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Picture Gallery I
The area were now Gouda lies, was still
covered with swamps and wet land around the year 1000. One of the most
important rivers cutting through that area was the "Gouwe" river.
Alongside its banks the first settlers came to live during the 11th and
12th centuries. Most people came to built a house around the fortified
castle of the familyu "Van der Goude" (close to the present St. John's
church). The small city began to grow and named itself Gouda" (after the
"Van der Goude" family).
Around 1225 the Gouwe river was connected
with the Old Rhine through a new canal. The estuary of the Gouwe in the
IJsel river was transformed into a harbour, which attracted more and
more traders (navigating between Flanders-France on the one hand, and
Holland and the Baltic area on the other hand).
Gouda was chartered in 1272 and the
counts brought their tollhouse right to the city. By then the Van der
Goude family had disappeared and had been replaced by the lords of
Beaumont, who built a new and imposing castle on the banks of the IJsel
in 1361. Already around 1350 the city had expanded to its maximum and
fortified walls were constructed. Although fires (1361) and the plague
(1438) did not spare the city, Gouda continued to thrive.
The plague inspired the god-fearing
people of Gouda to build numerous convents and chapels. In the 15th
century Gouda was rich, ranked among the five most important cities of
Holland and was as large as Amsterdam. One of the most famous sons of
Gouda was the 16th century humanist Desiderius Erasmus. He was born here
and received his education here.
Gouda developed into a thriving
trade centre during the 15th century, with the focus of its
trade lying on beer and cloth production. During the 80 years war Gouda
became politically and economically isolated, but recovered in the 17th
century due to new industries and trades such as cheese-making, pipe-making and the production of wax
Gouda had always remained an industrial
beehive. Some of the most important products to come from here are :
candles, soap, sirup, yarn, rope, machines, terra cotta pots, pipes,
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