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BRUXELLES. LA PORTE DE HAL.

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    Posted 5 years ago

    vetraio50
    (701 items)

    One of my favourite postcards from the Septimus and Clara Miller Collection is this beautiful card of La Porte de Hal. On the reverse is some handwritten text on the topic of the Halle Gate (Porte de Hal - Hallepoort). I find the writing style a bit difficult to read but I was able to transcribe a few words and to my surprise I was finally able to get it all down. I believe it is in the hand of either Clara or Septimus. They loved neo-Gothic!

    The text reads: “The Porte de Hal is the sole remnant of the town walls of the 14th century. It was erected in 1381 and two centuries later became the Bastille of Alva during the Belgian ‘reign of Terror’. It is a huge square structure with three vaulted chambers one above the other & a protecting tower. Now contains the Musée Royale d’Armes et Armures.”

    All quite informative and was used as an 'aide-memoire' I suppose by the Millers. Most of the cards collected do not have any text added to them, but there are a few. I wondered where the text came from because I knew that they used tourist guides for their trip planning in England. So I put this text into google and 'bingo'!

    The text is taken from 'Belgium and Holland Including the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, Handbook for Travellers' by Baedeker, Karl. pp. 118-9. (Originally published in 1905) Even the dates coincide with the 1906 visit; they were a using a 'modern' tourist guide!

    There are some other cards that have portions from this same guide that I will post in the coming week or so.

    But imagine what the walled city of Brussels must have looked like in 1381 when the Halle Gate was built! It is the only remaining gate of the walls built at that time. There were six gates like this one!

    The walls have disappeared and the fosse or ditch for the moat has been filled in. The old gateway now stands in an open space, a solitary relic of the middle ages. The original gate included a portcullis and drawbridge over the moat. The structures that housed these are still visible.

    The gate is at the southern edge of the inner town and faces the city of Halle (French: Hal) in Flemish Brabant which it faces: the Gate to Halle.

    The reason why this gate survives is put down to fact that it was used later as a prison. It was used as a 'Bastille' or Stronghold by the fearsome Duke of Alva during the tyrannical reign of Philip II. It was at other times used as a customs house, for grain storage, and a Lutheran church.

    In the nineteenth century the first king of the Belgians Leopold I began a huge building programme in Brussels and this Gate was preserved and remodelled. It had a new function: it became one of the first museums in Europe.

    Karl Baedeker writes in his guide cited above: "On the first floor are weapons of every description and suits of armour; a richly ornamented helmet is said to have belonged to Charles V.; the stuffed horses are those ridden in 1596 by the Governor Archduke Albert of Austria and his consort Isabella on the occasion of their public entry into Brussels; in the window-recess, artillery implements found in a well at the castle of Bouvigne , into which they had been thrown, together with the defenders of the stronghold, by the French in 1554."

    "The architect Henri Beyaert restored the building between 1868 and 1870, changing the austere medieval tower with more romantic Neo Gothic embellishments. The outer entrance, now facing Saint-Gilles, is closer to the original appearance. In front of the inner gate, facing the city of Brussels, Beyaert added a circular tower topped by a conical roof, containing a monumental spiral staircase. Beyaert also added turrets and a large roof." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halle_Gate

    This is a bi-lingual postcard nº 12321 published by Ed. Atelier H. Guggenheim. H. Guggenheim & Co. (1893-1945) Zurich, Switzerland

    "An artists studio founded by Hermann Guggenheim that published many finely printed postcards in lithography and collotype in addition to other lithographic products. While they produced images of types and artist signed cards from such notables as Wilheim Wachtel, the vast majority of their large output was in view-cards. When Herman died in 1896 the firm passed to his two brothers Marcus and Emil. After World War One they began publishing real photo cards in addition to their printed work."
    (http://www.metropostcard.com/publishersg.html)

    Comments

    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 5 years ago
      wow!! such history and a very beautiful building!!
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks SEAN! Love the subtle colours!
    3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 5 years ago
      Your very welcome Kevin !! and the colors are fab!! :)
    4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks KAREN!
      Having a great Long Weekend?
    5. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      Indomitable I would say! That wall with six of these must have been some structure.
      Only breached when they wanted it removed probably.


    6. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      3 days off for all of us together is rare so having a nice time!
      Weather still springish too.
      Hope your lurgy has departed...you seem to be back all synapses firing!
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks TOM 'n INKY too!

      Great day today 'n feeling better!
    8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks for your comments PHIL. The colours are really askew.

      The images on wikipedia show that there is little variation in colour of the stone.
      It is as if there are two suggested tones on the card.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halle_Gate
    9. valentino97 valentino97, 5 years ago
      Kevin - thank you for this history on this beautiful card. Are the stuffed horses still there? Maybe Newtimes can tell us. Or have you been to this museum?
    10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks VALENTINO 'n VIOLETORANGE.

      I have never been to the gate but next time I'm over it will be on the list of things to do for sure.

      I believe it is still there!

      Check out this:
      The Armour of Albert and his Famed Armed Horse.
      http://www.museumtalks.be/talk/223.html

      http://www.kmkg-mrah.be/collections-0
    11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks AGHCOLLECT!
    12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks FORTAPACHE!
    13. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      Peaceful here in Belgium....not so in Czechoslovakia today.
    14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Always lots to learn!
    15. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks MIKELV, DON 'n AUSTRO too!
    16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks FREIHEIT 'n GEO26E too!
    17. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Wow! Very nice! May have inspired Victor HUGO for his burg watercolors :-)
    18. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks KYRATANGO, ANTIQUES IN NJ, GARY 'n BELLTOWN too!
    19. Virginia.vintage Virginia.vintage, 5 years ago
      Really a pretty card!
    20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks VIRGINIA VINTAGE!
    21. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Thanks for that tip KYRATANGO! The exile years!
    22. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks POPS52!
    23. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks KERRY10456!
    24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks TOM!
    25. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks MIKELV!
    26. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks ANTIQUES IN NJ!
    27. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks TEDSTRAUB!
    28. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks ELISABETHAN!
    29. Zowie Zowie, 5 years ago
      Fantastic I would love to go through these old places.
    30. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks ZOWIE!
    31. Zowie Zowie, 5 years ago
      As I just scan down your comments then I read Phils interesting information. Have a fruitful weekend.
    32. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Thanks again ZOWIE!
    33. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks ANTIQUESROSE!
    34. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks MANIKIN!
    35. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
      Love this series of postcards, and especially your fine comments, sir!!! Good find on the Baedeker!

      Thought you might like to see what La Porte de Hal looked like before the 'revivalists' got to it.

      http://www.cafe.umontreal.ca/~dany/brussels/documents/mappict/lwf159.jpg

      Thanks for your scholarly diligence and generosity! Always a pleasure to see what you've posted.

      I am now worn out from my CW visit, but will race to your link on good King Albert and his horse!!! Can't wait! Best wishes, sir! : )

    36. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks MIKKO ..... WELCOME BACK!
    37. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks TOM!
    38. Zowie Zowie, 5 years ago
      Always a pleasure Kev I just went over on one of Seans items it spun me out the price I would never of thought it anyway it said it went back 11mths & I know some of these emails have some life but I know for sure not that old
    39. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Thanks ZOWIE!
    40. Shawnl86 Shawnl86, 5 years ago
      I enjoyed reading this very much vetraio.
    41. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks SHAWN 'n LOUMANAL too!!!
    42. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks AMPHORAPOTTERY !!!!!!
    43. Virginia.vintage Virginia.vintage, 5 years ago
      Great! Love it!
    44. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
      Many thanks VIRGINIAV, CINDB & CAPERKID !!!!!

      SORRY ABOUT THE LATE THANKS LADIES !!!!!
    45. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
      Many thanks THOMAS.

      Walls and Castles were community projects that provided safety for all.

      Sometimes a Vain Exercise ... like the Tower of Babel.
    46. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
      Many thanks MARTIKA !!!!!
    47. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
      And walls ISOLATE us !!!

      Not a good idea !!!
    48. Caperkid, 3 years ago
      Vetraio50 when i was back east alot of the older victory square 2 story houses were being refurbished with single or twin turrets like these making them very stylish and regal looking. I want turrets and a moat lol
    49. Caperkid, 3 years ago
      Check out my profile pic this is an example :)
    50. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
      Many thanks MARTIKA, CAPERKID, VALENTINO & RADEGRUNDER !!!!

      A MOAT, mate !!!!

      Oceans !!!
    51. vetraio50 vetraio50, 17 days ago
      Many thanks RADEGRUNDER & NEWFLD !!.!!.!!

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