Time Travel: Kromme Nieuwegracht 1900 | 2013

kromme nieuwegracht HUA 1900(photo via Het Utrechts Archief)

This canal is the Kromme Nieuwegracht and as the name suggests, it’s essentially the Nieuwegracht canal after it takes a curve in front of the Paushuis (Pope’s House), which is part of the building on the left. In fact, this picture from 1900 is taken from the bridge over the canal that leads into the Paushuis.

While you may think that the Pope’s House wouldn’t change much, it actually has changed quite a bit since it was originally built in the 1500s. The actual house was much smaller than the full property that is there today. Plus, through the years, it has had a variety of additions and rebuilds of those additions. It’s more of a complex now than just one building. As you can see, there were rows of window shutters in the old photo, but when you look at the new photo (well, taken in 2013), those are all gone.
kromme nieuwegracht paushuisAlthough the buildings on the left may have changed, the buildings on the right look remarkably similar, other than perhaps some cleaning and some new shiny gold paint on that balcony. Even the stairs down to the canal are in roughly the same spot. The biggest difference is the addition of three trees in the intervening 100+ years. Well, that and the bicycles and cars replacing the people.

Utrecht’s Beautiful Canals

One last post today, as I noticed people getting to my blog via searches for the beautiful canals of Utrecht. We do have beautiful canals, the Oudegracht being one of the best known. I like how it changes depending on where along the canal you are. Some parts are busy and more commercial; one section features some of the typical tall, narrow buildings(see above); while another section is more quiet and residential. All are appealing in their own right.

The section in the first photo is filled with lots of great shops, including a nice yarn shop, and a shop called It’s a Present, which has lots of fun little decorative items, toys, and tchotchkes. The buildings along this section are the tall, narrow buildings many people think of when they think of Dutch canal buildings. One of the most charming views is of the old Magazin de Vlijt.
Magazin de VlijtThe southern end of the canal, along Twijnstraat, is the quieter spot and there are some areas along the wharves that have been built up recently, to protect against erosion perhaps? Regardless, they look lovely with all the greenery. This first photo was taken in the middle of December, with some beautiful winter sunlight.
These next two photos are of roughly the same spot, but taken from the opposite side of the canal, and a month earlier. The peace and tranquillity, not to mention the lovely views, make this one of my favorite spots in the city. Who wouldn’t want to sit out there with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery.

Green Grows the Gracht

Green Grows the Gracht
This was taken before the snow came, but is representative of how much of the city seemed to look. With all of the rain and mild temperatures we’d been having, everything had gone a bit green. The Domtoren was covered in mossy green splotches, and the Nieuwegracht, seen here, was starting to look like the wharves were made of grass, rather than brick. I’m not sure if the snow and freezing weather will have any impact, or if we’ll simply return to green when the white has disappeared. Still, I suppose it adds a nice touch of colour during the otherwise grey winter months.

Father and Daughter Views of Autumn

Canal Colors
It’s hard to resist the stunning views of canals flanked by trees looking like colourful autumn sentries. I took this photo a couple of weeks ago, heading to this spot specifically after having seen another photo of it on Twitter. It’s a charming spot at any time, but with the range of autumn colours, from golden orange to purple, it was particularly appealing.

Yesterday, we had a brief respite from the rain and overcast weather, so when we headed out for groceries, I couldn’t resist taking my camera along and getting a few shots from the Wittevrouwenbrug.

Herfst Kleuren

It seems I’m not the only one in my family that can’t resist taking photos of the autumn leaves and their many colours. My dad, who used to work as a professional photographer and whose talent I try to emulate, sent me a link to a couple of his own photos that appeared on his local newspaper’s website. His photo is the one that accompanies the article, and if you click through to look at the rest of the photos, his photos are number 1 and number 23. It’s worth giving a click through all of the photos to see some of the beauty of North Carolina’s Piedmont area during this season. I’ll say this for North Carolina: it gives good autumn.

Summer’s Last Hurrah

We’re expecting one last burst of summer this weekend, with temperatures expected to get up around 27C. That means there will probably be many more boats like this on the canals and lots of people heading to the beach for one last hurrah.

If you’re in town and want to enjoy the water, there are numerous boats for hire, whether it’s the tapas boats, the peddle boats, or even just one of the larger guided city boat tours. There are also kyacks and even inflatable boats that can be taken out.

Of course, there’s lots of other events going on this weekend (see my events calendar), including markets at Griftpark and Molen de Ster, as well as lots of buildings specially opened for Open Monument Day. We still have to figure out which sites to visit, although we’re considering visiting the newly repaired Paushuize, the residence built for the Netherlands’ only pope.

Whatever your plans, enjoy! And if you have a dog, make sure they have access to plenty of water and shade. Or just take them with you, like this dog.
Travelling in Style