The Stolting tower
The oldest towers of the city were probably gate towers, but I am a regular tower and belong amongst the oldest regular town towers. I am, alongside Kiek in de Kök, a circular tower in the city wall. I am not a common horseshoe shape.
Initially though, I was constructed from a rectangular base plan, probably a structure left over from the Danish period, as well as the first defensive towers built around the harbour. The even taller tower next to me, the Great Coastal Gate, was built later, between 1340–1355. The harbour was a strategically important site! It is for this reason that a few years later another tower was built, yet closer to the harbour. It probably stood where the current tram stop is, but in the horrible wars of the 16th century it disappeared.
More about me. In the early part of the 15th century, I was a high tower in the Old Town. Later, in the 19th century, I went into the hands of private owners, as was the usual fate of defensive towers at that time. I was connected to the building of the neighbouring properties, including the recreational and club rooms of an experimental company called Bit. This innovative company produced catalogues and perforated cards and was located here from the end of 1960s. The heavy thrashings in the sauna and increased use of toilets, as well as the leaking of water pipes, caused the sandstone supporting me to crumble and wash away. Experts determined that I was threatening to topple over. It had been previously believed that my foundation was a solid, hard surface – well, what do you know.
Measures have been taken, though, and thankfully it is all under control now. However, the heritage protection means that the use of the sauna is no longer allowed. I have, for a few decades now, been housing textbook publishers. They sometimes organise excursions for those interested in me.