Information about the Dutch beauty industry for internationals living in the Netherlands, including names of trade associations, professional certifications for beauticians and hairdressers, types of treatments to be administered by a doctor and Dutch terms for specific beauty services.
Dutch Beauty Salons & Beauticians
The overall appearance of a typical beauty salon in the Netherlands is not unlike that seen in other countries, with the exception of course being the name outside the shop. ‘Salon’ will be recognizable, but this is usually preceded by the term ‘schoonheid’ rather than ‘beauty’. The Dutch word ‘schoonheid’ translates to ‘clean skin’. As for the place one visits for a beauty treatment, these are known as either ‘schoonheidssalons’ or ‘schoonheidsinstituuts’.
Beauty treatments on offer at ‘schoonheidssalons’ in the Netherlands typically include facials, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, hair removal/waxing and makeup applications. More intense treatments, such as micro-dermabrasion, LPL permanent hair removal, chemical peeling and permanent makeup, are also popular but aren’t offered in all salons because they require a specific training certification to administer.
The beauty industry in the Netherlands is not regulated by the government which means anyone can open a beauty or hair salon. The government leaves it up to private organizations, such as ANBOS, the Dutch training certification association for beauticians, which has over 5,000 member salons. ANBOS requires members to have completed a structured beauty education program. The ANBOS logo will often be displayed on the website and/or on the door of a member salon. When planning to visit a schoonheidssalon for the first time, it is a good idea to look for this logo.
Dutch words for beauty treatments…
- gezichtsbehandelingen – facials
- huidverbetering – skin improvement
- huideverjonging – skin rejuvenation
- behandeling – treatment
- ontharen – hair removal
If you previously received Botox treatments or Restylane injections prior to arriving in Holland, these are readily available in the Netherlands. It’s completely normal when first living in a foreign country to have a bit of trepidation about injections. Everyone has heard those horror stories about a botched treatment leaving a patient with a drooping eyelid or over-inflated lips. Poor Botox® or Restylane® results are far harder to disguise than say a bad haircut.
You can put your mind at ease living here in the Netherlands. Most anti-aging injectibles are categorized as controlled substances by the Dutch government. These include botulinum toxin (the active ingredient in Botox®) and hyaluronic acid (the active ingredient in Restylane® and Juviderm®). These can only be sold to, and administered by, licensed medical professionals who must be listed in the B.I.G. registry.
The Dutch term for a doctor specialized in such treatments is ‘cosmetisch arts’ (cosmetic doctor). That’s not to say every doctor which administers Botox® will be a cosmetisch arts. A general physician (huisarts) or dentist (tandarts) is legally able to administer these injections as well.
In Holland, beauty salon owners often partner with a licensed cosmetisch arts who is able to administer those treatments which require a B.I.G.-registered doctor or nurse.
The Dutch word for hair is ‘haar’, but a hairstylist is more commonly referred to as a ‘kapper’. Likewise, a hair salon is commonly referred to as a ‘kapsalon’. There is not as much a distinction in the Dutch language as there is in English between a barber, haircutter or hairstylist. In Dutch, these are all referred to as ‘kappers’.
The haircutting trade is also one that is not regulated by the Dutch government. A specific degree or certification is not required for a person to call themselves a kapper or to open a kapsalon. But there is a Dutch trade association specifically for professional haircutters (those who have graduated from a recognized training program), which is ANKO (Algemene Nederlandse Kappersorganisatie). When searching for a hair salon in Holland, it is a good idea to look for the ANKO logo on a salon’s website.
Aside from haar and kapper, some additional commonly used Dutch haircutting terms are:
- knip – cut
- wassen – wash
- drogen – drying
- fohnen – blow dry
- krullen – curls
- kleur – color
- kort – short
- lang – long
Dutch Trade Associations
The Nederlandse Vereniging van Huidtherapeuten (NVH) is the Dutch national association of skin therapists.
The Nederlandse Vereniging Cosmetische Geneeskunde (NVCG) is the Dutch national association of cosmetic medicine
The Koninklijke Algemene Nederlandse Kappersorganisatie (ANKO) is the Dutch national association of hairdressers.
The Netherlands Samenwerkingsverband Artsen Schoonheidsspecialisten (NLSAS) is the Dutch national association for two different guilds: Het Gilde van Cosmedische Schoonheidsspecialisten (GSC) and the Gilde van Medisch Esthetische Specialisten (GMES).
There are lots of ways to customize and stylize your Dutch bike when living in the Netherlands. And since you’ll be using it A LOT, why not make the most of it. Here are ten types of bicycle accessories to consider…
In addition to windmills, tulips and wooden shoes, the Dutch are known for their love of bicycles (or as they call them…’fietsen‘). It doesn’t take long for a newly arriving expat in Holland to learn that cycling is by far the preferred mode of transportation here in the Netherlands. Why? For starters, the Netherlands happens to be one of the flattest countries in the world, which makes cycling easy. Add to that the moderate maritime climate, health benefits and the support of local municipalities (which are responsible for maintaining and improving bicycle paths) and it starts making a lot of sense.
Since you’re probably going to be spending lots of time on your Dutch bike, why not customize it with an accessory or two to get the most out of your ride?
Here are just some of the bicycle accessories available…
SADDLE BAGS – These items are hugely beneficial and they come in a range of shapes, sizes, colors and prints. There are single bags, double bags and even removable bags that you attach to a clip on your bike for your commute. Then once you’ve arrived, you detach it for use as a briefcase, school bag or shopping bag at the market. The vast majority of bike bags range from €20-50. Check out the bike bag assortments available at
PHONE HOLDERS – Whether you use an iPhone, Android or other type of smart phone, it is super handy to clip your phone to the handlebars so that you can follow navigation directions. There are different types of phone holders. Some have transparent plastic covers for protecting the phone in case it starts raining) while others hold the phone with strategically placed brackets. Both types have pros and cons. An enclosed holder does protect from inclement weather but could also lead to the phone overheating. An open holder allows for better ventilation but also has a higher risk of the phone becoming damaged in the event it becomes dislodged and falls on the ground. You can get a handlebar phone holder usually between €9-29.
CAMERA – Action cameras are a great way to take videos as your cycling along a scenic path, such as through Holland’s tulip fields or passing Dutch windmills. The younger generation likes to use these while performing jumps and flips on their scooters. The cost will vary based on the quality of pictures the camera offers. Expect to pay at least €39 for an entry-level, lower quality bike camera
UMBRELLA – Expats also learn quickly that the Netherlands is fairly wet year round, but especially in early Fall (September-December are the wettest months). And because the rain is often accompanied by strong winds, it can be a challenge to cycle with one hand while holding an umbrella in the other. The good news is, there are bike umbrellas available which can be attached to the bike’s handlebars. You can find inexpensive options for under €20, but we strongly recommend investing in better quality (such as the Dutch invented Senz brand umbrellas) which don’t blow inside out like the cheaper umbrellas. Check options available at…
CARGO TRAILER – In Holland, you will often find yourself wanting to purchase something at a store, only to realize it is too big or bulky to transport home on your bike. With a bike trailer, you don’t have to worry about that. Simply hook it up before heading out to that D-I-Y store or local market; you’ll feel better knowing you have a way to get what you buy home safely. Trailers generally range in price from €150 at the lower end to over €400 for a sturdier model. Find options here…
MULTI-FUNCTION LIGHT – Bike lights are not just beneficial for cycling in the dark, they are mandatory by law here in Holland…a single white light in front and a single red light in the rear. But why not go further and get a light that can perform other functions? One we think is great is the S1 model by Zealot. It is available in green, blue and red and is equipped with a Bluetooth-operated speaker that can be pared with most smartphone brands. But that’s not all. It also functions as a power bank in case your phone gets low on juice. Check it out at Amazon Germany available for just €24.99.
CHILD TRAILER BIKE – This bike attachment is for a young child who may just be learning how to cycle, and perhaps isn’t off training wheels yet. The bike trailer allows them to be active with peddling and develops their balance while ultimately still being under mom or dad’s control. It’s great when heading out to the beach or a nearby recreation area. You can find options here…
BELL – This is a fun, low-cost accessory which you can find in a whole range of stylish prints and shapes, from small sleek bells to over-the-top horns. You’ll find most range from €2.95-15. See options here…
ANTI-THEFT DEVICE – It’s smart to equip your bicycle with a device that will help deter bike bandits from stealing it. This could be in the form of an extra-thick chain that would be difficult to cut through quickly, a chain that is also equipped with an alarm that sounds if the chain is broken or an a self-contained alarm that also has a built-in geo-locator. See the bicycle anti-theft device assortment offered at…
OTHER HANDLEBAR ACCESSORIES – Of course there are many other handlebar accessories available to customize your Dutch bike. These can include assorted flags, cup holders, navigation devices, rear view mirrors and more. Check out what’s available from…
These ten Dutch painters span 300 hundred years in history, from the early Golden Age to the end of 20th century. They’ve produced artworks recognized around the world and many of their pieces are among the most expensive ever sold.
Here they are in chronological order based on the year in which they died…
Rembrandt – [1606-1669] The most famous painter in history was born right here in South Holland, Netherlands (in Leiden). Rembrandt was a master of three different forms of art: painting, drawing and etching, but it was his painting skills that he is best known for. His focus was wide ranging, from portraits (including self-portraits) and biology to biblical scenes and landscapes. His use of light and shadow forms a continuity across most of his paintings. In 2017, the Dutch and French governments paid a combined $130 million to purchase two Rembrandt paintings (Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit) from the Rothschild family trust. The two portraits (of husband and wife) will be displayed together, alternating between the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) and The Louvre (Paris).
Johannes Vermeer – [1632-1675] This Dutch Golden Age painter was also from South Holland (Delft). Although he had some moderate success in his lifetime, he did not accrue wealth. In fact, when he died at age 45, he left his wife and children saddled with debt. But today the master is world-renown as the artist who created…Girl With A Pearl Earring, a painting so well known that 15 years ago, a movie was based upon it. Scarlett Johansson played Vermeer’s housekeeper who eventually became the muse for his painting. The original artwork is owned by the Mauritshuis gallery in The Hague. Other Vermeer paintings can be found hanging in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The Louvre (Paris), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), National Gallery (London) and the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna). The Vermeer Center in Delft displays reproductions of all the artist’s works and is located in the same building that Vermeer painted in centuries ago as part of the St. Luke’s Guild.
Jan Steen – [1626-1679] This Dutch Golden Age painter is known for his colorful and insightful interpretations of life in Holland during the 17th century. Like Rembrandt and Vermeer, he painted in Baroque style. His works hang in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), Mauritshuis (The Hague), Museum van Boijmans (Rotterdam), Scottish National Gallery (Edinburgh) and National Gallery (London) to name a few. Jan Steen was born in Leiden and died there at age 53.
Pieter de Hooch – [1629-1684] Another Dutch Golden Age painter from South Holland (Rotterdam). He was part of the Delft Guild of St Luke and painted in a similar Baroque style to his peers. He is known for his works that showcased domestic scenes. De Hooch’s paintings hang in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The Louvre (Paris), National Gallery (London), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and Getty Center (Los Angeles). Hooch died in Haarlem at age 55.
Aelbert Cuyp – [1620-1691] Another well-known Dutch Golden Age painter who also hailed from South Holland (Dordrecht). He is renown for his paintings of Dutch landscapes. Cuyp’s paintings can be found among the collections of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The Louvre (Paris) and National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.).
Vincent Van Gogh – [1853-1890] This post-impressionist painter was born in Zundert (North Brabant) and is considered one of the most influential artists in history. He was prolific in his creations, producing nearly 1,000 paintings during his short life. Unfortunately, he never saw success as an artist during his lifetime. He suffered from bouts of mental illness and frequent delusions. He cut off part of his own ear with a razor in 1886 and just a few years later, killed himself at age 37 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Today, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam attracts over 2 million visitors a year. His paintings are among the most expensive ever sold, including a self-portrait that was purchased in 1998 for $71 million. In 2017, a film entitled ‘Loving Vincent‘ was released which has been nominated for an Academy Award.
Hendrik Willem Mesdag – [1831-1915] This 19th century artist was from the ‘Hague School’ and is known primarily for his marine and sea-oriented paintings. His most famous work is the circular ‘Panorama Mesdag’; completed in 1881, it stands 14 meters high and is 120 meters in circumference. It offers a 360-degree view of the Scheveningen beach community and the North Sea from a perspective in the dunes. In addition to the Panorama Mesdag (the only panorama from the time still in its original location), there is a separate Mesdag Museum (also in The Hague). Willem Hendrik Mesdag was born in Groningen and died in The Hague. His works can be found in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), Musee Orsay (Paris) and the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.).
Piet Mondriaan – [1872-1944] This post-impressionist painter was instrumental in the introduction of ‘De Stijl’ movement, an abstract artistic form which was recently celebrated on its 100-year anniversary in The Hague and other cities in the Netherlands. He is considered one of the top 20th century painters in the world and his color-block style became highly recognizable. Mondriaan was born in Amersfoort and died in New York City.
Maurits Cornelis Escher – [1898-1972] A graphic artist known for his paintings, lithographs and woodcuts that incorporated unique interpretations of reflection, perspective and symmetry in his exploration of infinity. The M.C. Escher Museum is located in the Palace Lange Voorhout and soon will be expanded to include the adjacent building which formerly housed the United States Embassy. M.C. Escher was born in Leeuwarden and died in Laren.
Willem de Kooning – [1904-1997] This abstract expressionist painter was born and raised in Rotterdam. When he was 22, he moved to the United States and eventually became an American citizen (1962). Like Mondriaan, he is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. In 2006 his painting ‘Woman III‘ sold for $137 million. Nine years later another of his works, ‘Interchange‘ sold for $300 million. In 1998, the college he had attended in Rotterdam back in the 1920s was renamed the Willem de Kooning Academy.
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Visiting South Holland, Netherlands? Here are ten famous landmarks and sights-to-see in The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft, Leiden and Gouda.
THE HAGUE… also known as Den Haag or more formally ‘s-Gravenhage in Dutch, has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, although it never officially received city rights until 1806. Today The Hague is an international city with over 525,000 residents, making it the second largest city in the province of South Holland (in Dutch Zuid-Holland) and third largest city in the Netherlands (after Amsterdam and Rotterdam). It is the seat of the national government and home to the Dutch royal family. It is referred to as the ‘City of Peace and Justice’. The Hague is also the only major Dutch city located along the North Sea coast.
10 Sights to See in The Hague…
Binnenhof – A magnificent palace-like building in the center of The Hague, dating back to the mid-13th century. It is home to the Dutch government including the Prime Minister’s office. On the north side is a scenic pond (‘Hofvijver’). Hanging over the west end are 13 flags (the 12 provincial flags plus the flag of The Hague). In the building’s courtyard (accessible to the public), is the majestic Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights).
Mauritshuis – This 17th-century estate is now a museum. In its collection is the famous “Girl With A Pearl Earring” painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, as well as several works by another painter from Holland, Rembrandt. The large square diagonally in front of the building is Het Plein. In the center is a large bronze statue of William I, Prince of Orange.
Noordeinde Palace – The working palace of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. When the House of Orange flag is hoisted, it indicates the King is in attendance. On the property are the the Royal Stables and the Palace Gardens. Only the gardens are open to the public.
Passage Shops – This ornate building is the oldest shopping arcade still operating in the Netherlands (built 1882-1885). Check out the glass dome at the midway point.
Grote Kerk – This enormous church dates back to the early 1400’s. It’s bell tower stands 92.5 meters (28 stories) high, making it the most visible and identifiable landmark in the old-town center. The church is open to the public in summer.
Peace Palace – This grand building is home to the International Court of Justice (World Court) and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The idea for such an international palace was raised at The Hague Peace Conference (1898) and its construction was funded by a grant from the Scottish-American entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie.
Plein 1813 – In the middle of the square sits the ‘independence monument’, made of stone and adorned with bronze statues, which celebrates Dutch freedom, the victory over Napoleon and the introduction of the Dutch constitutional monarchy.
Kurhaus Hotel – This monumental hotel in the Scheveningen district is perched above the beach and North Sea. Built in the late 1800’s, it is one of the most recognizable coastal landmarks of The Hague.
The Pier – Like the Kurhaus, the Scheveningen Pier is also one of the most recognizable coastal landmarks of The Hague. The bi-level, 382-meter long structure has 3 offshoot ‘islands’. On the north west island stands a 55-meter high bungee jump tower while on the north east island is the Skyview Ferris wheel, the first in Europe to be built completely over water.
Scheveningen Harbour – The harbour is the epicenter of the local fishing industry and home to the Dutch coast guard. The inner marina offers mooring for day-trippers plus a wide range of water sports activities and seafood restaurants.
ROTTERDAM… is the largest city in South Holland with over 620,000 residents (second largest in the country after Amsterdam). It is also one of the oldest, having been granted city rights in 1340. But despite its age, it is the most modern Dutch city, the result of 75 years of reconstruction following its bombardment in May 1940, at the start of WWII. Today Rotterdam is a city of high-rise buildings, wide streets and an extensive underground metro system. Its nickname is ‘City of Modern Architecture’. The Maas river plays a key role, physically dividing the city into two distinct sections – Noord (which includes the Centrum) and Zuid.
10 Sights to See in Rotterdam…
Museumpark – located in the city center, this is where several of Rotterdam’s top museums can be found including the Kunsthal Rotterdam, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Chabot Museum, Sonneveld House and Het Nieuwe Instituut
Markthal – is an architectural wonder and the largest indoor food market in the country. Here you can find stalls selling fresh baked breads and tarts, fish, produce, flowers and cuisine from all parts of the world. Inside the walls of the uniquely-shaped 11-story building are condominiums and rental flats. The ceiling is covered by tiles that combine to form the largest mural in the world.
Kijk-Kubus – a series of attached cube houses designed by famed Dutch architect Piet Blom. One model home is open for public tours. The tall building on the north side of the cube houses, which resembles a giant pencil, is the Blaaktoren, also designed by Piet Blom.
Erasmusbrug – the swan-shaped, 800-meter long suspension bridge was opened in 1996 and connects the city center on the north to Wilhelminakade and the south part of the city over the Maas river. There is a dedicated bike lane and pedestrian walkway in both directions. The bridge is named after one of Rotterdam’s most internationally renown sons, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). You can find a bronze statue of him on Grote Kerkplein.
Diergaarde de Blijdorp – the Rotterdam zoo is one of the largest in the country with animals representing every continent on display in their natural habitats, including elephants, giraffes and alligators. It also offers an aquarium and aviary.
Euromast – the tallest tower in Rotterdam and key identifying element of the city’s skyline. In the ‘pod’ located approximately halfway up is a restaurant, two hotel rooms and two outdoor viewing decks, one on the restaurant level and another above it. On the upper deck is the entrance to the Euroscoop, a circular-shaped elevator with glass windows which rotates as it climbs to 185 meters, offering the best 360-degree aerial views of Rotterdam.
Beurstraverse – often referred to as the ‘koopgoot’ (shopping gutter), this open-air shopping center in the city center is below street level, crossing under one of the city’s busiest streets, the Coolsingel. The complex also has two indoor sections, Beurspassage and Beursgallery.
Laurenskerk – this large church was built between 1449-1525 is the only building still remaining from the city’s Medieval period. Both the church and its 65-meter (20-story) tower were heavily damaged when the city was bombed by the Germans on 14 May 2940 at the start of WWII. Considered for demolition during the planning stage of the city’s reconstruction, it was eventually saved and following a 20-year restoration, was re-opened in 1968.
Stadhuis – the majestic Rotterdam City Hall building was completed in 1920 and was one of the few structures in the city to escape major damage during May 1940 bombardment. The building mixes Byzantine, Romanesque and Art Deco design styles. It is built around a large courtyard accessible to the public through an entrance on Stadhuisstraat.
Port of Rotterdam – the modern port receives some of the biggest cargo ships in the world and uses some of the biggest cranes to offload the containers. The port operates 24 hours a day. In order to handle the expected increase in freight in the coming century, the port authority is building an extension out into the North Sea on reclaimed land. The project is called Maasvlakte II. Boat tours of the port leave from the city center.
DELFT… has an even longer history, having been established in 1246. It became one of Holland’s richest and most influential cities during the Dutch Golden Age, when it was home to a branch of the powerful Dutch East India Company. During that time, it became the center of the Dutch porcelain industry with its iconic Delftware. TU Delft, a top Dutch science university, was founded in the city in 1842. Today, more than 13,000 students are enrolled. Delft has a population just over 100,000 residents.
10 Sights to See in Delft…
Nieuwe Kerk – the ‘New Church’ which sits at the east end of the main Markt square, isn’t as new as the name would indicate. It was completed in the late 1400’s and the bell tower at 108.8 meters (33 stories) high, is the tallest in South Holland. The church is open to the public and you can even climb the tower for a splendid view of the city and its surroundings. Members of the Dutch Royal Family are buried in the church.
Stadhuis – the ornate former Delft ‘City Hall’ building was built in the early 1600’s and sits at the opposite end of Markt square from the Nieuwe Kerk.
Oude Kerk – the ‘Old Church’ in Delft dates back to 1246 and is where the Dutch painter and Delft resident Johannes Vermeer is buried. An interesting element of the church’s bell tower is the noticeable kink in its profile. During construction, the ground under the tower began to settle, causing it to lean in the direction of the canal. Instead of rebuilding from scratch, engineers fortified the base and the upper part was completed at the correct 90 degree angle from the ground. This resulted in the top of the tower being more than one meter off-center from the base.
Oostpoort – the original ‘East Gate’ entrance into the walled city of Delft dates back to the early 15th century.
Royal Delft – Delft is world renown for the blue and white porcelain ‘Delftware’ objects produced in the city’s factories during the Golden Age. Royal Delft is the only remaining factory still operating today where objects are still hand-painted.
Windmill De Roos – the last remaining windmill in Delft dates to the late 1600’s. It is open to the public on Thursdays and Saturdays when the sails are turning. Located in the base is a small store which sells flour produced by the mill.
Prinsenhof – in Delft’s largest museum, you can view paintings and objects which tell the history of Holland, the city of Delft and its most famous residents, and of the Delftware porcelain industry which for centuries spread the city’s name around the world with iconic blue and white patterned tableware items.
Vermeer Centrum – The Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, who created the famous painting ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’, lived his life in Delft. This center is located in the guild building where Vermeer trained painters. The center has on display reproductions of all 27 of Vermeer’s works and also uses multi-media presentations to explain Vermeer’s unique qualities.
Beestenmarkt – Located a short distance from Markt, is the city’s former cattle market, a cozy square popular with locals. It is lined with restaurants and cafes and in the middle is one large terrace.
Delft Station – the new Delft train station opened in 2014 and is beautifully constructed contemporary building with a grand main hall. The vaulted ceiling is covered by artwork depicting a map of the city and its surroundings from 1877. Strategically placed translucent floor tiles allow natural light to filter down as far as the train platform two levels underground.
LEIDEN… was officially established in the year 1266. Like Delft, it too became an important center of trade during the Middle Ages. It played an important role in Dutch history when it withstood a year-long siege by the Spanish army from 1573-1574. Eventually the city was liberated by William I, the leader of the Dutch rebellion, but not before thousands perished from disease and starvation. A year later, in 1575, the first university in Holland was established in Leiden (which today has nearly 25,000 students). Leiden is nicknamed the ‘City of Discoveries’.
10 Sights to See in Leiden…
Pieterskerk – built in the Medieval period, between 1390-1560, St Peter’s Church is one of the oldest and largest basilicas in Holland. It is also a national monument. At one point in history, it had the tallest bell tower in the Netherlands but the tower was destroyed during a storm in 1512 and not rebuilt.
Hortus Botanicus – established by Leiden University in 1590 for botany research, this botanical garden is one of the oldest in Europe. Within it are several gardens and a greenhouse. It is open to the public.
Molen de Valk – ‘The Hawk’ windmill dates to 1743 and was a replacement for windmills which stood on the same spot earlier. Inside the mill is a museum and you can climb the 7-story tall base for a scenic view of the city center.
Morspoort & Zijlpoort – these are two original entry gates leading into the city which at the time was surrounded by a protective wall. The Morspoort dates to 1669 and the Zijlpoort to 1667. Both the gate houses and drawbridges hold monument status.
Koornbrug – The covered ‘corn bridge’ over the Nieuwe Rijn river at the Botermarkt in the city center is from 1834. It sits in front of the Leiden Stadhuis (City Hall).
Almshouses – There are almshouses located throughout the Leiden city center. They were built as retirement homes for the city’s poor elderly residents.
Leidse De Waag – This ornate building from 1659 is where Leiden merchants used to weigh their commodities including cheese. The building has been used for various purposes such as a gallery and concert hall. Since 2015, the building houses a restaurant.
Beestenmarkt – The spot of the original cattle market where traders would buy and sell cows and sheep. It is one of the busiest squares in the city center and one of the points at which you can take a scenic canal boat tour.
Molen De Herder & Molen De Heesterboom – these windmills, built in 1755 and 1804, respectively, were used to cut trees into lumber at sawmills. De Herder can usually be visited on Sundays (when the wheel is turning).
De Burcht – a military citadel was built on a man-made hill in the center of Leiden. Remnants of the structure still exist but today the site is used as a city park which offers scenic views over the historic city center.
GOUDA… received its city rights from Count Floris V in 1272. The name ‘Gouda’ is world-renown due to the cheese which bears its name. It is located in Holland’s ‘Groene Hart’ (green heart), an area defined by expansive flat green fields, polder meadows and dairy farms. Over its 750 year history, it has had periods of prosperity (producing cheese, smoking pipes and candles) and suffering (four plague epidemics between 1574-1673). Gouda today has a population of 71,000.
10 Sights to See in Gouda
Stadhuis – the ornate, narrow Gothic-styled city hall is a must-see for any tourist heading to Gouda. Built in the 15th-century to replace the previous city hall which had burned down after catching fire from an adjacent building, this one sits by itself in the middle of Gouda’s main Markt square, well away from surrounding buildings.
St Janskerk – the Saint John’s Church (Sint Janskerk) in the Gouda city center is the longest church in the Netherlands, measuring 123 meters in length. It is renown for its collection of 72 stained glass windows from the 16th Century.
De Waag – built in 1667, this original cheese weighing house is where farmers would bring rounds of cheese to sell at the market. Each summer, a traditional cheese market is held on Thursday mornings outside De Waag. The Gouda Visitor Center is located inside De Waag.
De Roode Leeuw (1727) & ‘t Slot (1832) are two windmills located in the old town center and easily accessible on foot from Markt square.
Museum Gouda – tells the history of the city through its extensive collection of artwork, sculptures and other items. Over the archway leading to the museums courtyard is an impressive stone sculpture dating from 1609. Inside the courtyard is a the stone sculpture seen above which dates to 1713.
Museumhaven – moored at the south end of the Turfsingel canal are many monumental boats and ships. In addition to the 20 permanent berths, there are additional spaces for visiting ships with monument status. The museum also includes the Mallegatsluis, the lock system which separates the Turfsingel from the Hollandse Ijssel river. Due to different water levels, the lock is used to pass from one to the other.
De Gouwekerk – this church was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the Hoge Gouwe canal. Its tower stands 80 meters high (24 stories), making it the tallest structure in the historic city center. In May 2017 it was sold to a developer who plans to turn it into a hotel along with the adjacent property.
Visbank – these covered galleries with stone pillars on either side of the Lage and Hoge Gouwe canal, date back to from the late 17th century. Incoming fishing boats would offload their catch and the fish would be cleaned and readied for sale. At the end of the gallery on the Lage Gouwe side is the commissioner’s house.
Houtmansplantsoen – located at the south tip of the historic city center is Houtman Park which was created in the early 19th century on space which became available when the city wall was demolished. In the park is a memorial to the Houtman brothers Cornelis and Frederik, residents of Gouda who led the first Dutch expedition to East India in 1595. In 1898 a metal gazebo was added to the park. Both the park and the gazebo are registered monuments.
Jeruzalemkapel – the Jerusalem chapel was built from 1478-1487 by a St Janskerk vicar, Gijsbert Raet, after he returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The designs were based on the chapels he had seen. The Jeruzalemkapel is considered the best preserved chapel of its type in the Netherlands.
Earlier this week the European Commission announced a 3-prong initiative to grow total online sales within the union by reducing existing barriers and pushing for cross border fluidity. The action comes one year after the commission first announced one of its key … Continue reading →
Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay has confirmed that it has acquired the leases for 20 “prime” V&D department store locations in Holland and will start opening stores by mid-2017, approximately a year from now.
Vroom & Dreesmann was the last remaining moderately-priced Dutch department store chain before it went out of business in January 2016. At the time, it operated just over 60 full-line department stores and employed some 10,000 workers.
In today’s announcement, Hudson’s Bay has not stated under which name the stores will be operated. It owns the iconic American luxury Saks Fifth Avenue, along with the upscale chain. In Canada, it operates the Hudson’s Bay better department stores. In 2015 the company acquired Kaufhof, the largest department store chain in Germany along with its Belgian subsidiary Inno Galeria.
Speculation has been that stores opened in Holland would likely include an off-price element, similar to that of Saks OFF 5th, the discount division of Saks Fifth Avenue which has been hugely successful in the United States, where there are currently 91 store locations. The chain now operates under the recently formed HBS Outlets division. Earlier this Spring, Saks Off 5th launch a Canadian webshop which adds to the online presence it already had with its American saksoff5th.com webshop.
Although the retailer has not said which 20 former V&D locations have been leased, they are likely to include Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague (Leidschendam), Utrecht, Breda, Tilburg and Maastricht.
UPDATE: The HBC has now announced the first four store locations in the Netherlands and the store banner each will be under. Three of the four will be ‘Hudson’s Bay‘ department stores and located in Amsterdam (in North Holland), Breda and Tilburg (both cities are located in the province of North Brabant in southeast Netherlands). The fourth store will be under the banner ‘Saks OFF 5th‘, the discount off-shoot division of American luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue and will also be located in Amsterdam..
USG (Unlimited Sports Group), the Dutch parent company of sporting goods chains Perry Sport and AktieSport, is the latest retailer in the Netherlands to seek bankruptcy court protection. The company employs over 2,500 workers in its 300+ stores located throughout the Benelux, as well as distribution centers and headquarters. The company owns or is the licensee for 14 brands, including Champion, Fila and Le Coq Sportif. Aside from Perry Sport and AktieSport, USG also operates a retail chain under the name Time Out Sports and another called Primo.
The cause of the sudden bankruptcy filing was a knock-on effect of the recent V&D department stores and Scapino footwear chain bankruptcy filings. Perry Sport operated 11 shop-in-shops in the V&D stores and AktieSports operated 128 shop-in-shops in Scapino stores. Word is that there are already parties which have expressed interest in taking over USG as an ongoing concern.
Perry Sport sells activewear, sport shoes, sporting goods and outdoor equipment. AktieSport offers similar categories of sportswear and sporting goods, but at lower pricepoints generally than Perry Sport.
In late December (2015), V&D department stores, the 62-store Dutch retail chain sought bankruptcy protection from creditors. A warm November-December led to weaker than expected holiday sales, and leaving the retailer with a glut of cold-weather items such as boots, gloves and outerwear. Sun Capital, the American investment firm which owned the chain decided not to inject the additional funds that would have been needed for the retailer to dig itself out of the situation.
With a history dating back to 1887, it was hoped that potential buyers would come forward who had an interest in purchasing the chain as an ongoing concern. This would potentially save the jobs of some 8,000 workers the chain employed. Within weeks, it was learned that there was one such interested party. Roland Kahn, the entrepreneur who owns the Dutch specialty store chain Cool Cat, began negotiations with bankrupcty executors, V&D management and banks. By mid-January, the supermarket chain Jumbo purchased the V&D eatery La Place from bankruptcy which included some 34 free standing restaurants, a catering business and agreed to operate the La Place food courts located in V&D stores (should the chain emerge from bankruptcy).
A month later, Kahn ended negotiations when an agreement could not be reached. As the sole party interested in buying the chain and continuing operations, once he walked away it sealed the chain’s fate. The V&D stores officially closed on Monday 15th February 2016. Inventories are being taken and the merchandise is likely to be consolidated to larger store locations. The consolidation stores will then open back up (as clearance centers, not as official V&D stores) in order to liquidate the inventory.
One party which has been mentioned as having an interest in certain V&D assets (namely specific store locations), is the Canadian firm HBC. It owns a number of department stores chains including Hudson’s Bay in Canada, Saks Fifth Avenue and in the United States, Galerie Kauthof in Germany and Metro Groep in Belgium. HBC has announced its intentions to open approximately 60 stores in the Netherlands by 2017. The name of the coming stores was not divulged, but is thought to be a lower-tier department store or off-price retail stores, similar to their Saks Off 5th chain.
So what brought V&D to its demise? Certainly one cause was having too many low-volume stores in the chain, located in smaller Dutch towns. 60 department store locations is quite a substantial number for the Netherlands. In comparison, the Dutch higher end department store chain, De Bijenkorf (owned by Selfridges), has only 10 units throughout the country. Other issues were likely a lower-than-average penetration of online sales. V&D would have been smart to offer the site in multiple languages and invest in international shipping. Limiting their potential customer base to only Dutch-speaking customers only living in the Netherlands is not smart for a mid-sized chain like V&D was.
Department stores are deciding more and more frequently to invest in their own off-price outlet stores in order to retain those customers who flock to retailers such as Marshall’s, Ross Dress For Less and Burlington when they are looking for discounted designer brands. While some department store chains such as Nordstrom have been capitalizing on this trend for a number of years, others such as Macys and Lord & Taylor are in the infancy stages of developing their outlet store divisions.
Of the major “better” department store chains, Nordstrom has the most developed outlet division. Since opening its first Nordstrom Rack store over 40 years (1973) in Seattle, the retailer has added more than 100 Rack locations. The Nordstrom Rack stores sell a combination of clearance merchandise transferred from the mainline stores, closeout merchandise purchased directly from suppliers (including brands not carried in mainline stores) and “makeup” products produced specifically for Nordstrom Rack using either the supplier’s brand name or the Nordstrom name. As of December 2015, the Nordstrom Rack outlet division had 194 stores as well as its own webshop NordstromRack.com.
Another department store chain which has been focused on growing its outlet division for over two decades is Saks Fifth Avenue. Its first outlet store was opened in 1992 under the name ‘Clearinghouse’ but was changed in 1995 to Saks Off 5th. During the past 20 years, the Saks outlet store division has grown to 90 store locations and it too has its own e-commerce website, SaksOff5th.com, which ships within the United States as well as internationally. It carries prior season and markdown merchandise from main line stores, designer closeouts direct from suppliers and special makeup items under the Saks Fifth Avenue brand. Merchandise categories include womens clothing and dresses, womens shoes and bags, womens jewelry and accessories, mens clothing, mens shoes, mens accessories, mens watches, childrens clothing and home decor.
Other department store chains which are just starting to develop their outlet store divisions include Macys, Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor.
Macys outlet store division is called Macys Backstage with the first stores opening in Fall 2015. At present, there are 6 Macys Backstage stores concentrated in New York City (Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx) and surroundings (Melville and New Hyde Park on Long Island and Orange in New Jersey). Macys Backstage stores offers merchandise from 20-80% off original or suggested retail. Categories include womens, mens and childrens clothing, shoes and accessories as well as an expanded assortment of furnishings, home decor and bed and bath. Currently Macys Backstage does have a website but not a webshop yet, meaning you can only purchase Macys Backstage merchandise in one of the stores. Shoppers can continue to find Macys clearance merchandise on the main website.
Bloomingdales outlet division is called simply enough…Bloomingdales Outlet. As of December 2015, there are 15 Bloomingdales Outlet stores in such locations as the Saw Grass Mills Outlet Mall in Florida, The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas, Texas and The Gallery at Westbury Plaza Outlet in Garden City, Long Island, New York. Bloomingdales Outlet does not have a separate website but instead has its own section on the bloomingdales.com website.
Lord & Taylor, like Macys, is just starting to develop its outlet store division. It just recently opened its very first outlet store called Find @ L&T, which is located in Paramus, New Jersey. The store operates under the Hudson Bay Outlet divison, rather than directly under Lord & Taylor. Find @ L&T does have its own website (lordandtaylor.comwebsite.) but again not a webshop. For now, L&T’s designer sale and clearance merchandise is sold via the