Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April 1st in Brielle

Yesterday Ron, IJs and I went to the April 1st celebration in Brielle.
GeuzenvlagEvery April 1st Brielle exuberantly celebrates the storming of the city by the rebellious "water-beggars", the Geuzen. On this annual occasion, along with a lot of visitors, the citadel relives its liberation year. On the momentous day in 1572, the Watergeuzen appeared before the north port of Den Briel and demanded the surrender of the small, but strategically important port in the Maas and Rhine delta. Den Briel (the old name of Brielle) had, as so many towns, not yet united in the uprising against the reign of the Spanish King and his envoy, the Duke of Alva. The town council felt nothing up to then for the fortification, in which, at that time, there were no Spanish troops present, without elaborating further. Then the answer to the cry “In the name of Orange, open the gate!” was held back too long, the Watergeuzen besieged the north gate and forced their way into the town, where they subsequently became substantial householders. Without any struggle, Alva lost his glasses (de bril = Den Briel) and the insurrectionists gained the first important victory in the Eighty Year War. In our time, hundreds of citizens dress themselves in historical costume and reconstruct the capture.
Although the weather was very unstable, we had a great time. Ron was experimenting with another digital camera, I had my own Canon Ixus. We both made a lot of pictures, you can see them here.


  1. wonderwillow3/4/08 00:19

    Went there several times. My father was a watergeus, as, still, people from Den Briel call themselves. In Den Briel a lot of people still have the surname Kruijt, and most of them are relatives of me. Brielle and Den Briel are two names that are still in use. Den Briel, more in the 'native' tongue, Brielle, more by the 'foreigners'. I can recomend the little town to everone. It is situatet next to the Brielse Meer (Den Briel lake) and has a large marina. Together with the old naval marina of Hellevoetsluis, it is one of the landmarks of the island of Voorne- Putten, what is situated south of Rotterdam. It still has it's own charm, and, even when there not celebrating 1th of april, it's a little pace back in time...


  2. wonderwillow3/4/08 00:46

    Forgot something. When you look at the pictures, you can see texts written on the shop window pains. This is also a very old tradition. The night before the 1 th of april is called the chalknight (kalknacht) Funny texts are written, and have to do with things that happened that year with that family or shopkeeper. Once it went wrong, when the paintshops in Den Briel didn't had enough chalk white in the shop. people started to bye latex for the chalknight. That was desateres, because it couldn't be removed that easealy as chalkwhite. The following year the police tried to stop the chalknight. Went wrong. people did their job on the night of 30 to 31 of march...
    It pleases me to see the tradition is still alive, and the police doesn't take further action in it...

    The flag you see in the photograph on top of tink's blog, is called 'Geusje'. Yachts in the netherlands still sail with this flag as a tribute to the watergeuzen, and as a secondary dutch flag...

  3. I always learn such fascinating things at your blog, Tink. I looked at your pictures and felt like I'd been taken along for a wonderful day. Just loved all the costumes everyone was wearing.


I'm really sorry I had to enable comment & word moderation. Loads of spam comments spoiled the free commenting, but please... don't let it stop you. I love every non-spam comment!
Thanks for visiting.
Love, Tink