Friday, May 11, 2018

MARY - The holy virgin

62 locations, in alphabetical order.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos: © Albert Hagenaars.

Although Bergen op Zoom has not always been a predominantly Roman-Catholic town, one can still see many statuettes, figurines, plaques and plaquettes representing Mary, some of them having survived sieges and iconoclastic furies.

This page will bring together as many of the remaining images as possible. Some have historic value, a few are also artistically interesting and most of them are the result of serial production, as especially can be seen on houses of the Twenties and Thirties of the 20th century. All were given their place however with the firm belief that Mary would protect the residents, keep them from evil, or could provide prosperity.

Bergen op Zoom is also home to one of the few processions in The Netherlands dedicated to Mary, a result of a promise, done during World War II. If the town remained unharmed, its citizens would organize a yearly parade in honor of her. Although two 'Vergeltungswaffen' came down in the centre, killing dozens of people and causing of lot of material damage, this promise was kept, up to this day.

Boutershemstraat 22

Bredasestraat 44

Buitenvest 20

Burgemeester de Roocklaan 35

Burgemeester Mathonstraat 10

Glymesstraat 22

Glymesstraat 36

Grote Markt 5. Photo: Rijksdienst voor de Monumentenzorg, 1965.
This statuette couldn't be saved during the restauration (in 1965) of the house it decorated. It was replaced by a new work (see photo below).

Grote Markt 5, the new version

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Grote Markt 10, Sint-Gertrudiskerk

Kerkstraat 8

Kerkstraat (in the garden of Sint-Gertrudiskerk)

Kladseweg 42

Kloosterstraat 2A

Kortemeestraat 26

Lange Parkstraat 8

Le Grandstraat (on wall of Moller Lyceum)

Lievrouwestraat (Gevangenpoort/Prisoner's Gate)

Lievevrouwestraat 29

Lievevrouwestraat 32
The only image of Maria in town which is lit

Lievevrouwestraat 35-37

Meeussenstraat 2

Moeregrebstraat 66

Noordsingel 230

Noordzijde Zoom 78

Noordzijde Zoom 79

Pastoor de Meulemeesterstraat

P. Turqstraat 6

Potterstraat 58

Sibeliusstraat 32

Steenbergsestraat 38

Van Dedemstraat 105

Vismarkt 21 (= Sint-Catharinaplein 21)

Vismarkt 22 (= Sint-Catharinaplein 22)

Wassenaarstraat 50

Westersingel 7


Zuidmolenstraat 43

Zuidsingel 9

Zuidwestsingel 208

Will be followed!

Sunday, October 30, 2016


38 pictures

Even Dutch people will raise their eyebrows when they hear the odd sounds in the word Moeregrebstraat. This street is named after an 800 meters long underground canal, which was open in the Middle Ages and partly until the early 20th century. Dug in the 13th century, it runs between Anton van Duinkerken Park and the old harbour, 250 meters parallel to the mentioned street. ‘Moer’ is related to ‘moor’, 'peat soil’ and ‘greb’ has to do with the verb 'graven' or 'to dig'. So, 'moeregreb' could be translated as 'peat canal'.

As mentioned, the canal was covered through the years. More and more it served as a sewer system. Nowadays it's a clean, historic treasure. It's the largest monument of BoZ and is also listed nationally. Restoration works came to a close in 2009.

The water is still used by the fire department.

More will follow

Meeting stile representing Saint John the Evangelist, cut by Gerrit Kemperman. This wooden needle is not only part of the gate leading into Markiezenhof (the palace of the lords and later the marquises of Bergen op Zoom) but also the most eastern tip of Moeregrebstraat.

The Markiezenhof.

Irish pub O'Carolan's at number 2.

A Celtic symbol of oneness and solidarity at O'Carolan's.

Moeregrebstraat 4, the house with the stepped gable, was build in 1925. Only the mediaeval cellar was kept in the process.

The street in the 18th century, as seen (to the west) by Cornelis Pronk (1691 - 1759) in 1748. He made many drawings of locations in The Netherlands and was also specialized in miniature paintings.
In the distance the tower of the outlet sluice building can be seen, to the right the one of the bailiff's mansion, where nowadays café Het Zwijnshoofd is situated, including a new tower a few meters away from the place of the demolished structure.

A fragment of the same drawing, focusing on the bailiff's house.

Self-portrait by Cornelis Pronk.

Old publicity for the company Van Geel, a family business of smiths who owned a forge and warehouses in this street.

A door decoration (1925) at number 4, made by the Van Geel's.

Moeregrebstraat is partly located between parking lot Mineurplein and the nearby shopping centre, which consists of two loops. In order to link parking lot and this commercial centre as well as both shopping area’s, the council of BoZ asked the organisation KidOR (Kunst in de Openbare Ruimte / Art in the Public Domain) to select an artist who would visualise this ambition. After two procedures Amsterdam-based designer John Propp was chosen. He came up with a logo that, together with one of 75 different silhouettes, symbolizes itinerary and connection. One of the shopping areas is informally called ‘Vierkantje’, meaning little square, hence the corners in the digit 8. The design is attached to a number of litter bins. The one on the pictures above and below is to be found between Moeregrebstraat 4 and 6. The silhouettes are made of Corten steel. The results were unveiled in November 2011.

Commemoration tablet at number 12, in honour of resistance fighter J.A. van Bijnen, code name 'Frank', who lived here in the period 1930 - 1940.

Johannes Arnoldus van Bijnen (1910 - 1944). He was killed while planning an assault.

Entrance of café Het Zwijnshoofd (The pig's head). The painting, with a reference to the mansion which once stood here, was made by Kees Warmoeskerken.

Where there's a pig's head at the front, there must be a pig's tail at the back of the building.

These attractive buttocks can be admired in the courtyard of the café.

The new tower of Het Zwijnshoofd, built on almost the same spot as the former tower.

A view on the tower of Het Zwijnshoofd from Morganstreet, crowned with a complete pig.

One of the many wall poems in BoZ. This text is by Jabik Veenbaas, the design by Marc Meeuwissen.

Detail of the same poem.

A tribute to carnival by Corry Hagenaars.

The same ode to carnival.

The text says: This statuette of a collector of carnival's stuff was donated to the people of Bergen of Zoom by 't Veldteke. It was unveiled on April 23rd 2005 at the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of this collector's club, which bears the honorary title "Treasurers of Bergen op Zoom's Carnival".

About a century ago these similar houses were built.

Good old masonry!

Quite a personal bike rack at number ..

This image of the Holy Virgin, one of the many in town, can be seen at number 66.

Number 72 represents an important historic location. More information will follow.

The western end of the street. Painting of the situation in the Fifties, when the canal was still partly open. Painting by a local artist.

Because the canal was covered since, it is impossible to get the same perspective as the one on the painting above.

The last houses of the street on the northern side, the numbers 82, 84 and 86.

Number 86, detail.

The corner of Moeregrebstraat and Hogeboomstraat.

The western end of the street, southern side.