Walk the straight line along the main road and you may miss Woenveen. Many travelers do. The shops all cluster there and few visitors are wanting to discover much else beyond the inn and tavern. The silhouette of the belfry is hardly noticeable through the bathroom window, and the bridges obscure the sightlines with intention. Though there is a river, most assume that it bends only slightly, or burrows into a culvert, invisible.
Now and again, there are those travelers, often men upset by the prices of the shops or in need of sobering themselves before a day’s travel at dawn, that find the city behind the main road. They see it in the back of a shop window or through a slight doorway left open by a townsperson. They discover that the city behind the city is the real Woenveen, where the river bends round sharply and the public squares and markets afford the men and women of the town their secret livelihoods.
Sometimes we wander through the city, failing to see that the real city is through the cracks and under the floorboards. Other times, the city has been cautiously quarantined and obscured, the main road enriching the clandestine world behind its curtain. Woenveen presents the latter case.