Samenstelling en redactie M. Willemsen en H. Siliakus
Met een inleiding van A. Viruly, oud-commodore van de KLM

Promotion Pictures, Soest
1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 totaal 70.000 exemplaren

Dit boek werd als relatiegeschenk door o.a. KLM beschikbaar gesteld. De grote oplage zorgt ervoor dat het boek nog regelmatig kan worden aangetroffen.

De sfeer en tijdgeest van begin jaren zeventig is goed merkbaar en en het is verrassend om te zien hoeveel er in dertig jaar in Nederland veranderd is.

Het fotomateriaal is in dit boek van prachtige

(introduction second part)

Once upon a time ...

there was a region along the North Sea that was inhabited by individualists separated from each other all round by water; fighting for their existence on their littie islands, all with their own views, religions and possessions - who, nevertheiess, were forced to cooperate on account of the strength of their common enemy: the sea.

Watch from the air their dikes and mills, which they built together. These are so characteristic of the Dutch way of life and their cooperation with peopie holding quite different views, out of sheer self-preservation. T

heir polder landscape is symbolic. He who looks down from above on this nation of thirteen million individualists with their many strangely divided political parties, religieus beliefs, radio groups and what not, sees in their dikes and coastlines the genesis of their unity which still preserves in it an element of suspicion.

But not only the water threatened und united them. Mighty Spain turned against the few who wanted to be masters in their own houses on their wet sods. The call went out: 'All hands ready to dig entrenchments!'

An aerial photograph like that of the fortress of Naarden, which now lies almost forgotten beside the motorway, still shows today how much the peopie answered the call and struggled for freedom.

Then England's fleets put out to sea - and it is difficult to suppress a smile when looking down on those little towns along the coast of Zealand and Holland, where small vessels were knocked together to meet them.

How is it possible that those vessels from such dreamy little harbours, flying brooms from their mastheads, uitimately sailed across the swept North Sea, up the Thames and the Sont and the Mediterranean?

And how was it possible that in the meantime other Dutchmen found the time to go in search of adventures in Africa and Asia - from other little towns, which reveal their intimate secrets to the aerial camera?

Did sailors from that Hoorn, that Enkhuizen, that Medemblik really found a colonial empire on the other side of the globe? Yes, unbelievable as it is, they did - and the construction of the once so rich, energetic and stylish city of Amsterdam still tells their story during this round trip.

There are quite a few other secrets in Holland: hidden even better, but no less characteristic of the national character. How many people really know that he who can look from above among the trees can still see so much variety in the castles of the provinces of Utrecht and Gelderland?

And he who has rushed through Southern Limburg to recreation centres or German motorways has noticed how it is horribly apparent near Margraten that Holland's independence was by no means maintained by the heavy sacrifices of Dutchmen alone.

And who that discovered from the air the details of a few modest white buildings hidden among the trees should not remember another typically Dutch phenomenon?

For there lives that Dutch family who for four centuries has led the country. Against Spain. Against England, France, Munster and Cologne. Against Japan. Against Germany. Against the sea. Against its own dissensions.

After those four difficult centuries almost all peopie on the earth are less well off than the Dutch. Would people be better off anywhere else? Would not nearly all European or other countries have erected triumphal arches and built impressive palaces in the cities in honour of such a family? He who has travelled about in the world knows with how much pomp and circumstance homage is paid to royalty in other lands.

But he who has driven through Holland may well wonder after a week of discoveries: where exact does the Royal Family live?

Yes, by comparison we are a remarkably temperate peopie, in our corner of Europe, which itself is just a corner of Asia.

Good luck to us! 176 aerial photographs; 176 solutions to the enigma that is Holland.

Pleasant flight!

kwaliteit, in zwart wit en kleur.

Vliegend boven Nederland



Flying over Holland


Introduction first part)

Today is a good day to look at Holland from above.

Blue skies all around and over Schiphol airport; Ruysdael's white clouds drifting slowly from above the North Sea to above the country of Rembrandt and Van Goyen, extending in pure light from horizon to horizon.

Everywhere the alluring tints of the water colours and oil paintings that made the art of this littie country famous throughout the whole wide worid.

How enthralling is the stretching view of this landscape! And, presently, how fascinating will be the vertical view from the jet plane! 'FASTEN BELTS. NO SMOKING.'

Three hundred pairs of eyes are ready to take in the loveliness of Holland as seen from the upper air.

'BLOCKS AWAY!' and at once the powerful Jumbo is pulling off from the unique Dutch runway below sea level. Ten kilometers (six and a quarter miles) it must climb, and then the glorious panorama should unfold before the eager beholders.

But ... does it?

No. Not at all. For, while peopie are still tied to their seats, the four super-powerfui engines whirl the whole machine up to those beautiful Ruysdaelian clouds, straight on through them, and then above them. They carry the passengers into a wonderful, lonely space of blue and white

and gold ...

But the chequered, many-hued beauty of Holland has vanished from sight. Those sitting near the smail windows still occasionally see a flash of countryside through a rent in the ciouds; but those in the middle of the cabin are aiready reaching for their magazines for lack of something better to do.

No. it cannot be denied: we certainly have profited from technical progress and, in a few years have gained a great deal in speed, climbing power, comfort and safety, but at the sacrifice of visual delight. We have added no extra dimension to beauty, nor have we enhanced the possibilities of enjoyment of it.

lt is precisely in this context that this collection of aerial photographs is a boon - it gives back to the passengers the joy to the sense of sight that had been lost in the evolution of aeronautics.

This loss seems strange to those who have known the past. None of us who have witnessed the development of aviation could ever have foreseen that there would soon come a time such as the present - a time of rapidly climbing through fog and clouds; of many night flights; of smaller windows and, presently, perhaps, of no windows at all, so depriving us of seizing the new chances of looking at our worid in an entirely new manner.

How could we guess such things in the romantic days of former times? During the first quarter of a century of aviation, when we were revelling in the sporting and always surprising discovery of the new element, the new scenes expected were spoken of with a thrilling anticipation; idealists prophesied that they would lead to new and better insight.

In the early days of flying planes flew low and below the clouds, and, understandably, only during daylight hours, for the insurance companies provided no cover for people or machines after sunset.

Thus there was always much to be seen.

Passengers of today peer about inside the plane but the flying traveliers of that period turned their gaze outside - and for good reasons! What stories they brought home about a new native country discovered from above! On their way to London they had seen the Dutch milis crossing themselves, reflected in clear lakes; crowds of seals hurrying from the sandy flats in the Scheidt in flight from the noise of the engines; and they read the time from the old Veere townhall, while looking down upon a sea of white bonnets worn by churchgoers in Zealand costume.

On their way to Paris, to Hamburg or along what was then the long air route to Copenhagen they had watched at close quarters the Urk fishing-fleet, the old Zuyder Sea towns, the pattern of Friesland's lakes or the deep purple of the heather between the dark green of the Veluwe firs. All that had a sensational ring about it.

But how much it was surpassed by the heroic passengers who, in just ten emotional days, had flown all the way to the Dutch East Indies'. Early in the 1930s they talked of rearing caravan camels in the Syrian desert, of crocodiles along the Moesi and herds of elephants in Malaya. They told how from their little Fokker they had been able to look into the kitchen of every maharadja.

For all of us that time has passed quicker than we could expect at the time. He who now flies (no longer in a Fokker) to the (no longer Netherlands) lndies can no longer tell a crocodile from a maharaja from his height of eleven kilometers even in the best of visibility, no more than he can tell, when above Holland, a Zealand bonnet from a Frisian sail or a blossoming tree in the Betuwe. What a pity!

The pleasant surprises for the air passenger must nowadays come almost exclusively from the stewardesses. Those giris with their snacks and drinks are no doubt a sight for sore eyes ... but they cannot compete with old times when the surprising views of the world made people forget all drinks, food, newspapers and sleep. Nowadays flying has become: being carried quickly and in reasonable comfort. 'Where have you been during your holidays?' 'To Malaga.' 'is that a fine journey?' 'l don't know, we flew there.'

But look! In this surprising issue the lost views from a height of a few hundred meters are conjured up again.

I think all stewardesses in all airliners over Holland ought to hand out this book rather than haricot beans, newspapers or cocktails to the passengers, deprived as they are from their view. Such an act of compensation for lost delight would meet with warm approval ... if only liner flights over Holland at the present speeds unfortunately did not last just a few minutes.

That is much too short for pondering over these photographs. They call for a long look. He who is going to take part at home quietly in the round trip in this book, flying mentally from Schiphol across the expertly selected spectacular sights of the whole of our Kingdom - skimming along low in a blue sky, not at the present cruising speed of 900 km/h nor at the 150 km/h of former times but with the possibility of lingering and meditating over each surprise ... he will still - even in the 1970s come to understand what aviation once offered its customers.

Fiying over Holland!

Let no man ever again overpraise his native country, for our modern, so vulnerabie world might easily be ruined by nationalistic feelings running too high.

Nor is there any nation in the world that is free from bitter reproach. But let us not go too far with our disgrace. In the history - past and present - of every nation reasons may be found why a man can love and admire that nation - and it seems to me that a series of aerial photographs such as this gives a fair reflection of Holland's worth.

The photographs prove that this small corner of low country on the North Sea can play a really honourabie part amidst all its large and small sister nations.

Just turn over the leaves, and ponder. Everywhere on earth a man can see into the far distance from the air, but where can he look so far across rich, reciaimed areas that were not acquired by hatred and bloodshed. Where people, dairying country and grainlands thrive where shortiy before there were only eels?

He who looks down at Emmeloord or elsewhere across the new polders may do so with pride: down there below - a unique phenomenon in international life - nobody was hurt but yet much land was conquered, not by weapons but by wise, expert, hard and triumphant work.

Not far from there, in sharp contrast to the new agricultural land, there sprawis the largest port in the world, which in a small country that can be flown across in less than half an hour has outrivalled London and New York! This has not come by itself; he who lives down there below in Rotterdam or speaks the same language as the Rotterdam people, may well be proud.

But, an equally spectacular sight, behind that port, spread everywhere in a country that yields hardiy any raw materials, are the industries which, nevertheless, play such a strong part internationally and to whose enterprise and courage we owe it that over thirteen million people living within a small area can enjoy a prosperous life under a system of social security almost unequalled between North Pole and South Pole.

So Holland is an industrial country? The round flight telis a different taie. It is much more. lt is also an engineering country of daring bridges and dikes; a flower country especially where the tulips and hyacinths blossom in large patches of colour between the dune sand and the clay behind the North Sea coast. lt is also a country of agriculture - green and extensive. And a water country - of wide rivers, Takes, ditches, canals apienty where, as the photos show, peace and quiet are still to be found for those who are seeking them, in spite of the fact that this is the most densely populated country in the worid.

All in all: this littie kingdom, the whole of which can easily be surveyed from a height of 5,000 m on a clear day, shows a great many important aspects. Fly around the world and - to put it mildly - you will have a long search to find its equal.

But then this book also shows a different Holland, which the tourist on the modern roads will not get to see very often. That is the Holland of the past, of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries.

It is still there, but too often it is hidden from the motorist behind factories or monotonously uniform blocks of houses, which are very much alike throughout the worid and so are passed by.

The motorways avoid that past deliberately.

Perhaps all this peculiar Holland of the past no longer belongs to this modern worid and, therefore, as long as it lasts, the best thing to do is to watch it from the sky.