Time Travel Thursday

Oudegracht - Winkel van Sinkel
(photo courtesy of gertvr)
I recently came across a large set of old photo postcards of Utrecht on Flickr and I’ve enjoyed going through them and seeing which ones I know well and which ones I don’t recognize anymore because of the changes. The person who posted them on Flickr has mapped them all out on Google Maps and has started taking new photos of these old locations. I thought I’d go through some of my own photos and see what I have that matches up and maybe head out to take new version of some of the photos if I don’t have any already. These will be my Time Travel posts and I’ll try to post one at least every Thursday.

Today is the Oude Gracht (the old canal), which runs through the city and is one of the more touristic spots, yet still very much a part of regular life for locals, too. One of the more famous buildings along the Oudegracht is the Winkel van Sinkel, which is primarily a restaurant/café/nightclub now. The name seems to have changed since the original photo was taken (Vlaer & Kol), but otherwise, the buildings and the canal look very much the same.
In Front of the Stadhuis

My photo was taken a few years ago during one of the Cultural Sunday events when there was a boat-based set of concerts up and down the canal. Boats with musicians would work their way along the canal to different spots to stop and perform. Other than a few more trees now, there seems to be little difference!

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8 thoughts on “Time Travel Thursday

  1. geweldig ideë! I love looking at old pictures of cities that I have been to and try to spot differences and identify buildings. You are right, this spot doesn’t seem to have changed much. I don’t know when the older photo was taken, but I thought that “winkel van sinkel” made reference to the old use for this building in particular.

    • I always love looking at specific buildings and seeing if anything has changed at all. The best is when you can see that they haven’t changed at all over the years! Others get facelifts that end up making them look older than they are, or at least older than their facades are!

  2. Wikipedia gives a history of the Winkel van Sinkel. Opened in 1839. Closed in 1912.
    The building was bought by Vlaer and Kol in 1898.

    So the name makes reference to the old use.

    The name “Winkel van Sinkel” is part of dutch history. It should be mentioned in the inburgeringcursus :).

  3. I absolutely love this idea and project. First of all, thank you. Whenever I visit a city or town, I try to imagine how it looked years ago and I know that really, there are not too many changes….except for transportation and the people.
    This is a wonderful gift for your readers.

    • I love living in such an old city, because it has so much long-standing history around every corner. My own street dates back to at least the 1300s! I’ve found some photos of my neighborhood here going back to 1947, and there are horses drawing carts, trams, the rare auto, and the ubiquitous bike. I can’t wait to share this one!

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