Well-known to every Russian, the variety of cheese may actually have very little to do with this city in the western Netherlands. Nevertheless, Gouda got its name from him. In addition to cheese, this medium-sized town in South Holland boasts pipes and a beautiful 15th-century Town Hall. Although, to the credit of the city, it can be noted that not only cheese, but also numerous historical churches and other old buildings make it a very popular tourist destination for a day trip. Moreover, its location at the intersection of three main roads is the most convenient for this. See JIBIN123 for Netherlands customs regulations and visa requirements.
Many try to time their trip to the famous city market, which still, like for many years before, takes place on Thursdays. After all, it is here that you can buy the very gouda (unless, of course, in abundance of heads from different manufacturers you can decide which one is the one).
Not only cheese, but also numerous historical churches and other ancient buildings make the city also a very popular tourist destination for a day trip.
Gouda officially received city rights in 1272. In the Middle Ages, a settlement on the site of the current city was founded by the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle on the banks of the Gauve River (the family name came from this name). Initially, these were rather wild swamps, which over the next two centuries were turned into fairly decent lands. By 1225, a canal had been dug, thanks to which the mouth of the Gauve turned into a harbor.
Great fires in 1361 and 1438 the city was destroyed twice, and in 1572 Gouda was occupied by rebels who rebelled against the Spanish king, who also caused considerable damage to the city. In 1577, Gouda’s castle, whose condition by that time was already completely worthless, began to be dismantled. Four times over the course of a hundred years, Gouda was devastated by the plague, and after all this, by the end of the 16th century. The city was in serious economic trouble. They were badly resolved, and by the beginning of the 19th century. Gouda was one of the poorest cities in the country.
Since the end of the Middle Ages in the Netherlands, the words “gaudets” and “beggar” have become almost synonymous.
How to get there
Gouda is extremely well located at a fork in the highway, of which one leads to The Hague, and the second to Utrecht. From the first, you can get to the city by train in 25 minutes (trains run every 12 minutes), from the second – in 20 minutes (the same interval). By car, it takes 35 and 40 minutes, respectively. And generally speaking, from Amsterdam by train you will reach here in less than an hour.
Entertainment and attractions of Gouda
The Old Town Hall of Gouda on the market square was built in 1448-1450. and is considered one of the oldest Gothic town halls in the whole country. It is also stunningly beautiful and resembles a fairy-tale castle with its richly decorated facade with turrets, crenellations and hairpins. The statues that stand in front of him represent wisdom and constancy. Here you can also see sculptural portraits of dukes and duchesses, which were added later (from 1695 to the 1960s). In the interior you can see wonderful tapestries by a native of the city, David Ruffeler, who created them for the royal visit to the city, which took place in the 17th century.
The town hall is so famous that a life-size replica of it is displayed in a Dutch theme park in Japan.
Also noteworthy is the Waag (weight chamber), built in 1667 opposite the Town Hall. Here all kinds of goods were weighed for the assessment of duties, especially cheese. Today, the Waag is listed as a national monument, and inside there is a small Cheese Museum.
Everyone loves gouda cheese: this variety makes up about 60% of everything produced in the Netherlands.
The Great Church, or St. John’s Church (“Grote Kerk”), is the longest in the Netherlands. She is famous not only for this, but also for the wonderful stained-glass windows that were created in the period from 1530 to 1603. This set of stained glass windows is recognized as the most significant in the Netherlands. Back in the 17th century. it was already a tourist attraction.
Museums of the city are not so numerous, but rather curious. In particular, in the Gouda Museum, the exposition is dedicated to the history of the city and its art. The Verzetsmuseum is dedicated to the Dutch resistance during World War II. Museumhaven Gouda is a small old harbor where you can see historic ships. Also noteworthy is the large theater of Gouda and the historical gateway Vayersluys, which is east of the city border.
Events in Gouda
The cheese and handicraft market takes place in the city every Thursday from 10:00 to 13:00 from April to August. And this is by no means an exclusively tourist event. Although its tourist value is huge: a lot of people with their own eyes tend to see stacks of large yellow discs laid out on the pavement, like giant gold coins. In addition to cheese, excellent candles are produced in Gouda, the already mentioned clay pipes and “strupwafel” (flat, round, small-celled “syrup waffles” – more precisely, with a layer of warm caramel), and all this can be obtained in the same market.
There is also an annual event in Gouda, Days of Pottery, which takes place over two days. It presents the work of ceramists not only from the Netherlands, but also from several other countries. During these two days, several exhibitions take place; it usually takes place in the area of the Old Town Hall in the last days of May.
The city flea market bears the poetic name “Montmartre”. In the summer season (from the beginning of June to the first ten days of September) it works weekly on Wednesdays at the Old Town Hall. Here you can find perfect junk, and antique gizmos, and collectibles, and a bunch of other stuff.
The Gouda Water City festival takes place in the last third of June, on weekends.
The annual Christmas celebrations called “Gouda by Candlelight” begin in Gouda in mid-December. The main attractions can be found in the center. In the evenings, lights are lit on the Christmas tree in the market square, a traditional annual gift from Gouda’s sister city, Konsberg. And the windows of the Old Town Hall and the houses surrounding it are illuminated by many candles from Gouda.