Time Travel: Mariahoek

I’m afraid I don’t know much about this spot. I haven’t found any info so far in my Google quest. Still, it’s a lovely little garden oasis in the center of the city, just off some of the busy shopping streets like Steenweg. I was here late last year and got some lovely photos, but none from the same direction as the old post card, so we went back today on our long walk with Pippo and I tried to get a matching shot.
The buildings don’t seem to have changed much, but the trees have, which meant that if I wanted the church towers in the background, I had to stand more to the right, because otherwise the tree in the center blocked much of the view. Still, other parts are recognizable, including the small ironwork balcony on the building to the right, and the rooftops of the building further back on the right. Here’s a shot I took last October of that ironwork balcony. It reminded me a lot of New Orleans.
Shades of New Orleans

I didn’t really find any information about this corner of town, but I did inadvertently find out about the rooster sculpture that stands in the gardens. I had noticed it last year, but I got a better shot of it this year. It’s called Haan (Rooster) and is by an Italian sculptor named Luciano Minguzzi. I think the sculpture was placed in the garden area in 1957, although the gardens were a bit less lush then. The sculpture itself seems to have been created in 1955 for an international exhibit of sculpture in Arnhem at Sonsbeek Park.
The sculpture now sits further back in the gardens. If you look at the garbage can on the left and then look behind that, you can just make the sculpture out over the shrubbery and in front of the lamp.
Mariahoek Gardens

6 thoughts on “Time Travel: Mariahoek

  1. Oh this is a very interesting part of the city indeed. Until 1813 this was the site of the Mariakerk (St. Marys church). There are great paintings like this one:
    Saenredam 1 and this one
    Saenredam 2 with info. There is also a hidden church here from the time that Catholics had to have secret masses.
    The shape of this square is so strange because it was the site of a former church. Maria hoek (corner), and Maria plaats (square) together are that former site. The former garden of the church is still there, a panorama picture shows its beauty.

    • Thank you so much for this information! I’m embarrassed to realize now that I should have made the connection between this area and the Mariakerk (and Saenredam), after buying a postcard of one of his paintings of the area on a recent visit to the Mauritshuis. In looking for information, I came across some other photos of the former gardens. I definitely want to go back and see more of the area. It has so many hidden gems.

  2. Interesting corner! The buildings haven’t changed much, no – that’s a good thing! I love that ironwork on the balcony. You don’t get to see this kind of work very often here in the NL.

    • It’s interesting to see just how much the whole area has changed, though, since the Mariakerk stood there. Amazing! I love the ironwork of the balcony, too. I do wish there were more here. At least we have the great shutters on the buildings here! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Serendipitous Connections « A Flamingo in Utrecht

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