Dutch Colonial Architecture and Town Planning. History, Preservation and Present Use
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Dutch Colonial Architecture and Town Planning. History, Preservation and Present Use

(C.L.Temminck Groll) The Low Countries - 1995, № 3, pp. 153-162

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A survey of Dutch colonial architecture. It is of immense significance that, although the buildings concerned are of colonial origin, the local people and governments are prepared to regard them as being part and parcel of their own history and culture. And there is every reason for doing so. After all, if one compares eighteenth-century houses in Jakarta, Cape Town, Paramaribo and Willemstad, what strikes one is not just the similarities, but particularly the great differences. There are, of course, similarities with the Netherlands. In town-planning terms this means the presence of canals wherever possible; and invariably there is the dominance of a single direction. The theories of Simon Stevin certainly had an influence. The churches are inspired by the clear forms developed by Jacob van Campen and his contemporaries in the mid-seventeenth century. In urban houses it is the comparitively narrow, tall properties topped with cornices or the so-called ‘Dutch gables' which remind us of the Netherlands. But, above all, every historic building is in the first place a reflection of the country in which it stands.

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