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Sightseeing in Gouda - what to see. Complete travel guide

Gouda is a city in the west of the Netherlands. Many people around the world know the city’s name because of a popular variety of cheese. However, we simply cannot fail to notice that this cheese has no relation to the Dutch city. The cheese is an invention of farmers from the same region; they simply used the same name. Gouda is a relatively small city that attracts numerous guests with its beautiful historical buildings and old churches. Do you want to spend your vacation in a serene and peaceful town? Then Gouda is a perfect choice because this city doesn’t have a loud and vibrant lifestyle.
Yet during ancient times, this region was a wild marshland. The Van der Goude family decided to build a castle here in the Middle Ages. This was a protective facility on the Gouwe River. The family name derived from the river’s name. Soon, new houses appeared around the castle. New inhabitants did all they could to make their new home more comfortable. A canal was made in Gouda in the 20s of the 13th century. This helped the settlement to become a safe and peaceful place. Gouda officially became a town in 1272.
Local people had to endure many troubles. In the mid-14th century and at the beginning of the 15th century, two large fires took place in Gouda. They almost completely destroyed the city. In the 70s of the 16th century, rebels, who were fighting against the king, occupied the city. Naturally, all these events had a negative impact on the city and its infrastructure. The castle also didn’t escape its sad fate – it was plundered and then completely destroyed. These were not all challenges for this region. Plague epidemics came to this region four times. At the beginning of the 19th century, Gouda was the poorest city in the Netherlands. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
In modern days, Gouda has got rid of all of those problems. Nowadays, tourists from all over the world visit this settlement in order to explore local landmarks. What attractions can Gouda offer to its guests? The old Town Hall is the first architectural landmark that draws the attention of guests. Built almost six centuries ago, the gorgeous building is located on the market square. It is the oldest gothic building of this type in the whole country. Moreover, the Town Hall building is incredibly beautiful, as if this is a magic castle from a fairytale.
The front part of the building has statues that are a symbol of wisdom and stability. Besides the fact that you enter an interesting and fancy castle, you will see portraits of different important personalities, dukes and their wives. These portraits were slowly added to the town hall with each generation. It is worth mentioning that the old Town Hall in Gouda is very popular around the world. There is even a replica of this building in a Japanese park.
In the central part of Gouda, tourists can visit a major religious landmark in the city – the Sint Janskerk. This is a big church dedicated to John the Baptist. The size of the building is really impressive. The length of the church is more than one hundred and twenty meters. This is the longest church in the Netherlands. The shrine dates back to the 13th century. At that time, it was built as the chapel for the Van der Goude family. By the end of the century, the church became available for ordinary citizens. For several centuries, the original construction of the church was upgraded and added new towers and other elements.
Currently, the Sint Janskerk is a basilica, the shape of which is reminiscent of a cross. Inside the church, visitors can still see an old and unusual musical instrument, carillon. It was installed here in the 17th century. Besides that, take a look at the gorgeous stained-glass windows that decorate the Sint Janskerk. These stained-glass windows were made in the 16th century, at the time when Catholics owned this church. There are still many church relics exhibited, including some rare medieval artifacts. When exploring the shrine, take a look at the pipe organ that was installed here in the 30s of the 18th century. This “musical giant” can still play beautiful melodies.
Gouda Candles or Candle Night is the most impressive and colorful event in Gouda. This is an annual festival that takes place in the city in the first winter month. On the day of the event, the head of the city lights up the main Christmas tree during a festive ceremony. All buildings surrounding the square also get special holiday illumination. In order to make this event even more exciting, all illumination, street laps, and all other lights turn off at 19:30. The whole city turns into a magical world of fire and mystery. Christmas tunes and songs play in the city center, and all visitors are welcome to join the singers.
Thanks to the beneficial location of Gouda at a crossing of important roads, it is easy to get to this city from The Hague or Utrecht. If you choose to start your journey in the first city, you can get to Gouda by train. You will reach the point of your destination in fifteen minutes. If you travel in a car, it will take thirty-five minutes to get to the city from The Hague. A car ride from Utrecht will be a bit longer – 40 minutes, and a train ride lasts twenty minutes.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Gouda and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Gouda
♥   Castle 'Burcht van Leiden' , 22.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'De Haar Castle' , 22.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Duivenvoorde Castle' , 22.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Nijenrode Castle' , 26.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Slot Teylingen' , 27.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Gouda
♥   National Park 'De Biesbosch' , 29.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Utrechtse Heuvelrug' , 45 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Zuid-Kennemerland' , 45.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'De Loonse en Drunense Duinen' , 49.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Grenspark de Zoom - Kalmthoutse Heide' , 71 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Gouda and around
♥   Art museum 'Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen' Rotterdam, 19.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Kunsthal' Rotterdam, 19.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Rijksmuseum van Oudheden' Leiden, 22.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Cobra Museum' Amstelveen, 34 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Gouda from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Keukenhof Flower Park

From the series “Top 16 Most Unusual and Original Parks and Gardens”
Currently, the park area occupies ​​32 hectares. Each year, about 7 million flowers are planted on its territory. In addition, the park features more than 90 species of trees, as well as artificial lakes, ponds, canals, and streams. Keukenhof is made for walking, so the length of all its footpaths is around 15 km. Romantic natures will be able to travel around the lakes and canals by boat. Fans of art will love the park too, as it has a rich collection of sculptures of different eras. The youngest guests are sure to enjoy an entertainment complex, as well as a farm with animals. … Read further

Madurodam

From the series “Famous Miniature Museums of Architectural Objects and Cities”
Madurodam received its name in honour of the famous student from Curacao George Maduro, who sacrificed his life in fight against the Nazi occupying forces. The initiators of the construction of the park were parents of the deceased student. For many years after the opening, all the proceeds of Madurodam were transferred to charitable purposes. The park of miniatures actively cooperates with various youth and charitable organizations nowadays. For tourists, Madurodam is a great opportunity to see the iconic sights of Holland in one place. The beautiful Royal Palace, the Mauritshuis Museum, the modern Schiphol Airport and the Rijksmuseum are just a few of the realistic mock-ups available for study. … Read further
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Gouda

All about Gouda, Netherlands - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Gouda, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Gouda in few days.
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