Companion program





All congress registrants (companions included) will enjoy three tours: to The Hague/Leiden, to the Maritime Museum Rotterdam and to the Port of Rotterdam, all with luncheon/buffet dinner and a reception at the Rotterdam City Hall. The cost of these excursions/tours are INCLUDED in the Congress fee of all registrants.


In addition, a special program has been planned for companions: spouses and guests of participants who will not attend the presentations at the Congress venue. The organizers have arranged a program that will include 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) of bus tours in the Rotterdam/South Holland area. The 2 tours offered are described below. The fees for the tours can be found in the Registration form: see this form under “Fees and Registration” on the website. Luncheons are included in these fees. You can register until 15 July 2013.


Rotterdam and Delft

(Monday, 5 August 2013)

Rotterdam is famous for its modern architecture and has a variety of high-quality museums such as the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, the Museum of the Royal Marines, the Boijmans Van Beuningen Art Museum, the Art (Kunst) Hall, the World Arts Museum and  the Historical Museum. But a must as well is a visit to the historic city of Delft and that is the destination of the excursion on Monday.









Delft is just 10 kilometers from Rotterdam. A stroll through the magnificent town of Delft with its tiny streets and narrow canals will be combined with a visit to the Old Church and to the New Church. (by the way: “the Father of the Nation”, Willem van Oranje, murdered in 1584, was given a royal resting place in the New Church, together with 46 other members of the Royal Family).


The Delft  tour will - after the official opening of the 25th ICV - start with a visit to the famous Royal Dutch Delftware Factory “De Porceleyne Fles” (The Porcelain Bottle), established in 1653. It is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century. The famous Royal “Blue” Delftware is still entirely hand-painted according to centuries-old tradition.Talented artists will give a painting demonstration.Lunch will be served there.

The Old Church.

The year 1246 is given as the Church’s official date of birth, but in fact its history goes back much further. It is generally assumed that there has been a wooden church on this site as early as 1050. The Gothic tower with its brick spire and four angle towers, was added around 1350. Restoration activities took place in 1900 and 1995. Even during its construction the tower was plagued by subsidence. Throughout the ages the leaning tower has been the cause of considerable alarm to the inhabitants. In 1843 the Delft City Council decided that the tower had to be pulled down; local contractors were able to prevent this. The fire which raged through the city in 1536 and the Protestant Reformation swept aside all plans for a cross basilica in natural stone with the result that to this day the Oude Kerk (Old Church) offers us a wonderful insight into its own history.


dsc_0391-1 smallThe New Church.

This church, which in 1381 rose up on the Market Square of Delft, as the second parish church in Delft and was called the “Nieuwe Kerk” (New Church). It was a temporary wooden building around which the basilica – as we know it today – was built. The building of the late Gothic cruciform basilica started in 1396. The rather strange bulge in the walls of the east transept is attributed to a small miscalculation: the foundations came closer to the wooden church than had been anticipated. In 1536 the tower was struck by lightning. The subsequent fire devastated virtually everything in Delft to the west of the church. The church itself was partly burned down.

The Reformation also left its mark on the Nieuwe Kerk: in 1572 the building was taken over by the Reformed Church. In 1654 the town was hit by an explosion of gun powder: the walls of the church were heavily damaged and the roofs and stained-glass windows were destroyed. But the church has been restored and in 1933 concrete piles were inserted beneath the church: it is still there and really beautiful. A short bus ride will bring the participants back to Rotterdam, in time for the welcome reception in the City Hall.


Rotterdam, Kinderdijk and Gouda

(Tuesday, 6 August 2013)



windmillsClose to Rotterdam, located just 10 kilometers away, is Kinderdijk, world famous for its 19 windmills which were declared a “world heritage monument” by UNESCO. In the early 1700’s these windmills were the centerpoint of the Dutch struggle against the sea: a system to keep the land free from flooding. Kinderdijk is not an amusement park but rather a superb piece of Cultural Heritage with its mill network. The 19 windmills (since 1738) of Kinderdijk symbolise the way in which the Dutch have managed the water. For centuries they have kept the land dry against subsidence and floods. There was a time when 10.000 windmills dotted the Dutch landscape. Widely known for being unique and picturesque, the windmills were also essential. They made agriculture possible in the low, wetlands which make up one quarter of Holland. When the wind moves the blades of the windmills, the blades move the turbines inside the windmill. The turbines can pump water to the higher drainage canal. The procedure is repeated several times until the water in the canal reaches a certain level. It is then released in the river Rhine. People who operate the windmills often live there with their families. They are responsible for keeping the windmills turning by setting the blades according to the direction the wind is blowing. A strong knowledge of sailing techniques is necessary in order to be able to set the blades correctly. Once one of the leading trading and maritime countries in the world, the Dutch have mastered this knowledge for hundreds of years. Some of the windmills, like these 19 in Kinderdijk, continue to operate; one of them will be visited during a boat tour.



stadhuis goudaAfter the Kinderdijk tour it is only a short drive to Gouda, a world famous name in cheese. Gouda is situated in the green, flat, waterlogged heartland of the Province of South Holland. In the Golden Age and in the 18th century Gouda became the central hub of inland tow barge and freight shipping on the many canals and rivers. Gouda was also famous for its white clay pipe industry: millions of these long stem pipes were produced. A visit to the Cheese Museum in the “Waag” is an absolute must: Gouda cheese has had to be weighed here by law since 1669. Nowadays the building houses the Cheese Museum. Gouda’s City Hall – where lunch will be served – is one of the most significant buildings in Holland. It was built in 1448 and restored many times.

sintjanskerk gouda

A visit to this City Hall and to the Sint Janskerk (a glorious church with amazing 16th century stained glass windows and at 123 metres long, the longest church in The Netherlands) will be part of the tour as well as a stroll around the Market where one can find lovely canals, hidden streets and courtyards which allow finding unexpected vistas. The short bus ride will bring this excursion  to an end in Rotterdam.




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Netherlands Flag Congress 2013

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