Edmond Van Putte

Areas of expertise

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Member since
6th January 2009

Area of expertise: History of Europe, the Netherlands in particular.

I’ve always been fascinated by history. Especially by the human side of it, the living conditions of those people of the past.
What was it like? What happened and why?
What were the thoughts and feelings of these people?

Spoken words and emotions are very volatile, of course.
The tangible remains of history consist of bricks and stones, the landscape we see, some painted, written and printed materials.
But the beauty is that not only books can be read. Also a landscape, or a town. One can see and reconstruct how it developed through the ages, and why. Because as these people of the past obviously had a reason to do this or that, what we see today can give us an insight in their intentions.

Fortunately, many regions in the world are blessed with an overwhelming amount of fragments of history.
The more remains we have of the past, the better it can be reconstructed in fact and mind.

One of the countries literally soaked with history, is that tiny corner of Europe called the Netherlands.
And searching for eyewitness echoes of the past, these parts prove exceptionally rich. Just look for example at these amazing 17th Century paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and many others, often dealing with common people and basic aspects of everyday life.
One wonders why there is so much of that around here.

For one thing, nothing comes out of the blue.
Bear in mind that living in these Low Countries by the sea was always a precarious business.
People had to work together, simply to keep dry feet. Hard labor and large scale cooperation rarely being a cheerfully spontaneous happening, things had to be strictly regulated and organized.
This was one of the basic facts that originated a complex but truly logical line of events that resulted in a state of mind that today provides us with abundant information on daily life through the centuries. In paintings and drawings, in stories, poems and songs.

Now, as most of these Netherlands are more or less created by man, people did make mistakes. Sometimes with dramatic consequences. This development by trial and error is interesting to follow. Glory and defeat, it’s all here to see. If you know where and how to look.
As human influences changing our world becomes more and more a global issue, there is much we can learn from the history of these lands.

So, that’s what I like to present my guests : an insight in the development and culture of the Netherlands, trying to understand this specific history, and the consequences it had for Europe and other parts of the world.

Edmond Van Putte is available as a specialist guide and speaker on history and culture of the Netherlands.


Edmond Van Putte's activity

  1. April 2009
  2. Edmond Van Putte rated Naarden

  3. January 2009
  4. Edmond Van Putte reviewed Weesp in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Millions of tourists per year visit the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Only very few take a look at the countryside around the city, and that sure is a missed chance. Because here you can experience that classic Holland of rivers and canals, farms and gra…"

  5. Edmond Van Putte reviewed Naarden in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Naarden, some 20 km East of Amsterdam, is one of the best preserved fortified towns in Europe. The old centre is surrounded by a double ring of bastions and moats. Cobblestone streets, fine old buildings, a very relaxed place to visit. But it was not al…"