January 16, 2021

Sailing from Rotterdam to Amsterdam (time-lapse video)

Filed under: Architecture,Film,History,Nature,Photography by Branko Collin @ 4:22 pm

In 2013 Shell had to transport an eight-story metal building from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.

They hired a company called The Timewriters to create a time-lapse video of the transport, which has now been released in glorious 4K format on YouTube, accompanied by a beautiful, if somewhat ill-fitting Dvořák piece.

The day-long journey begins on the Nieuwe Maas river near the Feijenoord neighbourhood in Rotterdam, then goes past Gouda, Alphen aan de Rijn and Schiphol Airport to end in Amsterdam. If it hadn’t been dark by then, you might even have been able to see my house at 9:14.

This is worth watching for the bridges alone.

And then you come back a second time for the places you know and a third time to figure out how and why the Dutch created their environment the way they did.

Also check out the comments on YouTube, lots of insights from people who recognise certain types of trains, planes and places.

(Source: YouTube / The Timewriters)

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March 17, 2013

Kurhaus and pier in Scheveningen in decline

Filed under: Architecture,History by Branko Collin @ 12:42 am

The Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen near The Hague is bankrupt, Omroep West writes.

The hotel is owned by seven anonymous private investors who bought it in 2004 for 46 million euro and is run by the German Steigenberger Hotel Group. At the time the purchase was supervised by Willem Endstra, who was accused of being banker to the underworld and who was murdered shortly after. Steigenberger has denied that there are financial problems and has declared that business will go on as usual, according to Misset Horeca.

Meanwhile the nearby pleasure pier, another icon of seaside resort Scheveningen, is also heading towards bankruptcy. The curator has decided to put the pier up for auction. It is currently owned by known tax evaders Van der Valk Hotels who bought it for 1 euro in 1991 of insurer Nationale Nederlanden who wanted to get rid of it because of the high maintenance costs, NRC writes.

The origin of Scheveningen is hidden in the mists of time, but towns with names ending in -inge originate from the 10th and 11th century according to Wikipedia. As the nearby The Hague turned from the hunting lodge of the counts of Holland to the seat of the government of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, the fishing community of Scheveningen grew. In 1665 the two towns were connected by a paved road and from 1800 onwards Scheveningen developed into a seaside resort with hotels and villas being built to the northeast of the harbour.

In 1884 the Kurhaus was built, a hotel which doubled as a spa. The Kurhaus was connected to the pier via a bridge. (In World War II the original pier burned down—a new pier was built a bit further up North in 1959.)

According to history blog Geschiedenismeisjes, Kurhaus was still an icon of tremendous luxury at the start of the 20th century. During World War I, in which the Netherlands managed to stay neutral, the hotel was the location of a culture clash between new and old money. A group of people who had gotten rich during the war, the so-called ‘oorlogswinstmakers’ (war profiteers) flaunted their wealth in Scheveningen. And in 1919 a labour law was passed that made leisure time for workers obligatory—the hours that a person should work per day were limited to 8 and the Sunday would be a day off. This brought spending time at the beach suddenly within the reach of the working classes.

(Photo by MichielJelijs, some rights reserved)

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November 18, 2012

Rumble in Limburg over fake accents on children’s TV show

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:39 pm

Yesterday the city of Roermond in Limburg played host to the official reception of Saint Nicholas in the Netherlands, and the city was the centre of attention in the week before in children’s news show Sinterklaasjournaal.

One of the features of the show are street interviews with a band of jolly Limburgers that turned out not to be Limburgers at all, but actors from Holland that could not be bothered to learn the local accent well.

Sinterklaasjournaal broadcaster NTR told De Gelderlander that they asked all of two (!) actors from Limburg to appear on the show, “but they both couldn’t come. The list runs out at some point.”

Limburg has a rich stage tradition, producing many great actors and directors. Perhaps these actors were too expensive for a two-bit (but still tax-funded) operation like NTR?

Children from Roermond told another public broadcaster, NOS, that “they are mocking us, and that is just wrong.” Another child had a practical solution to help heal all wounds: “I think Saint Nicholas should give more gifts to the children of Limburg this year.”

(Photo: screenshot of Sinterklaasjournaal. Link: Marc van Oostendorp)

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