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The summer of 1540, the hottest summer ever? Probably not

This summer has been exceptionally hot. Yet it was not this summer but ‘1540’ the warmest ever, writes city of Amsterdam in her newsblog you’ll find. Climate expert Pieter Boussemaere think there the his of: “The temperature could still not be measured. Such analyses are quite ridiculous.’

The year 1540 was the in history as the Great Solar year. Calculated that sweltering summer, the Emperor Charles V, the emperor of the Low Countries, the city of Amsterdam for the first time a visit.

‘On 13 August 1540 arrives he is in Amsterdam. He will find our city at its allerslechtst.’ That is to be read in the diary that was kept by a chaplain (a priest, ed.) from the Dutch Limburg, from which the newsblog you’ll find quotes.

‘Europe sigh that year for months under the heat and drought, ” writes the chaplain. “The harvest failed, the drinking water is hardly to get, and diseases are rampant. Many Locals succumb to a heat stroke, heart attack, or contaminated drinking water. The farmers fall down during the mowing.’

The water is not to drink

The dramatic description makes 1540, however, not yet to the hottest summer ever, shall, Pieter Boussemaere, lecturer, History and Climate to the Kortrijk Vives University of applied sciences. “I’ve had many sources from that time period analysed, and know from experience that they like to exaggerate. The chance is much greater that there is here and there a farmer died because they were required by their local lord for the whole day to work without enough breaks and water, than by the heat.’

‘Enough rest and drinking are now just things that weatherman Frank Deboosere constantly go on hammering at these temperatures. At that time there was no Frank Deboosere.’

The city stinks

From the diary of the priest also appears that the water is very unsanitary and unappetizing. “The canals are open sewers where even offal in is discharged’, it sounds. “The smell is normal though not to cure, but now it is many times worse.”

Also that argument for a hot summer doesn’t make sense, Boussemaere. ‘Then there was of waste disposal, let alone water purification there is still no sign. Messages about smell and such are so, mainly due to the former techniques, or the lack thereof.’

Emperor Charles V, hold it for looking at

What is certain is that the Emperor Charles V in that infamous summer of 1540 became ill due to the unsanitary living conditions during his stay in Amsterdam. When it turned out that there is also barely drinkable water was to be found in the city, he viewed. After less than twenty-four hours was the emperor back in his hometown, Ghent. In Amsterdam, he would never more set foot.

 

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