Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Haarlem - Grote Kerk, Dog Whippers, Ship Saws, and the Great Church of St. Bavo

St. Bavokerk
St. Bavo

Enter St. Bavokeri through the side Oude Groenmarkt, the old vegetable market, up at the altar area.  Churches are not just for the devout: churches are history.  Fine which churches are named for which saints, what did that saint do to deserve sainthood; and research for quirks in architecture found in those older church settings.

1.  Saint Bavo.  589-654 AD, Ghent, mostly, Belgium. 

Rubens painted him.  See  Bavo converted to Christianity and gave his goods to the poor.  Is that enough to be a saint? The criteria are surprisingly mild. This 6th-7th Centuries period is before the Roman Catholic branch severance from the Orthodox Christian branch, in about 1054 or so. Why is this St. Bavo in Haarlem.

There are references to St. Bavo, saving people from the "Kennemers." See  The Kennemers were apparently a local tribe, but their appearance seems to come after St. Bavo.   The "Damiate" also refers to courage of Haarlem forebears, but so far we do not see Bavo. 

2.  Other cultural interest

In Haarlem's Great Church of Saint Bavo, there is a dog-whipper's chapel, behind an iron grill.  That chapel is for those who kept prayers safe by removing troublesome dogs from the church, thus saith the parish program at point VII.

There is the Brewers' Chapel, at point XiII. It belonged to the Brewers' Guild, fine, but its records on the walls there include two black marks.  These measure the height of the Giant Daniel Cajanus, whose height was 2.64 meters, or 8'8".  Daniel Cajanus lived 1703-1749 . He died in Haarlem 

Then it measures the Dwarf Simon Jane Paap at 84 cm, or 33".  He lived 1791-1829, and was buried in Zandvoort. 

So why is he here in Haarlem?

Of additional interest is the ships' models hanging from the rafters, opposite the Brewers' Chapel. There was once a mariners' altar there.
  • Three-master 12th Century frigate (what?)
  • Armed "pinace" also from the 12th Century (we have to go back!)
  • Shallow-draft armed yacht, 16th Century
History buffs:  As to the 12th Century ships, there apparently is a new weapon commemorated here, that we might have missed:

" *** an iron saw on the prow ... as written by John Evelyn in 1641: 'In memory of that invention of saws under their keeles with which they cutt the chayne before the Port of  Darniate', in order to conquer the city in 1219 under the lead of William I , earl of Holland. "

Haarlem.  Keep vetting.  Saint Bavo, why are you in Haarlem.  Bavo?  Bavo?  Are you there?  Why are you a saint,  Bavo?