view on leeuwarden from the south

In this city view of Leeuwarden the leaning Oldehove tower and the city walls are clearly recognizable. At the time, there stood many towers and windmills around the city. The windmills have all been pulled down, and so has the Nieuwe Toren (New tower).

Gezicht op Leeuwarden vanuit het zuiden gezien, Jacob van der Croos, 1640-1660

View on Leeuwarden from the south, Jacob van der Croos, 1640-1660

The viewpoint of this scene was where now lies the Schrans, a major street in the city centre. In the 17th century, the area in the foreground, where the linens can be seen bleaching in the sun, was known as Saylandt, which translates as ‘sowing land’. In time, this plot of agricultural land was swallowed up by the ever-expanding city.

In the 19th century the streets in the new city districts were given new names. However, some Leeuwarders, especially old-timers, still call the present Wilhelmina square by its original name: Zaailand.