Discover the fascinating & rich history of the country of Holland, also known as The Netherlands.

Town Hall on the Markt in Middelburg, Zeeland
Middelburg Town Hall
The great Middelburg Town Hall.

The Town Hall of Middelburg

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The great Middelburg Town Hall is worthy of careful attention as a good specimen of Dutch architecture at one of the best periods. In the facade there are no less than twenty-two doors and windows, ten on the ground-floor, ten on the first-floor, and two in the great gable on the left-hand side.

All are decorated with carvings, and the first story windows are separated from each other by double niches, each containing two statues. There are in all five-and-twenty statues, representing the Counts of Holland and Zeeland. Between the first-floor windows and the roof is a mass of very rich panel ornamentation. In the roof are twenty- four small dormer windows, which give a very bright appearance to the structure.

The great gable is handsomely adorned with pinnacles and niches, and from the right-hand corner of the fagade rises a small tower with a balcony and a pinnacle. The whole faade is in wonderful preservation, and is one of the most fascinating architectural sights in Holland. Towering aloft, and completing the structure, is the huge belfry, at first massive and square, and then in the higher portion octagonal in shape.

This upper course is pierced and flanked by four lofty and slender turrets. The one feature open to criticism is the roof, which was added later, and may be thought in some measure out of harmony with the rest of the tower. In the belfry still hangs the old bell that used to summon the citizens either for counsel or to arms, which used to ring out the alarm when the reddened sky in the far distance denoted the approach of an enemy, or when smoke and flame nearer home indicated the presence of fire one of the deadliest of foes in the old Dutch towns.

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