Monday, 18 March 2013

445 – Saint Walpurga's church, Zutphen

Card no 445 - Helmut & Gerda (NL-1754075) 
Country Card Sent From: Netherlands 
Place that Card Sender Lives: Zutphen 
Date Received: 14h March 2013 
Distance Travelled: 389 miles 
Time Taken: 3 days 

This card was homemade but you could not have told. Zutphen is a city in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. It lies some 30 km north-east of Arnhem, on the Eastern bank of the river IJssel at the point where it is joined by the Berkel. The name Zutphen (first mentioned in the eleventh century) appears to mean 'zuid-veen', or in English, south-fen.

St. Walburgis' (Saint Walpurga's) church is the largest and oldest church of the city. It originally dates from the eleventh century. The present Gothic building contains monuments of the former counts of Zutphen, a fourteenth century candelabrum, an elaborate copper font (1527), and a monument to the Van Heeckeren family (1700). The chapter-house of library ("Librije") contains a pre-Reformation library which includes some valuable manuscripts and incunabula. It is considered one of only 5 remaining medieval libraries in Europe (the other 4 being in England and Italy). The old books are still chained to their ancient wooden desk, a habit of centuries ago, dating from the times when the library was a "public library" and the chains prevented the books from being stolen. I have seen chained books in Durham Cathedral and they are fascinating.

One of the stamps features the beautiful Hyacinthj Macaw. They have a pair at Chester Zoo but they are shy and elusive birds and have a large space with much foliage in which to hide so I have yet to get a decent photo.

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