Local Heart, Global Soul

August 5, 2020

Lions Guarding Babies…

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

Searching the top of this beautiful building I found in Leiden, the mystery deepens a bit.

Under the very highest parapet are two busts of small children (those of the household maybe?).

I wondered why very these are located at the top of the house, and not more prominently near the bottom with the other figures on this facade?

Sadly maybe the placement here is deliberate because it’s seen as being closer to heaven?

Child mortality during the 16th – 17th century was cruelly high after all.

All around, above and below them are tiny images of lions, all of them open mouthed, roaring.

Also, there is an architectural detail I have never seen before, it’s stonework decoration that has been put in front of (but not on top of like a balustrade )the tile roof, it’s really unusual to do this I think.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)


  1. A few days ago I placed a link of the heritage foundation of Leiden.
    I did this to give you some answers to the questions you have.

    It turns out for instance that it looked differen at the time it was build.

    So much that at the end of the 19th century a restauration tried to bring it back to it’s old glory.

    On the site (link) you also find a drawing of how the house initial looked liked at the time it was build

    I place the link again, maybe the former one didn’t work.

    The site is in Dutch.


    Comment by Marie-Jacqueline — August 5, 2020 @ 8:13 am | Reply

    • Marie-Jacqueline,
      Sorry, Thank you, fabulous link! I did see it but things have been crazy here in recent days… will update the post as soon as I can.

      Comment by kiwidutch — August 6, 2020 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

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