Everyone who is thinking about the Netherlands has directly in mind Amsterdam. As much as I love Amsterdam, the tulip country is not only its capital city! It’s full of other beautiful cities and towns, so I decided to show for instance the city I live in.

Groningen. “Far in the north”, quite isolated from the biggest cities here, apart from the great atmosphere, it’s also really charming and pretty. But what makes it so pleasant to watch? Its doors and windows!

Windows in Dutch architecture are really big, spacious and they have very amazing ornaments and decorations around them. The doors on the other hand, are mostly rather small and narrow, but they do have very cute details on/around them, what makes them look very cozy. What connects both of them is that none are straight! The lands here are not perfect for constructions, so many old buildings are collapsing. That results in crooked, curved buildings and so on in not straight doors and windows.

I heard already different stories behind the fact, that Dutch windows are so tall and wide. Dutch people are known to be quite exhibitionistic, so nobody should be surprised by that and by the fact, that majority of them don’t use any curtains in them. You can just look through into their homes and no one has any problem with that.

One story says, that the Dutch windows are “wide open” because of the tax system from the past – people to avoid big amounts of money to pay, wanted to show everything they owed and build a trust, that they don’t hide anything. Other rumor is that many Dutch men used to be sailors and the windows were not covered to show loyalty of their women, waiting for them to come home and not having any affairs on the side. Personally, the most reasonable theory for me is that Dutch buildings, their stairs and doors are so narrow, that building huge windows was the only way to put bigger furniture into the apartment. The argument about lots of rain and not much sun seems understandable as well – if you have a big window, your house will catch way more sunshine.

Which of these is true? I am not sure about that. What I am certain about is that next to windows in red light districts, usual Dutch windows and doors are definitely big attraction! That is why I decided to photograph them in my city. By doing this, I found out, that here, in Groningen, people still tend to cover their windows more, than in other cities. That doesn’t make them any less beautiful though! Only look at these stylish, iconic entrances to people’s houses. Groningen is a beauty. Like many other cities in this country. People should try to visit them as well, after seeing Amsterdam, to get to know specific, really local Dutch places. And pay attention to the little things – the details cause, that Dutch architecture is so great!

More info: magda-kubiak.com