Thursday, May 14, 2009

Welcome to Pella

This will be the first in a series of blogs about Pella, Iowa....this one concentrating mostly on the buildings in Pella.

My parents had talked about going to Pella, Iowa to see the Tulip Festival for the last 5 years or so. I had talked about going with them. The trouble was, it was always at the height of planting season for my Dad, so it got put on the back burner. During the long cold winter, the plan to go to Pella resurfaced. Reservations were made, bags were packed and off my Mom and I went.

Can you tell that I spliced two pictures together in photo shop so my Mom and I were both in the picture? Never believe those tabloid photos!

Welcome to Pella! Pella is a Dutch community. They celebrate their Dutch heritage, especially during Tulip Time. This windmill model is in the park as you enter the town.

The town has a population of about 10,000. It is apparent that the people take a lot of pride in their community. Everything that we saw was kept up very nicely. There were tulips everywhere, especially on the boulevards. In front of the smaller homes....

...and in front of the larger homes. The tulips were in full bloom and in full glory. Some tulips are planted by the city, it looks like this beautiful garden of yellow was planted by the home owner.

Pella has a working windmill near the center of the town. The upper half was built in the Netherlands by a fourth generation Dutch windmill maker. It was unassembled and shipped to Pella in 2002. It's located at the entrance of a Historic Village that has been restored by the Historical Society. The windmill is 135 tall, the tallest working windmill in the United States. It is used to grind grain into flour. It's an impressive structure, you can see it from most parts of town.

Most of the buildings have the tapered fronts that are so common in Holland. This building with the clock also houses a Klokkenspel (or glokenspiel) that plays five times a day.

This is the same building from a different angle, taken just a few minutes after the first one. What a difference the lighting makes! I like the shadows of the bells on the building next door.

A wider angle of the street with the windmill and the clock.

This is an opera house. They had a beautiful display of handmade quilts inside for the Tulip Festival. Talented people live in Pella.
There was a park in the central square of the town. One corner had an information booth that looked like a windmill.
This is a view of Main Street. The center of the town was barricaded off for the whole weekend. They had 6 parades in 3 days, the parades made a loop around the main square in town.

We arrived on Thursday night, the clouds looked threatening, but it didn't rain.

More clouds over some of the interesting architecture....the Opera House.

A wrought iron fence around a fountain in the central park.

Another interesting building front. Even the Walmart on the edge of town had this shape on the front. I didn't take a picture of that. :-)

There were a lot of historical buildings that were opened for touring. Most had these traditional lace curtains. I loved the look! Especially this one with the tulip garden down below.

This is the opposite side of the street from the clock building.

This is the Royal Amsterdam, a beautiful Hotel in the middle of town. I had checked into the prices there, it deserves its Royal title!

Another view of the Royal Amsterdam, taken from the walkway on the windmill. It's a little hard to see, but by the trees in the center court there is a canal with a bridge.

Here is a shot of the canal. It's on a pretty brick plaza. As far as I could tell it didn't serve any real purpose, other than to make the town feel more like Holland.

Another shot of Main Street, this one a block away from the Central Park. This was taken after a fairly strong thunderstorm had moved through on Friday. Loved the clouds!

One of the buildings in the Historic Village area is the Wyatt Earp house. One ticket got us into the Historic Village including Wyatt's house and a tour of the Windmill. It was interesting to see all of the Dutch antiques.

I'll end this with a couple more shots of the giant windmill. The blades are 40 feet long! The city takes a lot of pride in their windmill. It is beautiful, and it changes quickly with the light.

Pella, with it's Dutch Architecture, windmills, hundreds of thousands of tulips, and its warm friendly people... a wonderful place to visit during the first weekend in May. There was a lot to do and see. More Pella posts to follow.

No comments: