings that I pass by almost daily. The fact that they’re still in use in some form makes them even more interesting. Their storied histories continue! Thanks again for all the information!

      • The ‘encyclopedia’ is a 670 pages book from 1989 called: “Utrecht, de huizen binnen de singels” by Dolfin, Marceline J., Kylstra, E.M. and Penders, Jean. Published by Broese Kemink in cooperation with the SDU (State printers).

        I’m sure they will have it at the city’s library to look into.

        And you are right, we still use all the buildings from the past, sometimes not as they were first intended but we still use them and add our own history. It is indeed fascinating.

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