Drift 17


I love this building for its fabulous shutters and for the section with the stair-step rooftop. The whole facade has so much character. The house was built in 1591 for Gilles van Ledenberg (ca. 1548-1619). A Dutch statesman, he started life as the son of an illiterate bricklayer, but eventually became a friend of Johan van Oldebarnevelt. Through a few well-heeled marriages, he became fairly wealthy and was able to build this house.

Looking through some other photos I found online, the interior of the building is quite stunning, with a stained-glass ceiling light, and some beautiful carved wood staircases, among other decorative features. I don’t know how much of the interior is original, as the building went through a complete renovation in 1900, but it’s still lovely either way. It’s now part of the University, but is open on occasion during the Open Monument Day. I’ll have to visit it if it’s open the next time.

3 thoughts on “Drift 17

  1. some houses at the Drift are open to public, since part of the university of Utrecht is housed in them. I used to go to college there every day, and now I miss it… One of the buildings has a beautiful square stained glass ceiling window in it, but I can’t remember which number that was at.

      • it was! actually, one of the buildings used to be the townhouse of Lodewijk Napoleon (brother of the infamous Napoleon, who sent his brother over here around 1800 to rule in his stead). I took classes inside one of the rooms, I remember it had a gorgeous painted ceiling and enormous marble fireplace. How cool is that for studying history? 🙂

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