According to Homosociety, Gouda is a beautiful historic city in the Green Heart. The city originated in the Middle Ages at the confluence of the Gouwe and the Hollandsche IJssel. At the end of the thirteenth century, Gouda was granted city rights. Gouda has always been a rich city and this is still noticeable when you walk around the historic center of the city. The town hall of Gouda and the Sint-Janskerk are good examples of this. The city is of course famous for its Gouda cheese. But there are also candles, pipes and stroopwafels well-known Gouda products. The city is at its best in December when the evening of lights is organized here. The famous Gouda cheese market is now only organized in the summer months.
Top 10 things to do in Gouda
#1. Gouda City Hall
The beautiful city hall of Gouda is probably the most famous building in the city. The town hall can be found in the middle of the Gouda market. The building was built in the fifteenth century and has lost little of its beauty over the centuries. Since the opening of the House of the City, the city hall of Gouda has lost almost all its public functions. however, it is a popular wedding venue. On sunny summer days, couples in love follow each other at breakneck speed. Over time, the appearance of the building has changed a bit. For example, a platform was built in the nineteenth century and statues were placed on the facade in the 1960s.
#2. The cheese market
The Goudse Kaasmarkt, together with the Alkmaarse Kaasmarkt, is one of the most famous cheese markets in the Netherlands. The Gouda cheese market has been organized in front of the Goudse Waag on the Markt for many centuries. The famous Gouda cheese is traded on the cheese. This is one of the best known and most eaten cheeses in the world. Today, the cheese market mainly has a tourist function. The Gouda cheese market is organized every year on Thursdays from the first Thursday of April to the last Thursday of August from 10:00 to 13:00. There is no cheese market on Ascension Day. In addition to the cheeses, there are a few other crafts on display at the market.
#3. St. John’s Church
The Sint-Janskerk in Gouda is a beautiful large cruciform church in the center of the city. At 123 meters, the church is the longest church in the Netherlands. However, this is not noticeable because the church is hidden behind several monumental buildings. Only in the church do you notice the greatness of the church. The church is famous for its stained glass windows. Most of these windows date from the sixteenth century. With this, the church possesses most of the sixteenth century glass that is still present in the Netherlands. During the Reformation, much of the interior of the church was demolished. Fortunately, the windows were spared. The church is open to the public and can be visited for an entrance fee.
#4. Het Weeshuis
The former orphanage of Gouda is located in the historic center of the city, not far from the town hall and the Sint-Janskerk. The library of Gouda can now be found in the beautifully restored building that dates from the second half of the seventeenth century. There is a gate to the right of the building. You have to pass under this beautiful gate with a historic frieze before you reach the courtyard of the library. In this courtyard you will find a cozy terrace. The various buildings of the former orphanage are built in a square around this square.
#5. Museum Harbor of Gouda
The Museum Harbor of Gouda is a unique piece of historical heritage in the city. In the harbor you will mainly find ships belonging to the so-called brown fleet. These are ships that were mainly used on the former Zuiderzee and the Waddenzee. These ships are still used on the current IJsselmeer. There are about twenty-two historic ships in the harbor, all of which are in excellent condition. You can learn more about the different ships by means of various signs on the shore. A number of these ships can be rented for parties and celebrations.
#6. Huis van de stad
The Huis van de stad is the new town hall of Gouda, which opened its doors for the first time in 2012. The futuristic-looking building can be found on the edge of the historic center of the city next to Gouda station. The building is also affectionately known as the stroopwafel. The pattern, which is clearly visible on the outside, is inspired by a stroopwafel. The inside of the building also looks very futuristic. The first floor is open to the public. Here you can get a good idea of the interior of the House of the City.
#7. Museum Gouda
The Museum Gouda can be found opposite the Sint-Janskerk in Gouda in the historic center of the city. The museum is located in the former Catherina Gasthuis, the former hospital of Gouda. the Lazerus gate from the seventeenth century forms the entrance to the museum. The museum’s collection includes sixteenth century altarpieces, nineteenth century paintings and the city collection. The city collection includes various torture instruments, a medical collection, a collection of Gouda pipes and works by a number of Gouda artists from different times.
#8. Gouda Cheese museum
The Gouda Cheese museum can be found in the Gouda weigh house on the Gouda market. In the museum you will learn everything about Gouda cheese and what makes this cheese so unique. The Gouda cheese market is organized in front of the Gouda weigh house in the summer. The Gouda Waag was built in the middle of the seventeenth century and has served as the Gouda Cheese museum since 1995. In addition to cheese, the museum also pays attention to some other typical Gouda crafts such as making pipes and candles.
#9. De Vier Gekroonden
De Vier Gekroonden is one of the most beautiful houses in the old center of Gouda and can be found on the list of the top 100 of Dutch Unesco monuments. This beautiful late Gothic house was built at the beginning of the sixteenth century in the Naaierstaat in Gouda. This after a previous house on this site was lost during a fire. The most remarkable thing about this building is the frieze with the four crowns on it. This frieze was probably made in the fifteenth century by one of the first owners of the building.
#10. Candles Evening
An old tradition in Gouda is the Candles Evening. In the past, a metre-high Christmas tree was placed on the second or third Tuesday of December. Nowadays this happens on the second or third Friday of December. The Christmas tree, but also the old town hall and a large part of the buildings on the market are lit with candles and LED lighting. There are more than 1,500 candles in the town hall alone. During the illumination of the city, various activities are organized in Gouda. Such as a living nativity scene, and several musical performances.