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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Amsterdam; Population - 17 million; Currency - Euro MORE NETHERLANDS

From Amsterdam I spent a morning in Haarlem before moving on to Utrecht - May 2010.


euroNetherlands is another country in the Euro-zone










neth166Haarlem's main square is the Grote Markt



neth165Dominating the Grote Markt is the Grote Kerk van St Bavo, Haarlem's cathedral




neth168Inside the Grote Kerk van St Bavo is a huge organ, once played by Handel and Mozart - Haarlem















neth164Another historic building in the Grote Markt is the Vleeshal (meat hall) - Haarlem













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neth159A jam-packed bicycle park in Haarlem



neth162Outside the Corrie ten Boom house. Corrie ten Boom, along with her family, protected many Jews and members of the resistance during World War II - Haarlem



neth169Heading south from the Grote Markt - Haarlem















neth171One of the side streets off Grote Houtstraat - Haarlem















neth172At the end of this street is the 14th century Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) - Haarlem



neth174The grounds of the Proveniershuis, built in the 17th century as a hofje (almshouse) for elderly men - Haarlem



neth177A mouldy old bike in Haarlem















neth180This statue reminds me of Donnie Darko - Utrecht



neth186The 112 metre high Domtoren (Dom Tower) is the cathedral tower - Utrecht

















neth187Through the arch of the Dom Tower to the cathedral - Utrecht



neth195Breathe in the chemicals at the multi-coloured urinoirs, next to the cathedral - Utrecht



neth189The charming cathedral courtyard with Dom Tower to the left - Utrecht



















neth190The Pandhof is a 15th century cathedral courtyard - Utrecht















neth194Next to the Dom Tower are a few bars/restaurants - Utrecht



neth196And of course Utrecht has a few canals running through the city



neth198This one kept giving me the eye - Utrecht















neth199A great location for a house - Utrecht















neth200And for a boat ride - Utrecht



neth202Not quite Swan Lake, more Swan Canal - Utrecht



neth203It's not only Amsterdam that has coffee shops - Utrecht















neth205Coloured reflections outside Buurkerk, a church on Buurkerkhof - Utrecht


















neth206I'm pretty sure this is the Utrecht Town Hall. In the foreground a canal tunnel glows blue.



neth208A café opposite the 13th century city walls - Maastricht















neth209A very picturesque area, just south of the ramparts - Maastricht















neth214Taking the first steps into the North Caves, a network of underground tunnels next to Fort St Pieter - Maastricht



neth216Manual labourers, called 'block breakers', cut limestone blocks from these caves for building construction, probably initiated by the Romans - Maastricht



neth218The charcoal drawings have been added in more recent years, though some of these are around 50 years old - Maastricht














neth220The cave network stretched over 200kms with 20,000 tunnels.
Today it covers 70kms and 6,000 tunnels - Maastricht















neth228Here, in the North Caves, there's an etching from 1941 of 'Salomon' (middle left). The tunnels were used to transfer goods during World War II, and also aided the movement of individual Allied soldiers, resistance fighters and Jews. 'Salomon' (hopefully the same one!) returned to etch his name again in 1991 (bottom right) - Maastricht.

Connected to the North Caves, the Kazematten Caves (not pictured here) were used by locals as air raid shelters during World War II. A chapel and bakery were even built.



neth229Maastricht Underground conduct fascinating tours of the North and Kazematten caves. There's also the Zonneberg caves slightly further south (I don't know if tours are possible) - Maastricht



neth251A red flag flies above Fort St Pieter, which dates to 1701 - Maastricht















neth213There's some decent views of Maastricht from Fort St Pieter.
The red tower is Sint Janskerk - Maastricht















neth233A café's tables & chairs in the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, with the square's church in the background - Maastricht



neth236Early evening in a deserted shopping district - Maastricht



neth237A small square just off Vrijthof - Maastricht














neth238A book shop inside a church (or a mock-up church?) - Maastricht















neth254Sculptures at Vrijthof, Maastricht's main square



neth241Vrijthof is home to Sint Servaasbasiliek (behind the tree) and Sint Janskerk, the red church to the left - Maastricht



neth244Sint Janskerk is a 17th century church - Maastricht















neth247 Sint Servaasbasiliek, some of which dates to 1000, and Sint Janskerk at night - Maastricht















neth249I've noticed a common theme in my Netherlands pages - climbing up church towers. This view is from the top of Sint Janskerk, looking down on Vrijthof and the towers of Sint Servaasbasiliek - Maastricht



neth253Surrounding the Vrijthof square are numerous restaurants and cafés - Maastricht



neth255A Vrijthof bar in the late evening - Maastricht















neth256The other main square in Maastricht is the Markt















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