The Mill at Wijk bij Duurstede

A landscape photographer in search of a 21st century Van Ruisdael

Wijk bij Duurstede. A small city with a long history. Situated at the place where the rivers Rijn and Lek split, there already was a castellum in Roman times. From the 7th to the 9th century a village called Dorestad was here, a thriving trading village between the Frankish empire and the untamed territories to the north. Frequent Viking raids, changes in the river flow, and shifts in the political and economic balance of power meant the end of Dorestad as an economic centre and people moved away. Much later, the bishop of Utrecht built a castle along the river and the village of Wijk bij Duurstede emerged around it. The village received city rights in 1300 and was immortalized in a painting in 1670 by one of the most successful landscape painters from the Dutch Golden Age: Jacob Isaaksz. van Ruisdael. His Mill at Wijk bij Duurstede inspired me to go on a quest for a modern photographic version. The image on top is the temporary end of my quest for now.

Read on for  the story behind my quest for The Mill at Wijk bij Duurstede:

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