Berckhey / Katwijk – In the state of Berckhey, Katwijk, Today a whale washed up. On the beach is a large group of interested look.

The animal is over 20 Meter long (70 feet). According to the Haarlem notary Pieter Bor, it is with ropes to the dry dragged. There were hundreds people on the beach are to the 'large and lelijck' beast to behold.

The spectacle is impressive, but many people complained the stench. There might even be someone taken ill.

At the same time scientists began investigating of the animal. Jan van Nassau, the commander of the 'States' Army' would have traveled to Berckhey to see the whale.


makes the stranded whale, as often, also directly unrest. It is seen as a sign of doom. Others even suggest an announcement of the End Times.

It is often, afterwards, the outbreak of a disease or a war, referred to a char, like a whale washed up.

then in 1522 at Wijk aan Zee a whale was stranded as Martin Luther warning of the persecutors of Portes principals. "On the basis of old examples, one takes such a sample for a definite sign of anger. The Lord takes care of them and us. "

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Hoe ging het verder?

Came the calamity? Absolutely, people said the sixteenth century. In August 1598 attacked the Spaniards Kleve, just over the current border into Germany. There was considerable havoc.

In 1599 popped up a pamphlet the cruelties of the Spaniards in Kleve, plus a with reference to the stranding Whale at Berckhey.

A few years later was at it again, in Beverwijk. A year later, when the plague hit in Amsterdam. The engraving by Jan Saenredam of the stranding is also to see how the Death arrows pointing at the Amsterdam city virgin who then crashes. Even an earthquake as disaster attributed to the stranding of whales.

Which perhaps says something about the possibility of predicting disaster is that the town Berckhey in the decades after the animals wash ashore disappeared under the sand dunes. In 1622 the town is still named on a map, but never again. The area, Berkheide, still exists.


Volkskrant – 17-12-2012 – "The whale was harbinger of doom’

Volkskrant – 01-08-2019 – Religious, sexual, social and artistic: The whale is central to the new exhibition of the Dordrecht Museum

Author: Dave Datema

published: 02-02-2020

story number: 148

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