Bike Touring Highlight
In Hoorn, only one of the five original city gates has been preserved, the Nieuwe Oosterpoort from 1578.
An example of power and awe: the Oosterpoort, from 1578. In 1601 a small house for the gatekeeper was placed on top.
When the gate was built, the city was completely walled and accessible through four gates. The Oosterpoort is the only gate that remains and is one of the most prominent monuments in Hoorn.
As heavier weapons were developed over time, the gates and stone ramparts could not withstand them. Earthen walls were increasingly chosen in combination with stone parts. The function of the ramparts and gates has changed and this is clearly visible at the Oosterpoort. The gate was not so much built to defend, but mainly to control who wanted to enter and leave Hoorn. The gate was used to levy toll and excise taxes and to stop land robbers and other scum.
Proud remnant of the city walls
In view of the current traffic on the roads around Hoorn, it is hard to imagine that the Nieuwe Oosterpoort was once the only access road to the east side of the city. Today it is quiet in the curved underpass of the city gate. Only walkers and cyclists are allowed to pass through.
Flat Thijs / Platte Thijs
The story about Platte Thijs is connected to the Oude Oosterpoort. A facing brick in the Westfries Museum recalls this 16th-century figure. On it stands a ferocious man's head without a nose, looking out through the bent bars of a prison window.
According to tradition, Platte Thijs was a ruthless robber. However, he only stole from the rich and then distributed it to the poor, a kind of West Frisian Robin Hood.
The police officers chased him, he was arrested and locked up in the dark prison of the old Oosterpoort.
On his arrest he resisted with all his might. He lost his nose, which was cut off with one sword. The people therefore called him Platte Thijs. He was particularly strong: the night after his capture he bent the bars of the small cell window and managed to escape through the narrow hole.
He was caught again. In doing so, he knocked down several opponents before he was killed in this battle. The people who had been helped by Thijs then built the stone with his effigy in the wall of his prison as a souvenir.
In the seventies of the last century, a political group under the name of Platte Thijs was part of the Hoorn city council.
May 13, 2020
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