Side wall house 'aunts'

Next door to the rectory, at Markt 25, live the unmarried daughters of the pastor who was active in Zundert prior to Theodorus van Gogh, Elisabeth Petronella and Louisa Christina van der Burg. Vincent harbors warm feelings for them and calls them "aunts. In his correspondence with Theo he regularly writes about them: 'Herewith I send you a letter from the Aunts at Zundert. You know that Aunt Bet has hurt herself so badly; I wrote to them that if possible you and I would come to Zundert for Christmas mass. [...] Write soon how things are going and then send back the letter from the Aunties, poor Auntie Bet, what old friends we are. Oh Zundert, the thought of it is sometimes almost too strong.

The oldest mention of the Markt 25 plot dates from the first quarter of the 17th century. Prof. Henri van der Hoeven, in his description of the history of Zundert, refers to a document from 1622 in which the house 'Hertgang' (the later birthplace of Van Gogh, from 1615 in use as Dutch Reformed Church and parsonage) is described, along with the owners of the adjoining plots. East (Markt 25) is owned by 'municipal master' Cornelis Frans van den Bolck, West (Markt 27) is owned by 'vorster' Paulus Corneliszn van Lanschot (ancestor of the well-known banking family). While Van Lanschot's property is described as "huisinge and erve," Van den Bolck's property is described only as "erve. This indicates that the plot was still undeveloped in 1622.

In the late eighteenth century, a building did stand there, which can be seen in a sketchbook by topographic draftsman Dirk Verrijk, dated 1777. This sketch served as the basis for the aforementioned watercolor. In 1791 an engraving by Karel Frederik Bendorp after a drawing by Jan Bulthuis appears, on which the building is also visible. In terms of architectural style, it corresponds to Van Lanschot's building from the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1799 the then owner Johanna Braat bequeathed her property to the Roman Catholic Church. After several decades of use as a presbytery, the church exchanged the property with the brothers Willem and Johannes Passtoors for the current Roman Catholic presbytery (Molenstraat 9). Johannes Passtoors establishes a tannery there, later a wine business. At first Passtoors occupied the entire house, but in 1860 he split it into two dwellings. He himself continued to live on the side of today's Van Goghplein. On the side of the family Van Gogh, the Van der Burg sisters came to live. They became the children's godparents.

Despite protests, the 'aunts' house was demolished in 2020 to make way for apartments. The old side wall on the side of Vincent's birthplace was preserved as a landmark for the birthplace of the world-famous artist. The facade of the new building has been reconstructed to the nineteenth-century situation.


Markt 25
4881 CN Zundert
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