On the corner of the Lange Brugstraat and the Torenstraat, there’s a house called ‘t Schaekbort (‘the Chess Board’). This was an important building, hence the fact that it was named.
‘Het Schaakbord’ was a common name for houses. Many beautiful stories were told around the chess board. The game of chess was already used to symbolize love in the Middle Ages and the theme often recurs in seventeenth-century painting as well. That’s where the Dutch expression ‘playing chess on someone’ originates from, literally meaning ‘taking someone to elope with’.
The traditional stepped gable on the side of the Torenstraat, with cross-windows and decorative anchor plates, dates from the sixteenth century. The house was plastered in the nineteenth century, like many buildings at the time. A typical element from the twentieth century can also be seen here: a shop front. The ‘shop’ as we know it arose in the late nineteenth century. Although most gables were kept, the ground floor of many buildings was fitted with a shop front. The entrances and windows would be much larger, completely altering the ground floor to the point where the history of the building is barely visible.