It was still night when we left Asserpark, on 22th November 2008, to catch the bus that would take us to Ede-Wageningen Station. From there we went by train to Gouda, with a stop at Utrecht to change trains.
Gouda is a Dutch city famous for its Gouda cheese, candles, clay pipes and its “stroopwafels” (syrup waffles).
“Stroopwafels” are a Dutch delicacy invented in Gouda during the early 19th century, most likely by the baker Gerard Kamphuisen. They were also called “poor men cookies” because they were made of leftovers from the bakery sweetened with syrup.
We arrived in Gouda before 9h30, left the train station, crossed the former “singel”, which is a water-filled moat that surrounds a city for defense purposes, and we went towards the city center. Nowadays, as consequence of Gouda’s expansion, the “singel” is incorporated in the city’s structures, becoming a “gracht” (city canal).
As it was Saturday, the open market was being held on Markt square. Most of the stalls were selling Gouda cheese.
Perhaps because of the early hour and of the rain we saw just a few persons on the market.
But the market wasn’t what most caught our attention. Located in the square’s center there’s one of the main tourist attractions of Gouda, the “Staduis” (City Hall). Gouda’s City Hall, built in the 15th century, is the oldest Gothic City Hall in the Netherlands.
On the opposite site of the City Hall stands the “Kaaswaag” (Weighing House), which is a building from the 17th century used for weighing cheese (dutch: kaas) and collect taxes.
We didn’t walk too long before we reached “Sint-Janskerk” (St. John’s Church). St. John´s Church is dedicated to John the Baptist, the patron of Gouda, and it is the longest church in the Netherlands (123 m). Although the Church has its origins in the 13th century, the present building dates from the 16th century.
As we didn’t go inside we couldn’t observe the stained glasses for which St. John´s Church is famous.
While we were exploring this small pretty city we also saw a beautiful windmill located next to the canal that surrounds the city (“singel”). The “Korenmolen De Roode Leeuw” (Corn Mill De Roode Leeuw), as the windmill is known, was built in 1727 and I think it is open for visits.
We spent around 2 hours in Gouda. During this short period of time the weather changed quite a lot. It rained, the sun shone, the sun vanished behind clouds and it hailed.
We caught the train to the next city we visited, Delft.
- PR 7 – Nas escarpas da Mizarela (Freita Mountain)
- Train trip to South Holland province – Delft