A beautiful Art Nouveau building on the corner of Spuistraat 274 and Raamsteeg has been home to bakery Egstorf since 1990. The building existed in the 1800s, but the current façade was designed in 1898 by architect Gerrit van Arkel (1858-1918) for bakery D.C. Stähle. Van Arkel frequently used bay windows, loggias, asymmetrically placed balconies, towers and domes, as well as stained glass windows with floral designs. Things are prepared in the cellar, the baking occurs in the shop itself. The building is a national monument.
The interior of the bakery has a painted wooden ceiling and big tile panels from 1894 depicting the process of baking bread: sowing, harvesting, kneading, baking and blowing the horn (to indicate that the bread was ready to be sold). Since 1898 there have been bakers in this building: Stähle, Rekers and Van Eijk (where Egstorf worked for 10 years before becoming the owner). On the side of the building in the Raamsteeg you can see a gable stone from 1748, remnant of a building that stood on this spot before.
Blowing the Horn
Like on tile panel inside the Egstorf bakery, many paintings from the Dutch Golden Century show a baker blowing a horn. Unlike nowadays where bakers know exactly how much time is needed for kneading, letting the dough rise, baking the bread and having it ready for sale, back then a baker needed to make a fire using wood (or peat) and then wait for his oven to have the right temperature. So instead of having people wait in front of the store, they blew a horn to signal when the bread was ready. These cow horns had brass mouth pieces and were often intricately decorated. The oldest found stems from 1587.
Don’t Forget the Yummy Stuff
Once you come in to admire the interior, don’t miss out on the other goodies. The enticing smell of freshly baked bread and croissants is hard to resist by itself, but this bakery in a beautiful setting also serves great coffee, hot chocolate, fresh orange juice and sandwiches. The croissants are superb, as are the warm freshly made stroopwafels. Great place for breakfast or a quick snack on a cold day as well. And a great pit stop when shopping.
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