The Netherlands / Landmark

The pump on the Market Square




In the middle of Tiel's Market Square stands an old waterpump. Anyone who stands near the pump and looks around can get a good impression of the destruction of the city. As far as one looks, only reconstruction is visible. From November 1944 to May 1945, Allied artillery was directed almost daily from across the river Waal at the German soldiers present in Tiel. Every day an Allied artillery observer, a small reconnaissance plane, circled above Tiel. This plane passed on the coordinates, of where German troops were situated, to the artillery stationed in Wamel, opposite Tiel. None of the buildings could be rebuild in 1945. Remarkably, the 1768 pump survived the violence of war.

The city of Tiel traditionally had separate market squares for various products. The present Markt was mainly used for trading fruit and vegetables and was therefore referred to as Groenmarkt (greenmarket). Since the nineteenth century, the square was mainly home to several shops and the most important hotel in the area, Hotel Corbelijn. This made the Groenmarkt the most important square in Tiel. In the middle of the Groenmarkt was a rococo-style city pump dating from 1768.

In the winter of 1944-1945, the buildings were damaged beyond repair. After 1945, it was decided to make this square the central point of the city. It was enlarged in some places and, in addition, a new access street was added, the Damstraat. The name changed to Markt instead of Groenmarkt.

Where Hotel Corbelijn once stood, the municipality wanted a new city hall, but it never happened. In 1959, the hotel was rebuilt, but already in 1976 it was closed. Now the building houses the HEMA department store.

Today, the Markt is no longer used as a market square. It is part of the Tiel promenade and there are several restaurants around the square. All the buildings are post-war and precisely because of the lack of the old buildings, it shows how enormous the destruction of Tiel was.