Dining table of the rich medieval shipowner - Walraversijde


Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Dining table of the rich shipowner – photographed in the partially reconstructed medieval village Walraversijde, on the Belgian coast, near Ostend

Walraversijde (Source: Wikipedia )
Walraversijde is an abandoned medieval fishing village on the Belgian coast, near Ostend. It was rediscovered in 1992 in a dune area, near a medieval dyke. Archeological research showed that it had been occupied, in two phases, between 1200 and 1600. Walraversijde has been studied more thoroughly and more systematically than any other medieval fishing community in Europe. The village has been partially reconstructed, and has a museum, Walraversijde Museum, dedicated to the site.

Walraversijde Museum (Source: Wikipedia )
Because of the archaeological richness of the findings, the Province of West Flanders decided to present the results in an on-site interactive museum, Walraversijde Museum. The museum opened in 2000, and includes three medieval houses and a bakery/smokehouse. These late medieval buildings have been reconstructed as they are thought to have appeared during the prime of Walraversijde around 1465, together with furniture, fittings and fixtures. Flemish artists were particularly productive during the 15th century, and their paintings have been helpful guides during reconstruction.

The museum displays artifacts which give a sense of the medieval fishing industry and trade, as well as the risks the fishermen faced at sea, such as piracy, war and shipwrecks. There are further displays concerning household goods, clothing, hygiene, religious and recreational life, mouth bows and staffs, toys for young and old, including a well-engineered pair of bone glasses. Walraversijde has been studied more thoroughly and systematically than any other medieval fishermen community in Europe. This is, in part, because most other locations are still inhabited.

Inside the house of the rich shipowner
This photo was made in the reconstructed house of Jan Van Varsenare, the rich ship owner, and his wife. Here, the dining table takes a central place. On the table they display expensive tableware like drinking glasses, pottery pitchers, copper candleholders, tin plates, tin glazed pottery imported from Spain, and a high quality linen tablecloth (like seen in “The last Supper” by Dirk Bouts ). The 15th century guests used to bring their own table knives. Forks weren’t used yet in that time. ( Source: Anno 1465 )

Technical details
Photograph made with Pentax K10D camera and
Pentax-DA 18-55 lens
Exposure 1/45 sec, f. 3,5 mm
focal length 18 mm , ISO 400
+ flash
Date: May 31, 2014

TAGS: Documentary photography, Europe, Belgium, Archeological site, archeology, Walraversijde, Oostende, medieval fisher village, reconstruction, rich shipowner, dining table, historical, history, fishers, coast, table ware, glasses, chandelier ; candleholder ; candelabrum, candles, copper, tin plates, tin glazed pottery, linen tablecloth, 13th – 15th century,

Featured in :
Preserving History (July 11, 2014)

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