Haarlem, The Netherlands




plenty kind of master (2)
gate point (3) architecture
need delight fortification
traffic free (3) square (3)
focal feature no longer
piece stand (3) throughout
fresh preachy bite/bit/bitten
option pewter household
grab preach package (2)
tail thing (2) slide/slid/slide
peace freedom say/said/said
raw patriotic eat/ate/eaten
flag healthy organ (2)
duty uncover good/better/best
mmm mobile characteristic
site narrow merchant
lane famous emphasis
full canvas masterpiece
great elegant Protestant
crisis bishop marinate
boost feature commission
grand clean off works of art
ego wealthy Madonna
taste worship independent
dodge explore golden age
proud display make/made/made
labor exquisite fruits of their labor
detail still life work hard
pickle big shot remainder
proud upward centerpiece
deal herring break away
saint jewelry close a deal
ware care (3) see/saw/seen
great towering find/found/found
tower mighty ornamentation
nave section customer
purge case (3) epitomize
reveal decorate season (3)
visual promote works of art
invest portrait soundtrack
pipe delicious pipe organ
fresco inspiration






Haarlem is a “Dutch Masters” kind of town with plenty of 17th-century architecture. The town gate, no longer needed as part of its fortification, welcomes all into a delightful Old Town.

Haarlem’s market square — traffic-free since the 1960s — has been the town’s focal point for centuries.

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The herring stand is a standard feature of small town squares throughout Holland.

Rick Steves, Traveler: “Hello, is it herring time now? Are these fresh?”
Herring Stand Operator: “That’s fresh, it’s now herring season.”
Rick Steves: “In the summertime?”
Herring Man: “Yeah, summertime.
Rick Steves: “So, what are my options?”
Herring Man: “The options — outside of Amsterdam, they grab it from the tail and just slide it inside and they bite it.”
Rick Steves, Traveler: “And in Amsterdam?”
Herring Stand Operator: “In Amsterdam we cut it in pieces.
Rick Steves: “Let’s have it Amsterdam style. Yeah.”
Herring Man: “Do you want onions and pickles with it?”
Rick Steves: “What is the normal way?”
Herring Man: “With everything.”
Rick Steves, Traveler: “I’ll have everything.”
Herring Stand Operator: “The whole package?”
Rick Steves: “The whole package. Beautiful. And this is actually raw?”
Herring Man: “This is raw, it’s marinated with salt. And then we eat it with the Dutch flag.
Rick Steves: “So, this is a patriotic duty in the Netherlands. Is this — people say this is a healthy thing to eat.”
Herring Man: “It is.”
Rick Steves: “So, how do you say, ‘delicious and healthy’?”
Herriong Man: “Lekker en gezond.”
Rick Steves, Traveler: “Lekker en gezond. Yeah. Raw fish.”
Herring Stand Operator: “Raw fish.”
Rick Steves: “Mmm, why not? This will make me a good man?”
Herring Man: “You already are, but now you’re even better.”
Rick Steves: “Mmm! Lekker en gezond!

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To uncover some of Haarlem’s sites, dodge bikes down narrow, characteristic lanes.

Just down the street, Haarlem’s top museum features the work of its most famous son, the great portrait artist Frans Hals. Here, in a room full of his masterpieces, we get a good taste of Protestant Dutch art.

When the Dutch broke away from Spain and the Catholic Church in the 1600s, they established an independent Protestant republic. While this was great for freedom, it was a crisis for painters — no more wealthy bishops and art-loving kings to commission grand works of art.

Dutch society was a merchant society, and now artists worked for a new kind of customer — Merchants. These are ego-boosting portraits of city big shots. They epitomize the independent and upwardly mobile Dutch of the 17th century — the men who made the Golden Age golden.

These Dutchmen worked hard and were proud of it. Here, some business leaders close a deal. They enjoyed displaying the fruits of their labor, like this — an exquisitely detailed still life of good food. No preachy Madonnas or saints, but a canvas reminder that this household ate very well.

And this family had some fine pewter ware. In this woman’s portrait, her elegant dress and jewelry are painted with as much care as her face.

Painters showed city pride as well. A centerpiece of most Dutch cities is the church. You see it in 300-year-old paintings . . .

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And you see it today as you explore. Haarlem’s Grote Kerk, or Great Church, towers over the market square as if to bless all the business that takes place below.
Inside, you find a towering Gothic nave, which was whitewashed and purged of its Catholic ornamentation when the Reformation arrived in 1566. Small frescoed sections, revealed when the whitewash was cleaned off, show how the entire church was originally decorated.

As was the case in many Protestant countries, rather than huge, preachy works of visual art, like frescos and statues promoting the message of the Church, the artistic emphasis was put on music.

Protestant churches invested in mighty pipe organs. Haarlem’s towering organ has been giving worship here an inspirational soundtrack since 1738. And visitors enjoy free concerts weekly.

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Church, Cathedral. Haarlem, in the Netherlands is a (completely) new, modern city. True or false?

Town Square, Plaza, Main Square. Lots of cars pass through Haarlem’s town center. Is this right or wrong?

Bazaar, Marketplace. Is the most popular snack or dish in the Netherlands pizza? Are the herrings fried or roasted?

Food Stand, Food Stall. Did Frans Hals made abstract paintings? What did he mostly paint?

City Hall. Is the Netherlands a Buddhist or Hindu country?

Pedestrian Street. Most of the paintings in the Haarlem Art Museum features queens, princes, princesses and nobility. Is this correct or incorrect?

Restaurant, Bistro. In the churches of Haarlem, do you see statues and paintings of people from the bible?

Cafe. A choir was performing in the cathedral. Do you agree?
Pub, Bar. I have visited the Netherlands. My friends have visited Holland. Yes or no?

Disco, Nightclub. Would you like to live, work, study in or visit the Netherlands?

Museum. Is fish or other seafood popular in your country?

Art Gallery, Art Museum. What do you associate with the Netherlands? What comes to mind when you think of the Netherlands?

Zoo. What might happen in the future?

Park, Botanical Garden. What could or should people do?

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