You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Leiden’ tag.

This last post on Leiden focuses on a “block” of water at about the 10:00 position if you imagine the moat as a clock face. It’s the waterway between Morsweg and Morsstraat below, referred to as the “historical harbor,” where the requirement for free dockage is that the vessels must pre-date 1940 and have been cargo carriers at one time.


An amazing fact for me is that although these boats are old, that building in the center–Stadstimmerwerf or municipal carpentry yard– is much older,  built in 1612;  Rembrant was born in 1606, just slightly to the left of where I stood to take that photo, i.e., as a kid, he likely watched that building going up!!


It served as municipal carpentry yard until 1988!  Then it was turned into senior housing, a purpose it still has today.


The red-striped vessel above and below, Antje Rebecca, was built in 1928 as a kagenaar, a local design of barge.  Mast and motor were first added in 1936.  I put a a photo of unaltered  kagenaars–no power–at the end of this post.


Here’s a stern view with tender.




The windmill is a replica of one that was built in 1619, i.e., when Rembrant was a teenager. The bridge is also a replica of one that stood there in Rembrant’s lifetime.




Sorry, I can’t tell you the story of De Liefde . .  aka the dear.  She is a converted cargo vessel of the sort still intensively used in inland waterways of northern Europe.  Here’s a database, but it’s all in Dutch.


Click here for some of the highlights of Leiden.  It saw its golden age–also the age of Rembrant–less than half a century after the liberation of the city from Spanish rule by a motley crew referred to as the Sea Beggars, who entered the city via the moat and waterways.


Antoinette Christina, built in 1924, is classified as a luxe motor because it was built with engine and other conveniences.


Read about it here.




Below are–I believe–examples of kagenaars, many of which are converted into wharf extensions used as drinking/eating platforms.




All photo by Will Van Dorp, who will focus on another Dutch town tomorrow.

In case you missed Robert’s comment yesterday and if you are headed to the Netherlands soon, here are some events where you can see many of these restored vessels underway:  National Tugboat Days in Zwartsluis and  Tugboat Days in Elberg.  As another database, check out the tug and push boat trade site.   If you want to try to struggle through some info, here’s a free translator I sometimes use for a host of languages.

Here’s another.

And just an idea, if there might be a group of folks looking to go over together, we might consider seeing about organizing a trip over and a tour.  And I’m just planting a seed for what could be lots of fun although a fair amount of work.  Here’s the event I went to in 2014;  it’ll happen this May and then again in 2018.  A group could qualify for discounts, and I have some contacts and language skills.


Let’s stay in Leiden for two more posts. Here’s a 3:32 minute time lapse showing the city, about the same size population as Elizabeth NJ.

The Dutch seem to understand the touristic attraction of old boats, making available–I was told–free docking for vessels fitting certain parameters of restoration. They’re yachts, no longer work boats although they COULD do light work.    I wandered until I located the docks for old tugboats.  This “block” is about 1000′ north of the one we saw yesterday here, just south of the first “o” in “Noorderkwartier” in the map below.


From a bridge looking east, we see the 1916 Amor first in line and she’s for sale (“te koop“).


Then looking north from the same spot, that’s Gerda on the left and Alba on the right.  We’ll get back to Alba at the end of this post.


Here’s a side view of Gerda, about which I found no information.


Let’s walk northward along the land side of photo above, Oude Herengracht Straat.   The third boat back in the photo above is Lodewijck, 


a 1927 build.


Notice her towing hook.


This one, Grietje, two farther northward along the right side of the photo #2 above.


Notice her pelican hook for towing.


Behind her is Obsessie, dating from 1925.  Click here for an incomplete alphabetical listing of the restored tugboat fleet, aka motorsleepboot vloot.




Here she is as seen from the other side of the canal.


Jan dates from 1920.




Here were are on the other side looking at the first in line in photo #2 above.  Alba is a beauty that dates from 1911.  Click here for another set of her.




These and others–actual steam vessels–will make their way through the waterways to events like this one in late May.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will post about a different historic vessels “block” in Leiden tomorrow.


I’m back at the helm and have switched the robots off.  I’ve been in Netherlands (Nederland, in the language), which translates as “low lands.”  Where it’s low, you find water, of course, and where you have water, you’ll find boats and bridges.

You also find moats.  See the jagged blue rectangle in map below showing the center–the historical starting point–of the city of Leiden, a city of 122,000 midwayish between Rotterdam and Amsterdam.  All the photos in this post show one” block” of the Nieuwe Rijn (New Rhine), attached to the Oude (old) Rijn.   In fact, the Nieuwe Rijn (NR) is only a little over a mile channelized portion of the Oude Rijn, a 30-mile stretch of river no longer attached to the Rhine, the 750-mile river that everyone knows.  Think oxbow lakes along the Mississippi, only straight.

Imagine the blue rectangle as a clock;  you locate this one-block area on the map below at around the 4:00 position of the moat, at the intersection of the NR and the Herrengracht, a main vertical canal you can see there.


At this intersection there’s this old fuel barge.


I don’t know if it still functions.


Here’s the real focus of this post, low airdraft tugs like Jason.  The wheelhouse roof and windows are hinged, as you can see in this short video where Jason tows a barge through one of these low bridges.


See the blue/white sign near the left center;  it reads “Herrengracht.”  I love the paint job on that Smart.


The blue tour boats are operated by a company called “bootjes en broodjes,” or small boats and rolls.


Eat. Drink. Tour.   Also, learn about Leiden.  Talk.  Duck!


And among low air draft tugs in this block of waterway, here’s the real focus, the tug on the waterside of the small covered barge is called Triton.


Notice the fuel barge and Jason?   In a lot of places in the waterways in Leiden, those smooth but curved top barges have seating on them as bars and restaurants.


Here’s Triton with a house to get out of the weather.  She’s 100 years old exactly, a mere youngster compared with the buildings surrounding the waterways.


Triton reminds me a lot of Augie and Heidi.


Now if the spelling “rijn” seemed familiar, think of this guy . . . a favorite son whom we all know by his first name, Rembrandt.

Many more Dutch photos to come;  remember this is just one block of waterway. All photos by Will Van Dorp.



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