I believe those are "hollyhocks," as shown in this old colorized photo -http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2010/02/hollyhocks.html
Thanks! And yes, this is indeed a hollyhock (alcea rosea). In Dutch: stokroos (a rose on a stick). In 2011 I've planted several in my front and back garden. The one next to my front became over 10 feet tall.
I love to read your remarks and suggestions. I don't mind if you comment anonymously, but I severely dislike anonymous comments with an included link (these will be deleted).