Leiden: “In den vergulden Turk”

september 20, 2020

19.09.2019 | Coming soon…

During the Dutch Revolt, Willem of Orange hoped to lend some money to finance his war against Spain. The Dutch came in contact with the Ottomans via Don Juan Miquez. He was a rich Jewish banker from Spain, which fled to Konstantiniye during the inquisition. Both the Ottomans and Dutch had a common enemy: the Spanish. The Dutch wanted freedom of religion. They preferred the islamic Ottoman above the Catholic Spanish. When the Geuzen relieved the city of Leiden in 1574, they had Turkish flags on their ships. They also carried token in the shape of a crescent moon, with “Better Turkish than Pope” slogans on it.

“In den vergulden Turk” is a monument in Leiden, which is built in the style of Dutch classicism. The building was completed in 1673 and was part of the department store Vroom & Dreesmann from 1962.

In the pediment there are some sculptures by Pieter Xavery. These are from left to right: the Roman god Neptune, a Turk and the Roman god Mercury. The building was built for the merchants Le Pla, from the east. Hence also the image of the merchant in the middle of the pediment. The images of the gods of the sea (Neptune) and trade (Mercury) symbolize overseas trade. The gods can be recognized by the trident of Neptune and the caduceus of Mercury.

The classic building style of the building is expressed in the pilasters with Composite Capitals, and especially on the fronton decorated with sculptures. The name of the building is written on the continuous frieze and reads “In the gilded Turk”.


Coming soon…

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