The other side of 's-Graveland


Hilversum, Netherlands

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Artist's Description

In the meantime I have taken you often enough to the grounds of the various country-houses at ´s-Graveland, that paradise of the patricians from Amsterdam, founded in the Dutch golden age in the 171th century. Today I present you with a shot of the canal at ´s-Graveland, taken on a beautiful May day in 2007(oh those May days!).

Without this canal the whole thing would not have worked. It connected the country-houses with Amsterdam on the one side and Hilversum on the other.

Well, the patricians did not care about Hilversum, a small agrarian village at the time. But the villagers had certain rights to the area, and the patricians could not build their paradise without these grounds. So the folk of Hilversum were bought off by getting this canal, having like this a direct link to Amsterdam, too. In the 18th century this link enabled them to build up some little industries.

For the patricians and their staff the boat link to Amsterdam was of central importance. Once a day you could go by tow-boat one way or another. I have no idea how long the 20-mile trip took them at the time, but as they went at the speed of a tow-horse, it took them hours, all the more, as they had to change boats half-way at Muiden where they had to cross the River Vecht, which could not be done by these tow-boats. So they got out, crossed the river by a bridge, and then went on. A funny way of travelling from our perspective, but highly efficient at the time.

While the country-houses, about 10 or 15 of them were lined up some 100 yards on the eastern side of the canal, each holding its distance from the other, the closely-packed little houses along the canal were meant for the lower folk. Here the servants lived with their families, here the necessary artisans and shopkeepers had their houses and facilities.

So you see, ever so much history again where today you just see some idylic little canal.

´s-Graveland, 30th May 2007, 3.22 pm
Nikon D80, Nikkor 18-200 mm at 200 mm
F 16, 1/100, ISO 200

Artwork Comments

  • Angi Baker
  • Jing3011
  • Pat Yager
  • blondiegirl
  • Bev Woodman
  • Tom Gomez
  • MrJoop
  • Ozcloggie
  • jchanders
  • Evita
  • Ginger  Barritt
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