Notary’s House Revisited

I took a lot of photos of the gardens at the Notary’s House that we visited as part of the Open Monuments Day, and I thought I’d go ahead and parcel them out so you don’t get sick of them all at once. You can get sick of them over a long, drawn-out period, instead.

The first photo is the only one I took of the interior of the house, and technically, I took it from outside. I think you could get in to see some of the rooms, but the one open door was crowded with a large group of people when we looked in and so we decided just to stick with the gardens. Still, I liked the slightly faded elegance of this room, as well, matching the gardens. The oranges (tangerines, clementines, or whatever they were) were just that little bit overripe and wrinkly, but they sat there so nicely amid the sea shells. There really was a glorious madness to the whole place that really appealed to me. Southern gothic meets Miss Havisham.

The rest of the photos for today are of the patio just outside the room above (I took my photo from the window/door on the right), and the small pool/fountain just beneath the patio. The pool is in front of the seating nook with the mirror and klompen that I posted last time. I’ll save the Japanese pond for another day.



An Illustrated Home

Elegant Architecture
Last weekend when we wandered around the city, visiting the various locations specially opened for Open Monuments Day, the first stop we made was at Achter Sint Pieter 4. This building was once part of the enclosed area that was part of the St. Peter church properties. I’m not sure how old the original building would have been, but part of the roof structure does date back to the 15th century. The building underwent renovation in the 17th and 18th centuries creating a complex of wings to building, surrounding a courtyard. It also features a staircase tower, with the staircase dating to the 17th century.

Elegant Architecture
The building is now a mix of offices and private residences, one or two of which are currently on the market. What a beautiful building to call your home! It’s also literally just around the corner from the cathedral. These first two photos show the entrance foyer. They are very much in the Italian Renaissance style, particularly reminding me of the Pazzi Chapel in Florence, which is decorated with the grey pietra serena against white walls, with inset paintings. I’m unclear as to the date of this particular painting, though. The facade of the building was redone in the 18th century.

The doorway on the right leads to a 14-meter hallway that leads to the courtyard garden area. The hallway is topped with a decorated barrel vault ceiling. The paintings on the ceiling supposedly date back to the 17th century, although I’m not sure if they are original or simply reproductions of what may have originally been there. Regardless, they certainly have a certain similarity to many of the simple decorative ceiling paintings of that period.
Ceiling Art

Ceiling Art

Ceiling Art

At the end of the hallway is the door to the garden courtyard. While we were out there, looking around, we were joined by a dog who belongs to one of the residents, I believe. He was a friendly, handsome little fellow who was more than happy to have some attention and scritches from both G and me. He perfectly capped off our visit to the first of the monuments that day.
Brave Hond

Garden Delights

It is a gorgeous day in Utrecht! The sky is pure blue, without a cloud in the sky, and the light is crisp and bright. Even the temperature was just cool enough and without much humidity to make it pleasant, even when it started to warm up.

We went out to enjoy the Open Monuments Day today, visiting various spots on Achter Sint Pieter and Lange Nieuwestraat. I’ll post more about individual spots this week, but for now, just a couple of photos of one of the lovely hidden gardens we saw. This one is by the Flatland Gallery, which currently has a documentary photograph exhibit, which I’ve got listed in the Events Calendar. We didn’t see the exhibit, but I may go back to see it another time. Instead, we simply enjoyed the little gardens; a quiet green oasis in the center of the city. To add to the charm of the setting, I noticed a pitcher full of sparkling water with slices of lime, ready to be poured into the waiting glasses. Some of these garden areas belong to people’s homes. What a lovely garden to have for yourself!

Drinks in the Garden

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