Sometimes when sitting on my bike it happens to see something completely new for me in the city I thought to know so well. This happened to me lately when I saw a rather peculiar name on a street sign of an alleyway. The streets was given the name Tingtang Straatje (Eng. Tingtang Alley), which sounds rather silly. I asked myself: why would anyone give such a name to a street?
So just bear with me to know why…
Tingtangstraatje is located between Grote Markt square and Vismarkt square. There is an entrance at the street between both squares. Another at Het Koude Gat (another peculiar name for a street. Translated: Cold Gap. But anyway). They believe the street was named after a bell hanging near the place of the street during the middle ages. The story goes the bell was rung when new fish was supplied at the Vismarkt square. And so the street was named after the sound of the bell. Centuries ago also an inn was located at the present spot named De Clocke.
At the building at the corner is a plaque with a golden bell bricked in. The building is from last century, but the plaque from the 17th century. The present street is actually the alley for the buildings on Herestraat and Vismarkt square. There is really not much thrilling to see presently at Tingtangstraatje. Although…
The streets was witness of a horrific event. In the morning of Tuesday 27th of July 2010 a 20-year old student fell to his death when sitting in the window of his room. What led to this unfortunate event we do not know, but the windows at that side of the alley are all located quite high. His name is commemorated on the wall. And sometimes a flower lies on the ground, in memory of this unlucky person.
History of your city comes alive if you start looking at it. Think of this when you have a coffee at the popular coffee house at the entrance of Het Koude Gat. Or when you just bought your ice cream at this ice saloon in the same street.
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