1. Gouda Cheese Market
Gouda cheeses are sold worldwide. In Gouda, they are sold every Thursday morning at the Markt (number 3 on this list); a great spectacle. The weekly Gouda Cheese Market is something everyone can attend. Farmers and traders gather here to negotiate over cheeses. Huge quantities of cheeses are sold this way. The cheeses are displayed in the middle of the square: different shades of yellow and orange together, all with the typical smell of cheese. At the cheese market you can not only smell cheese, you can also taste the many different flavors. Would you like to know more about the history of Gouda cheese and how it is made? Then visit the Gouda Cheese Museum in the Gouda Waag (number 10 on this list) and/or Kaasboerderij Jongenhoeve (number 5 on this list).
2. City Hall
In the middle of the Markt (the number 3 of this list) is the prestigious Town Hall of Gouda. This is the great pride of the city. The Gothic building has been there since the middle of the 15th century, making it one of the oldest Gothic town halls in the Netherlands. The town hall of Gouda is particularly notable for its Gothic style. The front of the building is characterized by its pointed towers, arched windows and stone statues of important figures in Dutch history, such as Charles the Bold and Philip the Good. On the other side of the Town Hall is a chime, which chimes every hour. In the evening, the façade is beautifully illuminated with different colors. A light show is also sometimes shown.
The name of the central square of Gouda is ‘Markt’. The square has a more or less triangular shape and has been there since the 14th century. It was constructed at that time to house the new town hall (number 2 on this list). Another notable building on the Markt is the Waag (number 10 on this list). At the edge of the Markt is the Sint-Janskerk (number 4 on this list) and Museum Gouda (number 6 on this list). The other buildings around the square house stores, restaurants and cafes. In addition to many activities, the Markt hosts several markets each week, the most important being the Gouda Cheese Market (number 1 on this list).
The 15th-century Gothic cross church Sint-Jan stands in the heart of Gouda on the Markt (number 3 on this list). With its 123 meters length, it is the longest church building in the Netherlands. The church is known for its series of stained glass windows, which are called the Gouda glasses. They are 72 windows of various sizes, which were filled with stained glass by famous stained glass painters in the 16th century. The religious images are detailed and colorful. Examples include the baptism of Jesus and the Last Supper. In the past, St. John’s Church was dedicated to John the Baptist. The colors red and white are symbolic of this saint. You can see these colors in the city arms of Gouda.
5. Museum Gouda
Museum Gouda stands on the edge of the central market square the Markt (the number 3 of this list). The museum is located in the Arti Legi building, which originates from the year 1874. Traditionally, this building was a school. Now you will find an 18th -century collection of pottery with an extensive collection of porcelain. Museum Gouda also exhibits paintings, sculptures and ceramics from different periods. In addition, religious art products are displayed, such as parts of altars and stained glass windows.
6. Goudse Hout
On the east side of Gouda lies Goudse Hout. This is a nature reserve, located on a number of large waters, which belong to the Reeuwijkse Plassen. The area is enclosed in the east and south by the Goudse Houtsingel. In the Goudse Hout there are several walking and cycling paths, roads over the water, a riding school and a cycling and skating track. Parts of the area are planted with trees and shrubs. There are also parts with a more open character.
7. Goudse Waag (museum)
The building of the Goudse Waag, which dates from 1668 and is located on the Markt (number 3 on this list), used to house the cheese weighing station. Now the building houses the Gouda Cheese Museum. Accompanied by a guide, you will discover everything about the history of Gouda Cheese. You will also get to see how Gouda Cheese is made and taste the cheese (possibly in combination with wine). You will also learn about other authentic Gouda crafts, such as candle making and making pipes.