Gouda cheese market

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July 30th 2011
Published: July 30th 2011
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municipal hallmunicipal hallmunicipal hall

gothic municipal hall during cheese market
July 21, 2011. My destination: Gouda city, The Netherlands. Event: Cheese market every last Thursday of June until August. Time: 10-12 noon. Coming from Amsterdam, a two-way train ticket costs €20 with a travel time of 55 miinutes. From The Hague, it costs €10 with a travel time of 18-25 minutes. From Den Haag centraal I bought a two-way train ticket to Gouda and waited until 8:38 am for the inter city train to arrive. At 8:56 am, I got off at Gouda train station. I went down the stairs of the platform where I got off, turned right and followed the sign centrum. Within 10 mins walk, I was in the city square. Upon crossing the bridge, there are lots of shops. There is a bakery called Bakker Bart, La Panini from V&D mall, etc. In the square, there is a gothic building which is the municipal hall. For an entrance fee of €1.50 , I explored the place. Tip: from the balcony of the municipal hall, you can have a full view of the cheese market, good for photos and filming.
Aside from cheese market, there is the usual public market. The square is filled with stalls selling traditional foods to dry goods. At 10 am, the cheese market begins. Traders and inspectors determine the quality of the cheese being offered. They wear white laboratory gowns. Haggling about the price takes place using the handjeklap system meaning clapping of hands between cheese farmers dressed in traditional clothes and buyers in white laboratory gowns. Once a deal is done, they choose somebody from the crowd to sample the cheese. First, a cheese is drilled and slowly lifted up for smellignm, then tasting. Once it is approved, the big, heavy round cheeses will be transported using a wagon pulled by a horse. See video at the end of the page.
Other points of interest
- St. Janskerk (church) with stained glass windows, open from 9 am- 5 pm, entrance fee: €3.50. Opposite St. Janskerk (church) is a store selling Gouda candles.
- Museum Gouda, open from 10 am - 5 pm, entrance fee: €7
- Cheese museum (Waag) opposite municipal hall, open from 10 am- 5 pm, entrance fee: €3.50
Tip: there are combined tickets which saves a few euro.
- Agnietenkapel, a chapel turned into art exhibits. The paintings and sculptures are for sale, free entrance
I just wanted a budget trip by exploring the town so I did not enter Gouda museum but only until the entrance door. I made photos of two gates which is part of the museum, one known as Lazaruspoort leading to an open terrace restaurant and the other one which exhibits antique potteries etc. with a garden and wooden benches. There are weapons of arm, statues and sculptures which are interesting in taking pictures. See video at the end of the page.

Hunt for lunch
Going back to the square, the municipal hall is surrounded with lots of restaurants. For budget food, I could opt for french fries and Dutch snacks like frikandel/kroket, etc. but is has no restroom. I passed by the municipal building and Agnietenkapel and found myself in Agnietenstraat (street). To to the left side of the street, there are stalls and benches where price of food is cheaper. Another alternative is to walk through and within a few meters, you find a statue of a woman carrying rounded cheese in front of Nieuwe marktpassage (mall).
I went back to The Hague contented because I enjoyed exploring the city with minimal expenses.

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 24


wooden clogswooden clogs
wooden clogs

hanging wooden clogs for sale in one of the stalls
Merchants in white laboratory gownMerchants in white laboratory gown
Merchants in white laboratory gown

ready to negotiate and examine the rounded cheeses

view nearing the city centre
cheese in the canalcheese in the canal
cheese in the canal

a decor in the canal by a cheese shop
glass stained windowglass stained window
glass stained window

municipal hall
Cheese girl inside municipal hallCheese girl inside municipal hall
Cheese girl inside municipal hall

chanced upon this girl in the municipal hall
decor at municipal halldecor at municipal hall
decor at municipal hall

adornment at the foot of the stairs

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