Time Travel: Het Maliehuis

maliehuisZo Was Utrecht, a fantastic source for old images of Utrecht, recently Tweeted this old advertising poster that dates back to 1897. It’s for the Utrechtsche Levensverzekeringsmaatschappij (Utrecht Life Insurance Company/Society), which was housed at the time in the Maliehuis located at Maliesingel 28.

The original Maliehuis (huis=house) was built in 1637 and was used by the administrator of the Maliebaan. The Maliebaan, a long, tree-lined avenue, was originally used to play the game known as malie, which was somewhat like croquet or what eventually became golf. People could rent the game equipment from the administrator at the Maliehuis. This went on through the 18th century.

Then, in the 19th century, the building was significantly enlarged and turned into a house. Eventually it then became office space, for businesses such as the aforementioned life insurance company, and nowadays, I think it’s used as an exhibition space.

It’s a nice house from the outside, with clean, simple, classical lines. There’s also a tile depiction of the house, showing the canal that runs in front of it. That section of the canal is called the Maliesingel, but it is also part of the canal that rings the old city center. The Maliehuis is just outside the binnenstad (city center). My photos are a few years old, and I think the outside has been cleaned up since then. Still, you’ll see just how much the building still looks as it did in the illustration from the late 1800s. To the right is the Maliebaan, where the game was originally played. In the 1600s, it was a student area where they played malie and generally hung out together. It’s since changed to an important and wealthy area. Het MaliehuisHet MaliehuisHet MaliehuisHet Maliehuis

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A Little Something for the Ladies


(photo via Het Utrechts Archief)

There’s a great website called Zo Was Utrecht that takes a look back at Utrecht’s history. I also follow the site’s Twitter account, which frequently posts old photos of the city. Today, this photo of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer was posted. It shows him filming the movie Keetje Tippel in 1974, with actress Monique van de Ven. The spot where they are filming is by the Vismarkt on the Oudegracht, a spot I’ve spent a lot of time at over the years, sitting at the tables that are often set up by the nearby restaurants, such as the Restaurant Graaf Floris.

I’ve had a soft spot for Rutger Hauer since the days of Blade Runner and Ladyhawke (what?!), so it’s fun to see this photo. There’s a closer shot to be seen here. He was back in town the other week for the closing awards ceremony at the Nederland Film Festival, where he gave out the best actor award, if I remember correctly. Sadly, I missed him in person, but did watch the video of him arriving on the stage on a motorcycle. At least he’s going to be on the next season of True Blood! Can’t wait!

Anyway, today the Vismarkt looks essentially the same and is still used for a variety of things, including a salsa dance floor. If only I could get my own photo of Rutger Hauer on the Vismarkt!
Salsa at the Vismarkt