Beautiful Dutch architecture is on display in the Netherlands. The best places to view Dutch buildings are city centres, towns and villages. Many of the buildings date back to before 1800. Buildings built after that time can also be very beautiful but usually lack some decorative elements found in older buildings. Today’s article will discuss the beauty of Dutch architecture through photographs of many different types of buildings, including churches, town halls, castles and city homes or merchants’ homes.
A typical small-scale merchant’s home with an attached warehouse for selling goods called a “coop” was common up until around 1900. Only about 2% still exist today.
The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is one of the oldest and most important churches in Amsterdam. Rembrandt was a church member, and his father, a miller, is buried here in a family grave. The New Church continues to hold historical displays about Rembrandt’s life and work.
Churches are an important part of Dutch architecture. A typical town church decorated with stepped gables is called “listening”. Most of these types of churches were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. They do not have towers but instead always feature openwork steeples that reach up high into the sky (like windmills). These steeples or spires fan out at their base like flower petals, giving them an elegant and graceful look.
The stepped gables we discussed above and two openwork steeples side by side in Arnhem is a common design for churches here in the Netherlands and is often seen in old paintings and prints (old etchings).
These stepped-gabled townhouses were built around 1620, making them about 400 years old. They predate the more famous houses but stand today as beautiful reminders of our Dutch ancestors’ sense of beauty found within functional surroundings.
Some large gable stones decorating the front entrance to one such home were decorated with smaller details like these which can be difficult to see from street level at eye level.
An example of Dutch Renaissance architecture, which was popular in the 16th century, has stepped gables and ornamental sandstone masonry work called “krullen”, or curls. The building is located in Zaltbommel, but similar buildings were built in many other Dutch towns.
The word “Kasteel” means castle in English and refers to castles found throughout the Netherlands (like this one). There are around 700 castles here today, which makes it second only to France when compared with European countries. Most date back to before 1800 or earlier, when castles were more common than they are today in Europe.