"In Den Vergulden Turk" (In The Gilded Turk) is a former mansion at the Breestraat in Leiden, the Netherlands. Most likely designed by Willem van der Helm (c. 1628-1675). The sculpture in the pediment was made in 1673 by the Flemish sculptor Pieter Xavery (born c. 1647). Currently in use as one of the entrances of the Vroom & Dreesmann department-store. The LEGO version is based on the situation in the late 19th century. The house consists of a front house, a small courtyard or garden and an annex.
About this creation
Historic pictures were used to make this model (among other information). On the first picture are some older pictures included; left: facade in appr. 1870; upper right: roof of the annex in 1909, photo taken from the city hall tower; bottom right: staircase, date unknown. Searching for the rare information about this building was one of the fun things in making the model. It's almost like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.
Sculpture in the pediment; a Turkish merchant with on the left Neptune and on the right Mercurius
Lower part of the facade. I was lucky there was a good picture of the facade showing the old lower front; this part of the facade was lost in a renovation. In 1899 a big bay window and a glass front were added.
I was lucky I was able to visit the building in september last year. Nowadays only the lower floor, which is in use as a department store, is open for public. The upper floors are barely used these days. Some parts of the old interior are still intact, like the 18th century spiral staircase, the basement with vault ceilings and the 17th century roof construction.
18th century staircase in Louis XVI style
The decorations in the front house is based on old pictures. When the building was changed into a restaurant in 1899, some of the wall panelling and ceilings were saved. The decorations of the upper floors are based on similar houses in Leiden.
Front house, main room without furniture.
The annex has changed most, which made this the hardest part to build. I was lucky to find pictures showing the roof and some of the facades. The interior is largely based on historic research in combination with my own imagination.
The annex is modular and can be taken apart in 10 pieces. It took a while to figure out the best way to make this modular. Click here for a short video
The modular annex.
Fireplace mantle in the dining room. The dining room is the most important room in the annex. Like in most Dutch mansions, the room is decorated with with stucco and painted ceilings.