Spijkenisse. What a beautifully sounding name for a town. It was derived from the words spieke, meaning “spit“, and nesse, meaning “nose”, i.e., “pointy nose”. It has nothing to do with the people who live there, or the Spijkenissenaar, though. It actually refers to “a spit of land portruding along the river”. Since the town is located near the River Meuse, I guess it is safe to say that the spit was there on that river. Was because I didn’t really see the spit during my visit! 🙂
After relaxing on the first day of my trip, my aunt and uncle took me and grandma to the town center. I also managed to go there on my own to explore a little bit more! The town is well-designed, with mixed modern and classic architecture and traditional structures like windmills and canals. According to sources, the town has been there for many thousands of years, with the native inhabitants farming and fishing to survive. It has suffered many floods during the 16th century, and destructive fires in the 17th and 18th century! Hence, the title of this blog post.
Nevertheless, the town managed to survive, thanks to Dutch innovativeness. Today, it is a striving town economically, with effective transportation systems that connect to other parts of the country, particularly to the bigger city of Rotterdam.
Two beautiful landmarks I particularly liked are the old church and the library. Built in the 1900’s, the “Oude kerk” (Old Church) is the oldest building in the city, a sweet reminder of the medieval times. The library, in contrast, is a modern-day architecture which entices people towards the love for reading. It was designed by Dutch architects MVRDV and was opened in 2012. Because of its original designs, the Book Mountain has won many architecture awards. And because it’s a public library, everyone is welcome! I spent hours in there, and boy, was it a bookworm paradise!
And if you happen to be in the Netherlands, never miss to have a nice cup of hot chocolate or your favorite coffee plus a slice of Dutch apple pie with whipped cream at La Place, the most successful restaurant chain in the Netherlands! They offer cold and hot beverages, freshly baked bread and pies, snacks, and salad.
Spijkenisse is a lovely Dutch town which is worth a visit! My aunt and uncle also showed me and my grandma around the bigger city of Rotterdam, where you’d find Europe’s largest port! More about that in the next entries. 😉 Cheers!