Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday activities

My blog titles are not very exciting - sorry about that.  So what happened on Sunday -  first of all we did laundry.  Now that doesn't seem highly exciting, but without a dryer one must be very strategic to get things outdoors just as soon as it seems warm and perhaps sunny.  If I lived here I would have to have a long clothesline or one of those four-sided things my mom used to use.  We headed into den Haag (the Hague) and enjoyed lunch inside the Passage - one of my favorite.  It feels so "refined" to sit in there and have our lunch and watch the "world" go by.  I love it.

We then headed to the Museum de Gevangenpoort (the Prison Gate Museum) so that we could have the English tour.  This is one of the original gates into the city of the Hague.
It is located directly across the street from the Binnenhof - the seat of government and a little lake,
It was in here that people suspected of a crime were incarcerated until proven innocent (guilt was presumed).  It housed the poor, with 20-25 men per cell, without light or heat or any sort of beds.  Only straw on the floor and a hole for bathroom necessities (which fed directly into the little lake mentioned above, the source of drinking water).  Also held here were wealthy, important men.  They would pay for their own incarceration - reputedly at today's costs, 2 weeks would cost E20,000.  They, however, had a table and chair and a bed.  They had a fireplace and could buy wood or coal from the jailers.  Only a few women were kept at this prison.  The museum doesn't really allow photos (so there are only a couple of quickly taken ones) but it was notorious for the barberous torture that was carried out here.

Immediately next door is the art collection of Willem V (Gallerij Prins Willem V) who in 1774 "brought together the most important paintings in his collection in a purpose-built gallery".  Apparently it was considered the duty of the rich noblemen to make collections of things.  Willem was unique in that he opened his collection for others in the community to see.  Of course, no photos, but it was intersting to see about 150 paintings.  I was fascinated by one in particular as I couldn't even see any brush strokes.  I certainly didn't touch it, but apparently got too close to it and it set off an alarm.  Oooops!  A security man quickly asked me to back up.

Several of the museums we have visited have security people - more present than in the past - but we also noted that they have virtually nothing to do.  It would be a mighty boring job.  At one museum, Mesdag Huis, they were anxious to chat about all sorts of things - guess it breaks up the day.  We are learning.


ballardquilter said...

Thanks for posting more lovely pictures.

Joke said...

You are very brave, although my grandfather took us children to the Gevangenpoort, I never dared to go in there :)