Zaltbommel


Although not born (and as such not a real 'Bommelaar'), I was raised in Zaltbommel.
We moved here when I was about 2 and apart from a short break in '87/'88 I've lived here all my life.

Most Dutch will know the name because of the traffic-jam reports on the national radio.
The jam in front of the bridge here was the #1 for a couple of years, till they build a new one next to it.
There still are traffic-jams every now and then, but it's not in the #1 slot anymore.

Zaltbommel is situated at the crossing of the highway A2/E25 over the river Waal at 51.49N 5.15E.
The river Waal is the main branch of the Rhine which runs from east to west through the Netherlands.
As such it's used for heavy transport over water from the port of Rotterdam to the industrial zones of the Ruhrgebiet in Germany.
And because it's on the river, we obviously also have a dike :) In '93 (I think it was) there was a flood warning because of the high levels in the river(s). We had to evacuate and I got to stay with a friend in Rotterdam for about a week. Luckily the dike(s) didn't break, but they'll be reconstructing them anyway, just to make sure this won't happen again but about once in 1250 years.
(Which could mean tomorrow :)

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Old New bridge Waal Dike Flood

Zaltbommel has an inner old city, of which the waterworks as well as part of the gates and fortifications of earlier times are still in tact.
Outside of these the town has grown in the same way any other Dutch town has; the buildings there are virtually interchangeable with those of any other.
One relatively new building that is remarkable is the trainstation. Seems like the architects of those still got some imagination left, even though is does look like a rip-off from Rietveld :)

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CityHall Marketplace Bank Gate Station again

Apart from the river, the bridge and the highway, the first thing you see when approaching Zaltbommel is the high tower of the church.
With it's 65m it's supposed to be the 2nd highest tower in the Netherlands; only beaten by the 'Dom' in Utrecht.
As I live in the inner city, this is also what I look out on when I look out of the window when sitting in my livingroom.

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Sunset too View Looking up

My brother lives in the outskirts of Zaltbommel (almost a mile away :), my parents though live about 3 blocks away.
(Which is 3 times as far as it used to be before I moved to my current place :)
The tower is these picts is called the 'Gasthuis' tower. (Guesthouse-tower)
There's a story about it, but it would be too long to tell here...

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Gast- -huis- -straat Garden

Lastly, this is what I see when driving home in my Mini. Providing the weather is good that is, else it looks a bit differently :)

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Steenweg Gamersche Poort Tolstraat Oliestraat

If you'd like to read more about the region, go visit Trefpunt's site about the 'Bommelerwaard'.
(Only available in Dutch AFAIK)