Photoblog: Photo #3

The conical tower in the center of this picture used to be a part of a fortress wall that once surrounded Amsterdam. Netherlands emerged as a shipping powerhorse in the 17th century and Amsterdam was a bustling port. Given the perils of a long journey by sea in those days (if plague or pirates didn’t get you, bad weather would), it’s understandable why the loved ones of a merchant or a sailor leaving on a voyage would be a little forlorn at his departure. The tale I’ve heard as a tourist (and is corroborated by a plaque on the tower) is that since this tower offered a view of the harbour, the wives and mothers of the crew of the departing ship would congregate here and wave a tearful farewell. This story has earned this tower the appellation of Schreiers Toren’ (Wailing Tower)

March 2, 2013