Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Gift of Glass

*Photo needs to be enlarged to be appreciated*

We'll stay in the town of Gouda (about 40km from Wassenaar) to show you some of the beautiful stained glass windows in the Grote Sint Janskerk (St. John's church).


The windows are considered among the finest in Holland, and a great deal of them date from the 16th century. One of the most interesting aspects of the windows is that they were made during the battle for independence from Spain and change to protestantism. Many of the religious fables featured in the windows are parables for the battles of the time.


This window, while not one of the most colorful, is one of my favorites. Donated by the city of Haarlem, it depicts the of the battle of Egyptian city of Damietta during the crusades. If I remember correctly, the story goes that the dutch, led by William I and the Haarlemmers, conquered the port which was previously impenetrable. Nothing like a little bragging to one of your neighboring cities in the guise of a religious gift.


Click on the photo for a larger size, and check out the incredible detail (which is nearly impossible to see as you're straining your neck in the church). Take special note of the ship sailing over the supposed giant chain that protected the port.

5 comments:

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

Magnificent. I wonder who the people in that tower were. Haarlemmers, that's such a neat gentilé.

Lezard said...

Wonderful window, which looks like it is in a beautiful state. BTW, I lived in Haarlem for 4 years. Have you already been there? Next time you go, do not forget to visit the Frans Hals museum.....

ro_pumpkin said...

wow , really spectacular . amazing work . and your post is very interesting . tks

Neva said...

wow...I am amazed that this can be done so long ago....but it is gorgeous....

R&R in The Netherlands said...

Thanks, all. Lezard, we've been to Haarlem several times and we always enjoy ourselves. We've never been to the Frans Hal museum, but we saw several of his works in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and now we'll definitely visit the museum in Haarlem.