Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | February 5, 2013

Tuesday Art Blogging


Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde, The Great Market in Haarlem, 1696. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Update (Feb. 6, 2013, 11:00 AM): here’s what the Great Market in Haarlem looks like today.


The Grote Markt in Haarlem, April 2006. Source: Wikipedia.

The church in the center is today known as the Grote Kerk (literally, “the Great Church”) or as St. Bavokerk (i.e., Saint Bavo’s Church). (The church’s Wikipedia page is imprecise on when the church was built, except that it [1] replaced a previous wooden church that was built before 1307 and burned before 1400, and [2] that the present church seems to have been in place by 1479.)


This painting from 1673 shows Saint Bavo of Ghent, in the clouds, scaring off an army that was attacking Haarlem in 1274. Astute critics might note that the city walls of Haarlem were not built until some decades after 1274. The Grote Kerk is clearly visible in the background; the stone church shown there and still standing today also was not in existence in 1274. The identity of the painter is unknown. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Looking to the photograph of the Market as it appears in the 21st Century, to the right of the Grote Kerk one sees the Vleeshal, the “flesh hall” or meat market.


The Vleeshal (lit. “Flesh Hall”) in Haarlem. Photo by Guus Bosman, September 14th, 2004. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

For many decades after 1604, this was the only place where fresh meat could legally be sold within the city limits of Haarlem. (Today the building is a museum.)

Now, the front entrance of the Vleeshal opens onto the Market, as shown. I’ve learned that the back entrance of the Vleeshal is on Spekstraat, or the Street of Bacon. How awesome is that? Why aren’t there more Streets of Bacon in this world? I think the world would be just a little better if there were more streets named after bacon.


The Vleeshal as seen from the Street of Bacon. Photo by Mcke, July 2009. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.


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