Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Visit to s'Hertogenbosch

Our district meeting on February 1st was held in s'Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch for short).  The name originally meant The Duke's Forest.  Eventually it was shortened to The Forest (Den Bosch).  These are the elders in our district the day before transfers.  Elder Benson, second from the left, will be leaving our district tomorrow.  Elder Frahm (the tall one) will be getting a new greenie from Brazil.  It will be interesting to hear a Brazilian speak Dutch. 

Following our district meeting we went to the old section of Den Bosch to look around.  Our Dutch guide book told us the cathedral in Den Bosch is not to be missed.

Wow, I can see why it is often called the most beautiful church in The Netherlands.  There is scarcely a square inch on this magnificent building that is not covered with ornamentation.  This style of architecture dates back to the Baroque era, where composers took their cue from builders and added trills and turns to the music to 'ornament' the sound.  Everything is highly decorated - almost to the point of being gaudy.

St. John's Cathedral from a different angle.  It is amazing that something like this could be built during the Middle Ages.

The steeple had a modern clock.  Maybe not original to the building, but we couldn't see any literature to explain when it was added.  There were renovations done in 1860.  Perhaps it was added at that time.

The stained-glass windows inside were magnificent.  What gorgeous colors, and the detail was amazing!

There are over 150 columns on the inside of the building to hold up the ceiling.  It was dark inside, so the detail was difficult to capture, but it was huge and very impressive for a building that dates back to the 1500's.   Elder B couldn't help but point out that it was very cold and dark- not exactly what we're used to in our sacred buildings.

A final look at St. John's Cathedral.  What a magnificent structure. 

The streets of Den Bosch were almost empty on this Tuesday afternoon.  It was a cold winter day, with a brisk wind that cut right through my wool coat.  We kept moving to avoid frostbite.  Definitely not a day to loiter.

It is obvious that this part of the city is very old.  These are real cobblestones - not just bricks like we saw being laid in Dordrecht last month.  These stones have been polished smooth from hundreds of years of people walking and riding bicycles and cars over them.  When wet, they are extemely slick.  Cobblestones last longer than other kinds of roads because of the excessive moisture here.

Elder Beckstrand stopped for a moment on the corner of this cute outdoor cafe.   We loved the heart on the side of the building.  I guess that means you're going to 'love' the food there.

"Okay," you might ask, "what is this??"  It is a Den Bosch Chocolate Ball (Chocolade Bollen).  This city created this delicious pastry, so we couldn't leave without buying one.  Last week when President Brubaker found out we'd been to Den Bosch his first question was, "Did you try their chocolate ball?"  The next time he asks we'll be able to say YES!

Here goes!   One, two, three.......  No, I guess I'd better share it with my companion.  After all, he paid for it.

The pastry is filled with whipped cream then coated with chocolate.  It is totally, sinfully delicious!   It is about 4 inches high, 4 inches wide, and 10  inches around -  nothing but pure calories.  Mmmmm....

1 comment:

  1. That ball looks pretty good! I think I would prefer to have a little chocolate drizzled on it rather than having it covered in it, but that's just me. That cathedral reminds me of the ones we saw in England. Remember our "ABC" tour?