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Broadening Horizons

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Chapter Summary

In Otto van Eck's eyes De Ruit was the centre of the universe. The country estate bordered on the River Vliet, a waterway whose idyllic beauty was praised by Dutch and foreign travellers alike. Otto could start exploring the area around the country estate without ever leaving the house, for the furnishings the Van Ecks had acquired with the house included a map that depicted the entire area between Delft and The Hague. In the eighteenth century, distances were still measured in terms of the hours it took to walk them, and space seemed larger than it does now. The trips Otto took never led him further afield than the city of Kampen, at that time a journey of several days by passenger barge or coach. He found this expedition exceptional enough to produce a separate account of it, which unfortunately has not survived.

Keywords: De Ruit; Delft; Hague; Otto van Eck



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