Undutchables in the city - Gouda | Undutchables

Undutchables in the city - Gouda

You may have heard the name Gouda before. Maybe while walking through the cheese isle of the supermarket, you might have come across the Gouda cheese (double maybe). Gouda is a quaint city in the South of the Netherlands. This city is characterized by its marvelous square with the historic town hall standing tall at the heart of the Markt (The name of the central square in Gouda). This is one of the oldest Gothic secular structures in the Netherlands and exerts an undeniable beauty. Gouda is not an international city such as the other bigger Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam for instance, but it still attracts a lot of tourists. Walking in Gouda you quickly realize why it is called the cheese city. The city has plenty of stores dedicated to cheese and right next to the square there is a cheese museum. The Gouda cheese itself is one of the most produced cheeses in the world. Even though it can be produced all over the world and not solely in the Netherlands, this cheese owes its name to the fact that it has been traded in Gouda for centuries. The cheese market is now only held once a week as a tourist attraction in the summer months.

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Of course the city is known for its cheese, but there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the marvels this city has to offer. Gouda is definitely worth visiting for its ­-350 national monuments. Another beautiful sight is what used to be the Gouda chocolate factory. In 2014 this building was transformed into Gouda’s city library and offers a relaxing and pleasant ambiance for readers and enthusiasts. Another jewel of the city is the Sint-Janskerk, the large Gothic church, well-known for its stained glass windows. The church measures 123 meters in length, making it the longest church in the Netherlands.

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If you are not one for cultural activities and are looking for a relaxing afternoon we have some suggestions for you.. There are a wide variety of restaurants in the city center. We recommend restaurant Olivia. This is a Mediterranean restaurant with a range of delicious, quality dishes. Do you prefer to sit outside during the summer time? Brasserie Copper is a perfect location for lunch or dinner. If drinks and snacks are what you are looking for, paired with a great atmosphere, Swing is where you should be.

What’s more about Gouda is that the oldest light festival can be found here. On the 16th of December Gouda is candle lit with the famous Gouda by Candlelight (Gouda bij Kaarslicht). This is when the city comes to life with nothing but candle lights. All afternoon and until late in the evening people celebrate the light festival with music, street theater and dance. A goose-herdsman and shepherd take to the center with their animals. Beautiful concerts are also held in the Sint-Janskerk.

The highlight is the medieval town hall, which is lit only with candles for the light festival. Besides the lighting of the lights in the huge Christmas tree nothing else is lit, so it is quite a magical sight.

Even though the city of Gouda is much smaller in scale, it is a city worth visiting.

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  • Gouda
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