MUSEUM THE LEIDEN WEAVER’S HOUSE
Museum Het Leids Wevershuis (Museum The Leiden Weaver’s House) is housed in a historic municipal monument. Here you can get to know the poor side of Leiden from the past four centuries. This poor, unknown side of Leiden contrasted sharply with the district of the rich where the famous monuments are located, such as the Rapenburg.
The spot where the house stands, has been inhabited since the Middle Ages. The polder ditch, which would later be called Middelstegracht (Middle Canal), became part of the city around 1350, when the city boundary was shifted from the Hooigracht to the current Herengracht. In the following century, the canal was soon built with houses. This was partly due to the flourishing of the medieval cloth* at that time. This attracted many people to the city. Initially, the buildings consisted of wooden houses with straw roofs. A hundred years later, building in stone became common, and many existing houses were quickly renovated with stone walls and ‘hard’ roofs.
A linen weaver, Cornelis Janszoon, already lived on the site of the present house in 1561.
It is not entirely clear to what extent the house from before 1600 corresponded to the present one. The width of the facade was the same as that of the present building, according to a measurement of 1586. But the facade, the roof construction and the tiles on the floors under the planks in the front and back rooms strongly indicate new construction in the seventeenth century.
However, it is clear that the construction of the house as it is, must be sought in the years 1626-1631.
During opening hours, the antique loom (1830) is nearly always in operation. Exhibitions are held the year round. The shop offers a small collection of handmade products for sale.
More information about the history of the building can be found in the brochure ‘Such a small house – so many lives. The history of Middelstegracht 143 in Leiden’.
The brochure is for sale in the museum.
Daily 1.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. – Closed on Mondays.
Entrance free. A personal contribution in one of the money boxes is highly appreciated.
You can find the contact details in the footer of this website.
How to get there?
By public transport from station Leiden Centraal
The bussen leave on the side of the centre of Leiden CS.
- Take bus 6 direction Leiderdorp. This bus almost stops in front of the museum.
- Get off the bus at the stop Hooigracht-Ir. Driessenstraat.
- Walk 20 meters to the left. There you are standing on the Middelstegracht.
- The museum lies on the other side of the road that is called the ‘Ir. Driessenstraat’.
- You will find the Weavers House after 25 meters on your right hand.
There are more busses, but then you need to walk more. More information on www.9292.nl.
By public transport from station Leiden Lammenschans
We do not recommend this. It is more convenient to take the train to station Leiden Centraal (see above).
By car you can reach the museum from highway A4.
- Take the turnoff Leiden/Voorschoten
- Follow the signs Leiden Centrum
- Follow the signs ‘Parkeergarage Haarlemmerstraat’ (parking).
- The entrance of the parking is diagonally across the museum on the Middelstegracht.
Or plan your route on Google Maps: Middelstegracht 143, Leiden