We didn’t think that our Dutch Experience would be complete without a journey to the southern tip of Holland. We headed out for Maastricht, a very busy little city on the River Maas in the province of Limburg.
One of Holland’s oldest towns it’s surrounded on three sides by Germany and Belgium. Between the French, Germans, Romans, Spanish, Goths, Gauls, Papists and miscellaneous angry hordes it has changed hands many times over the centuries. To this day it still seems a little under siege, only now it’s tourists and probably not marauding mercenaries or religious zealots. The tourist promoters refer to it as the “Sunniest Town in Holland” and that may it true. Much like South Dakota may be a whisper more tropical than North Dakota. In fact, it’s the only time we’ve needed an umbrella. Damp but fun none the less.
We’re here primarily to see the Bonnefantenmuseum, an amazing structure designed by Italian architect Aldo Rossi. An interesting guy, he argued that a city must be studied and valued as something constructed over time and as such it holds our “collective memory”.
On to ‘s-Hertogenbosch
‘s-Hertogenbosch was the birthplace and home of one of the greatest (twisted) painters of the northern Renaissance, Hieronymus Bosch, who’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights will still blow your mind 530 years later. And not in a good way.
While there some friends organized a great boat trip on the Binnen-Dieze, the city’s underground inner canal system. Apparently the canal had been an open sewer for centuries until in the 1960’s the city set out on a 25 year restoration project. Today fish swim in the water.
These are part of the Armada, a housing development designed by British architect Anthony McQuirk. From the air the eleven building project resembles a fleet of Spanish Warships moving across the water.