Exploring Medieval Elburg one chilly second Easter day

Every country seems to have peculiarities in observing religious holidays. In the Philippines where I grew up, Good Friday is a holiday. Apart from church activities like the observance of the “Seven Last Words”, the country comes to a standstill. Basically all establishments from schools, offices, shops, etc. are closed for business on this day. Activities would resume to full speed comes Easter Sunday when everyone feels that as the right time because “Christ is risen after triumph over death”. The opposite is true here in Holland because for many establishments except schools and banks, Good Friday is a normal working day. Easter Sunday and the Monday after, on the other hand, are observed as religious holidays. Second Easter day is like Sunday with all establishments closed for business. It is on this chilly second Easter day that I will take you with me to a little known charming place here in Holland called Elburg.

After the Easter egg hunt and dropping over at the place of my friend Marie for Easter dinner, we went over to my parents-in-law’s place to spend the night and celebrate second Easter day together with a nice brunch. It was a beautiful day, the sun shining brightly that it was a pity to spend the day indoor. We opted to go out for a bit of fresh air and headed to the lovely Medieval town of Elburg, just some 11 kms. from my in-law’s place. Francesca was happy to stay with Opa and Oma.

This is just my second time here in Elburg despite the frequency of our visits to my in-laws and its close proximity to their place. What a big difference it was to be here on a very chilly day when my earlier memories were of a very nice warm summer day when flowers were blooming all over and it was such a joy to see this town filled with locals and tourists alike checking out not just the town’s attractions but also the many local produce on display. That first visit happened to be the town’s annual celebration of their market day.

With very few people out and the shops closed saved for restaurants and cafes that opened their doors, we had a rather quick exploration of the town. It was interesting to discover new places that we never saw the first time we were here such as the Jewish cemetery which was just a short distance from the huge Protestant Church.

I look forward to coming back when the weather warms up, when flowers start to bloom as this town will be even far alluring then.

The Mr. along the harbor in Elburg

The Mr. along the harbor in Elburg

The harbor of Elburg under blue skies and fair weather clouds.

The harbor of Elburg under blue skies and fair weather clouds.

The Mr. in Elburg

The Mr. in Elburg

Moi

Moi

The Vischpoort  -- Elburg was a fortified town and this is one of the gates.

The Vischpoort — Elburg was a fortified town and this is one of the gates.

This canal is looking empty but in summer it is covered with blooming lotuses.

This canal is looking empty but in summer it is covered with blooming lotuses.

The Vischpoort from inside the fortified town of Elburg.

The Vischpoort from inside the fortified town of Elburg.

Portion of the main street which has a canal lined by trees in the middle.

Portion of the main street which has a canal lined by trees in the middle.

Looking quite forlorn at the moment, these houses are amazingly picturesque in summer from all the blooming plants.

Looking quite forlorn at the moment, these houses are amazingly picturesque in summer from all the blooming plants.

The Church and remnants of the old fortification.

The Church and remnants of the old fortification.

Moi

Moi

Normally these buds will be exploding already at this time of the year.  Had to still wait a while this time...

Normally these buds will be exploding already at this time of the year. Had to still wait a while this time…

Another angle of the church

Another angle of the church

The Mr. at the Jewish cemetery which we discovered this time.

The Mr. at the Jewish cemetery which we discovered this time.

Jewish cemetery

Jewish cemetery

The marker at the entrance of the Jewish Cemetery says that the people buried here were together in life and also in death -- victims of the cruelties of the WWII.

The marker at the entrance of the Jewish Cemetery says that the people buried here were together in life and also in death — victims of the cruelties of the WWII.

Croci on extended stay because of the chilly weather.

Croci on extended stay because of the chilly weather.

Purple crocus

Purple crocus

The Mr. in Elburg

The Mr. in Elburg

The Dutch Reformed Church

The Dutch Reformed Church

Elburg

Elburg

Doorstep of the first Christian elementary school in Elburg.  Building is from the end of the 17th century.

Doorstep of the first Christian elementary school in Elburg. Building is from the end of the 17th century.

Picture taken from the dike surrounding Elburg.

Picture taken from the dike surrounding Elburg.

The Mr. and me

The Mr. and me

Always a big fan of arched bridges -- couldn't resist taking this picture.

Always a big fan of arched bridges — couldn’t resist taking this picture.

Moi

Moi

I love this type of building -- old farmhouse style.

I love this type of building — old farmhouse style.

Finally it was time for some cappuccino...

Finally it was time for some cappuccino…

We shared this cake -- a very Dutch thing I guess.  ;-)

We shared this cake — a very Dutch thing I guess. ;-)

Candle and flowers always make the table cozy...typical Dutch concept of "gezelligheid".

Candle and flowers always make the table cozy…typical Dutch concept of “gezelligheid”.

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

55 Responses to Exploring Medieval Elburg one chilly second Easter day

  1. Alastair says:

    Some awesome photos there :-) Glad you had a good time

  2. avian101 says:

    Thank you Malou for your tour, also for including the Jewish cemetery part. :)

  3. John says:

    This is so interesting! I just did some further research into the dam that was built to tame the sea and all, great engineering indeed. Great post!

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, John. You must mean the Afsluitdijk which basically converted the Zuiderzee to a freshwater lake and also created a big chunk of land from the sea. A lot can be learned from the Dutch and how they tamed the sea and reclaimed land from it. ;-)

      • John says:

        Yes, that’s it! Sorry. I have read about the Dutch and how they have tamed the sea for many many years now. I would love to visit this wonderful country!

      • Malou says:

        You must see this country. Where my in-laws live was once the bottom of the sea. Now it is one very modern province and in spring, a lovely sight to behold from all the tulips and daffodils in full bloom.

      • John says:

        Oh that would be soo awesome to see! I fancy Geology, and this to me is a part of that as it relates to plate tectonics and other factors. I have researched the Glaciation of North America and in particular, the Great Lakes basin we live in here and how it was once buried under a mile of ice. Ocean floors are fascinating!

  4. lucindalines says:

    As always beautiful photos.

  5. Hi Malou, I am loving your blog so I nominated you for an award. Please come by and have a look. Congratulations! http://whisksandchopsticks.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/blog-awards/

  6. RoSy says:

    Hope you don’t mind when I play my broken record – but – I always enjoy your photos & the storis that you share. It’s like I’m travelling with you :)

  7. What great photos! It looks like it was a nice and calm visit despite the cold.

  8. Thanks so much for the nice tour and information. Very nice. It must have been a great time. Jack

  9. ShimonZ says:

    Thank you for the pictures from the Jewish Cemetery. It was very moving for me to read the messages on the gravestones.

    • Malou says:

      I’m not Jewish and cannot read Hebrew but I was touched too looking at those grave stones and knowing that those people who lie there have known love in life and for that reason are also together in death. ;-)

  10. viveka says:

    Once again thanks for sharing a chilly day out … what a picturesque place, is it the same place you went last year with all the funny clothes – the village peoples .
    Even if it’s sunny I can see on the sky that it was a cold. Beautiful post with beautiful photos as always. Thanks for the day .. with Mr and Mrs.

  11. Ah great spot to visit for a change… Thanks for the tip! :)

  12. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Nie place Malou, I like the boat scenes best :-)

  13. Great photos “vous” to go with “moi.” Nice job of capturing the city.

  14. bebs1 says:

    I miss Francesca this time but it is nice that you had time for yourselves.

    • Malou says:

      She was not feeling so well and preferred the company of Oma and Opa, Lou. The three of them also want their own moment together. ;-)

  15. restlessjo says:

    What a full of character little spot, Malou. I’d love to see that canal with its lotus blooms.

  16. jane tims says:

    Hi. You look very happy. Thank you for a tour of this charming town. Do you know what trees line the canal in your photo of ‘Portion of the main street….”? Jane

  17. I love that doorway at the Christian church.

  18. sillyliss says:

    I really enjoyed this post about Elburg and second Easter. In North Dakota, everything is also shut down for Good Friday. And by everything, I mean government entities. All the retail establishments are standing by waiting for “Good Friday” sales. America: a sale for every holiday, religious, secular, or completely made up!

    The pictures are great, and I especially enjoyed touring your tour of the Jewish cemetery.

    • Malou says:

      Thank you. A day of somber reflection seems to be a day for retail therapy out there it would seem. I’m more to keeping Good Friday quiet and marking Easter as a celebration. ;-)

  19. A beautiful photoblog with matching text. I particularly liked the picture of the arched bridge.

    Shakti

    • Malou says:

      Glad to know that you like this post, Shakti. This bridge is even lovelier in summer when the canal beneath is filled with lotus blooms. ;-)

  20. chrisstov says:

    Nice shot of the crocus and I did like the white clean look of that last photo.

  21. Kitty says:

    You both look wonderful, Malou, and what a charming village tour! I’d LOVE to see it wearing its summer dress. I enjoyed the cemetery and its poignant history, the cobblestones and bricks, the canals, and that amazing door to the first Christian school. Wow! Thank you, Malou!

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Kitty. You will love it in summer especially if you happened to be there when they have their annual market day. ;-)

  22. Enchanting little town, Malou…and your impressive images have captured only a few automobiles–which is wonderful!!! It looks as though tulips and daffodils might just ‘pop’ any day now, even though Holland is also subject to Arctic, cold winds (you look quite ‘bundled up’, though the sunshine makes your images look warm).

    Here in the States, everything is always open, no matter which holiday (or so it seems)…somewhat disrespectful, but greed has taken over…so very sad.

  23. Awesome pictures :-)

  24. Malou, a pristine post!

  25. That looks like such a quaint city, even without the blooms. You seem to be stuck in the same chilly rut that we’re in right now. I love what they did to the top of your cappuccino…and of course that dessert would make me smile.

  26. likeitiz says:

    Great photos. I had forgotten how extensive the religious history of the Dutch is until I saw the church photos. Thanks for taking us there.

  27. Every inch of that place is stunning, even the cemetery! HAHA! Even the food! LOL! Great shots as always :)

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