Local Heart, Global Soul

September 21, 2020

Beauty Further Than Glass…

Apologies for the messy posts of late, I put some half finished stuff in the WordPress Schedule, put in the photographs, added partial text in some cases and then forgot to go back and finish them after going further and loading more things into the schedule.

In this third post about windows, this one is also in the Art Deco style, yet completely different to the other two. The centre of Leiden boasts many beautiful buildings, and this beauty goes far further than the glass windows too.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 20, 2020

Déco Too, But Cleaner And Less Fussy…

This  next set of shop windows in Leiden is also of an Art Déco style, but (in my opinion) cleaner and less fussy in execution than the other ones in yesterday’s post. I have to confess that this one is a favourite of mine… love it!

Primera” is the actual name of the shop here, I’m guessing that there may be a conservation law that protects the original “P.J. van Kampenhout” name across the top, since it is part of the entire Art Déco frontage, and I’m delighted that it’s being kept in such good shape, not just left to fade out like I have seen on some other buildings. The owner of this building clearly values the heritage of the building here.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 18, 2020

The Strong Masculine Style Of Fussy…

Sitting on top of a very normal shop in the centre of Leiden, the uppermost portion of this building exhibits all of the details of the 18th or 19th Century. A “Step” gable and beautiful contrasting white stone and red brickwork.  Attention to detail, and plenty of detail without being overly fussy. I don’t find that these buildings are very feminine at all, there are for instance no wooden fretwork, floral tiles or abundance of carved faces. Instead this is more of strong masculine style of fussy, and it’s just as beautiful as it’s more feminist fussy counterparts.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

 

September 5, 2020

Three People Changed Their World…

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

During the Spring of 2020 I came across a building in Leiden labelled as a “Volkshuis” (House of the people).

The website of “Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken” (Heritage of greater Leiden) tells us: “The building housed the “Stichting Het Leidse Volkshuis”.

Founded in 1897 by three professors from the Leiden Faculty of Law.

With the aim to increase the level of education and happiness among lower socio-economic classes.

This was therefore basically a school to allow people to gain further education and work their way out of poverty, and presumably at no, or very little cost.

The building gave place to the ‘Stichting Het Leidse Volkshuis‘, which was founded in 1897 by three professors from the Leiden Law Faculty, Drucker, Greven and Van der Vlugt. 

The objective wasto increase development and happiness in life among workers and classes equated with it in Leiden‘.  It was one of the first institutions in the Netherlands to practice club homework. The most diverse courses were given. The original interior was dark with a lot of oak and will certainly have impressed the working class. The interior has been modernised a number of times over the years. The artists’ association ‘De Stijl’ has established its secretariat there for many years.  

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

The entrance porch on the Haarlemmerstraat is framed by bluestone pilasters with stylized capitals and diamond heads. 

Above it a segment arch with the inscription ‘Volkshuis’.

The main entrance is located at Apothekersdijk 33a. 

The building was designed and built in 1899 by the Leiden architect WC Mulder. 

The building shows the influence of Berlage on Mulder’s work, he shows the construction and layout in the appearance of the building.

Natural stone accentuates the important parts of the building.

Next to the entrance on the Apothekersdijk is a memorial stone with the text (translated into English):

XXII October  MDCCCIC  MCMXXIV. With respect and gratitude the names of  Hendrik Lodewijk Drucker, Hendrik Barend Greven, Willem van der Vlugt .

Professors in the Faculty of  Law at the Leidsche Hoogeschool. Origin and continued existence of this foundation is owed to their insight, their trust and their sense of community. This memorial stone was placed in 1924 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Volkshuis.

Everything about this building speaks to the character of the three Professors who founded it. It is not named after them, they named it after the people they helped, everything was about making a difference in their community.

They used the skills they had between them and built something amazing. Imagine the impact that they must have had in their student’s quality of life and in turn these people’s families. These are the sort of people who quietly changed history in their community.

A beautiful building with a beautiful purpose, the Professors should be proud.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 4, 2020

When You Are Old, You Get To Lean…

Shopping streets in old Dutch towns are interesting places. The buildings are mostly old but sometimes even a combination with an older series of top stories and more modern shops on their ground floors.

The variance in roof lines, and even the vertical (the often less than vertical) position of many buildings are good indicators that the building is enjoying a long life.

Sometimes neighbouring old buildings seem to partake in leaning competitions, not just out of true in the north-south position but also on the east-west one as well. Himself and I are currently trying to get our new kitchen cupboards to co-operate with the wonky walls of our 90 year old house. I hate to think about the agony of trying to find one single 90 degree angle in your home if it was 200-300 years old.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

September 2, 2020

Stepping Up Design…

Close to the Hartebrugkerkin the Dutch city of Leiden, is another building that is instantly recognisable as being in the “typical historic Dutch style”. It’s “stepped” roof design has been copied on tiles, plates and all sorts of tourist paraphernalia. As one of the icons of this country, these beautiful buildings deserve all of the recognition they get.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 26, 2020

Architectural Great, Great Grandchildren

Progressing down the Lange Mare towards the Leiden city centre, I discover various side streets that are filled with buildings of every variety and age. There are ones centuries old leaning a little in their old age, sometimes alongside their architectural great, great grandchildren: the new build apartments.
I realise that cities do, and probably need to evolve, but hope too that they never completely loose the older buildings that give this city it’s charm.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 21, 2020

Stone Trails of Blooms…

Stone carving in architecture is one of my favourite things. Here in the Marekerk in Leiden, scrolls of blooms lay intertwined with ribbon as they surround each side of the entrance door on the West side entrance. The ribbons trail off into fabric folds at the end. Gorgeous!

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 20, 2020

Triangular Glory In The Facade…

On the main entrance of the west door of the Marekerk, is a Dutch classical facade with two triangular centrepieces. The smaller of the two contains a blank cartouche; which is a kind of (often) scrolled surrounding, or frame for the initials, name or some sort of text or important inscription.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below): This has the “frame” but not the text. Below the blank cartouche however is a panel of beautiful carved stone scrolled acanthus leaves, stunningly done.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below:) The top, larger triangular form on the facade is very far from a blank page, it consists of a large central cartouche containing two crossed keys. I have just learned from my amazing regular, and ultra-knowledgeable reader Marie-Jacqueline that this refers to Leiden’s nickname of “Sleutelstad” (City of keys).  (Thank You so much Marie-Jacqueline, your help is very much appreciated!).

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below): This cartouche with keys is supported by a cherub on each side, holding garlands of flowers. Above these flowers are heraldic shields containing not the usual coat of arms, but various symbols. I went and enlarged the shields on the original photos: on one side the first shield has a large castle with four towers on the top half, and a four sided Maltese style cross and a horse in the split bottom half. the other shield has one single large tower over water on the top half and a large acorn on the bottom half.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Bottom: there are also two shields o the other side of the centrepiece. The first shield has a traditional cross and a … hare? while the second shield has the heads of three deer on it.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 10, 2020

Leiden Rooflines…

It’s not just the beautiful buildings in Leiden that interest me but also things like interesting roof lines…

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

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