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Maintenance projects

Painting doors and wooden enclosure of the choir (2021)

What: painting the monumental doors and the wooden enclosure of the choir | Contractor: Van Muiden Glas- en Schilderwerken | Mei 2021 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The monumental wooden doors of the Pieterskerk Leiden, at the three main entrances on the north-, south- and westside of the building, have been coated with a new layer of protective red paint. Inside the monument the wooden enclosure of the choir has been repainted. Aside from the original gentlemens’ bench, this enclosure consists mostly of modern additions. With the new layer of point these elements are protected for the coming years.

Restoring the jointing in the natural stone floor (2021)

What: restoring the jointing in the natural stone floor (2021) | Contractor: Bambam Steenhouwers | February 2021 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

Over the course of a couple of years small damages occur in the jointing of the natural stone floor in the areas that are most used and walked on. To keep the jointing in the natural stone floor of the Pieterskerk Leiden in an optimal condition, the small damages are restored periodically.

Restoring cast iron tealight candle racks (2020)

What: restoring cast iron tealight candle racks | Contractor: Smederij Van der Vegt | July 2020 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The tealight candle racks in the Pieterskerk Leiden are large cast iron frames, measuring about 3 metres high. They are used to create an intimate feel to the monument during concerts and events. The result is a wonderful, almost enchanting sight.

The smith has restored the frames by fixing the damaged parts in the welding and delivered several replacement footpieces for the frames.

Waxing the natural stone floor (2020)

What: adding a protective layer of beeswax on the natural stone floor | Contractor: Rojan Diensten V.O.F. | March 2020 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

Each spring the natural stone floor inside the monument is coated in beeswax in its entirety. This protective coating prevents any surface damage for a year and protects the stones against liquids. The beexwax permeates the stone, which gives the application of it a long lasting effect. Additionally it brings a beautiful shine to the stones.

Cleaning the high and low vaulting (2020)

What: clearing all dust from the high and low vaulting under the roofs | Contractor: Hein Facility | January 2020 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The high and low vaultings are located beneath the enormous roofs of the Pieterskerk Leiden. As measure of preventative maintenance these vaultings have been vacuumed entirely, a job that took two months to complete.

Removing the layers of dust periodically is necessary because it increases the risk of the nestling of harmful insects. And even more importantly: it can become a fire hazard.

Cleaning the guild boards, epitaphs, pulpits and portals (2020)

What: clearing the dust on the guild boards, epitaphs, pulpits and portals | Performed by: the caretaker of the Pieterskerk Leiden | February 2020 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

In the course of every year a small layer of dust and cobwebs unavoidably collects on the many objects inside the monument. That is why all historical objects are cleared of dust and cobwebs periodically.

Preventive inspection for woodworm (2020)

What: preventive round of inspection to check for possible woodworm activity | Contractor: Van Lierop BV | January 2020 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

In the start of 2020 Van Lierop BV made a complete inspection round of all the woodwork beneath the roofs of the Pieterskerk Leiden. This wood is vulnerable to several types of harmful insects. As it is a crucial part of the supporting structure of the monument preventative maintenance is a high priority.

Installing digital cylinder locks on the external doors (2019)

What: the installation of digital cylinder locks | Performed by: the caretaker of the Pieterskerk Leiden | May-June 2019 | Maintenance budget of the Pieterskerk Leiden

Many of the locks on the doors of the Pieterskerk Leiden have digital cylinder locks. It requires precision work that has been carried out by one of the caretakers of the Pieterskerk Leiden.

An important advantage of digital cylinder locks is the fact that the access to each door can be allocated via a computer program. That is crucial for the security of the monument. Oh and yes, it also takes away the need for packed keychains…

Installing wifi access points in the monument (2019)

What: the installation of wifi receivers | Suppliers: Flowsound Audio rental & staging systems and Analyst ICT | March 2019 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

To increase the availability of wifi inside the monument wifi receivers have been installed.

In total five receivers were installed: four in the nave of the church and one in the choir. The distribution has been set up to ensure an optimal signal coverage.

Renewing boilers and control systems (2019)

What: renewing the boilers and heating control systems | Contractor: Bosman Van Zaal and De Vos Elektro & Energie Techniek | January 2019 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

At the start of 2019 the old boilers for the offices were at the end of their lifespan and had to be replaced. Additionally, the outdated control system (thermostat) was replaced by a digital version. By digitally monitoring not only the inside and outside temperatures, but also the humidity, valuable information can be gathered which will be useful for future restorations.

Restoring the locking mechanism at the Western entrance (2019)

What: welding a broken metal grip and securing the latch | Contractor: Smederij Van der Vegt | January 2019 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The Western portal is one of the three main entrances. The portal is still used regularly. The broken grip on an original metal doorslide was welded on again. Furthermore, a loosened pin on the doorlatch of the original interior doors was fixed.

An improvement was also applied here by adjusting the appearance of the metal pin to the original character of the doorway. The pin was coated black and a round handle was attached.

Maintenance of the lightning security installation (2018)

What: restoring the grounding for the lightning security installation | Contractor: Mulhuyzen Bliksembeveiliging BV | December 2018 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The grounding of the lightning security installation, in the gardens surrounding the monument, had to be restored at the end of 2018. Through a combination of regular maintenance works and natural erosion the height of the surface level can become uneven, which can cause the grounding to be separated from the surface level. To correct this effect the earth electrodes have been lengthened in the places where this had become necessary.

Restoration of a wall anchor at the guild board of the shoemakers (2018)

What: the restoration of a wall anchor on the lower right of the guild board | Contractor: Smederij Van der Vegt | December 2018 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The lead at one of the four wall anchors that support the guild board of the shoemakers guild had started to show some damages over the course of time. The board is placed against a pillar in the crossing of the monument and dates back to 1581. In order to restore the minor damages the smith first propped up the wooden guild board to fix it in place and subsequently removed the damaged lead around the wall anchor. After that the wall anchor was readjusted using a specific glue and was covered by a new layer of cold worked lead.

New ring-grip northern portal (2018)

What: reproducing a new ring-grip for the northern portal after the original model | Contractor: Smederij Van der Vegt | November 2018 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The outside of the northern portal lacked one ring-grip, which meant that one of the main historical entrances was esthetically and practically compromised. In the fall the grip on the southern portal was used to make a mould for the new piece. The new grip shows the craftsmanship of the blacksmith.

Lead-roofing (2018)

What: the restoration of the leadworks on the roofs | Contractor: Jobse Loodgieters, leidekkers en koperslagers | September 2018 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The roofing has been thoroughly restored in 2018, at the end of summer. The specialized and certified restoration-roofers of Jobse BV were contracted to renew parts of it. Concurrently, several damaged slates were replaced.

Exposition in the baptistry renewed (2018)

What: installing lightboxes for the exposition | Contractor: Matrix Frame BV | July 2018 | Sponsor: Rabobank Wensenfonds

New lightboxes have made the panels of the Pilgrims-exposition visible during the late hours and dark winter days. This improvement was made possible thanks to a generous grant by the Rabobank Wensenfonds, which was awarded at the beginning of the year. The installation was carried out by Matrix Frame BV.

Repair of a gravestone (2018)

What: repair of one of the stones in the monumental church floor | Contractor: Slotboom Steenhouwers BV | July 2018 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

One of the gravestones in the monumental floor of the Pieterskerk Leiden has been preventively restored during the summer of 2018, by a specialist of Slotboom Steenhouwers. This company had also worked on the thorough restoration of the floor, during the restoration of the Pieterskerk Leiden between 2001 and 2010.

Painting of the exterior (2018)

What: painting the exterior and the lucarnes on the roof | Contractor: Boelee & Langerak Schilders | Autumn 2017 – Spring 2018 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

In the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018 the painters of Boelee & Langerak Schilders from Leiden have painted the exterior of the monument, like the window frames, the doors and the dormer windows. This protects the wood in the structures from the elements.

Restoration of ornamental iron fences (2017-2018)

What: restoration of ornamental iron fences | Restorer: Smederij Van der Vegt | October 2017 – January 2018 | Sponsor: Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation

The ornamental iron fences have been restored by a certified restoration-blacksmith. It concerns the fences around the monuments of Luzac, Boerhaave, Van der Palm and Van Kerckhoven. Fragments of these fences that were stored have been replaced into the original structure, in order to ensure the use of as much original material as possible.

Storage in the gardens (2017-2018)

What: Storage in the gardens on the south side | Contractor: Burgy Bouwbedrijf BV | July-September 2017 | Sponsors: Fonds 1818, the Order of St. Peter, Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation

In the garden a new storage facility has been built, which serves multiple purposes.

The storage is used, for example, by the volunteers of the Pieterskerk Leiden who maintain the garden, who store their equipment here. Thanks to the new storage, the monument itself can be spared when temporary storage of materials is required.

Replacement of the sound system (2017)

What: installation of Meyer Sound sound system | Contractor: Audio Electronics Mattijsen BV | March 2017 | Sponsors: Fonds 1818, Universiteit Leiden, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds – Afdeling Zuid-Holland, Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation, the Order of St. Peter

The old sound system had been in use since 1988 and had started to show shortfalls which increasingly hindered the activities in the Pieterskerk Leiden. In this project there was cooperation with Audio Electronics Mattijsen BV and the high quality American brand Meyer Sound, who have a wealth of experience with the installation of sound systems in monumental buildings. Flowsound, the technical partners of the Pieterskerk Leiden, helped with the installation of the new sound system.

Placing two tombstones (2017)

What: placing two tombstones against the northern wall | Contractor: Bambam Steenhouwers | January 2017 | Sponsor: Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation

These two tombstones from Leiden were rediscovered in 1935 in the cellar of the now demolished buildings on Vismarkt 9-10. Originally they came from the Pieterskerk Leiden and date back to 1100-1300. These are the oldest remaining tombstones from the Pieterskerk Leiden; they give a rare insight into the appearance of the churchfloor during the oldest phases of construction. The left tombstone, with the inscription, was reused in 1592 to serve as the tombstone for the grave of a daughter of the Leiden cloth merchant Claes Jacobsz van Berckel. The right tombstone, with the mark of the creator, was most likely also reused. The tombstones are on loan from Museum De Lakenhal.

Bell stand of the Bonaventura (2016)

What: the construction of a new bell stand for the Bonaventura | Creator: Bram Siera, caretaker of the Pieterskerk Leiden | April 2016 | Sponsors: SCOL (Stichting Confessioneel Onderwijs Leiden), Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation, the Order of St. Peter

The Bonaventura-bell from 1490 had stood in the Pieterskerk Leiden on a wooden tripod for the last three decades. Thanks to this new bell stand, the bell can once again be hung in the original manner. Although the construction is new, the caretaker and restoration-carpenter Bram Siera used old techniques to create the connecting parts in the bell stand and made use of specially selected, historical oak beams.

Restoration of the Van Hagerbeer organ (2015-2017)

What: cleaning, intonation and treatment of lead-corrosion | Restorer: Verschueren Orgelbouw BV | 1st phase: July & August 2015 | 2nd phase: August 2016, October & December 2016 | 3rd phase: June & July 2017 | Sponsors: Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Stichting dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds, Stichting tot Behoud van het Nederlandse Orgel, Stichting Orgelfonds Mooy, Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde Balije van Utrecht, Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation and the Order of St. Peter

In three phases of restoration the lead-corrosion was addressed, that was mainly found in the 17th century pipes of the organ. The upper pipes and small pedal have also been restored, cleaned and tuned. Other parts of the organ were also cleaned, restored and tuned, including the manual.

Cleaning the epitaph of Thomas Erpenius (2015)

What: Cleaning copperplate | Restorer: Van IJken Metaalrestauratie | September 2015 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The surface of the copper plate has turned green over the centuries. It is not clear what the surface of the copper would have looked like originally. Possibly it had a high gloss finish. It has now been restored in a way which has created a calm, matte finish. In this way less light is reflected from the surface, improving the visibility of the unique engravings from below.

Lente tuin Pieterskerk Leiden

Restoring the southern garden (2014 & 2015)

What: the redesign of the southern garden | Contractor: Bambam Steenhouwers | 2014-2015 | Sponsors: Van der Mandele Stichting, Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation, the Order of St. Peter

Around the Pieterskerk Leiden lies a city garden of considerable size. Originally little houses stood here, built up against the side of the monument. These homes were so badly damaged after the explosion in the Gunpowder Disaster in 1807 that only the buildings on the eastern side of the Pieterskerk Leiden could be saved.

In the fall of 2014 three terraces and gravel pathways have been layed between the beech trees. In the spring of 2015 the garden was replanted. This city garden has been carefully designed, taking into account measures for saving water and attracting insects and bees. Volunteers of the Pieterskerk Leiden lovingly maintain the gardens.

Restoration gold-leather wallpaper (2014)

What: the restoration of the gold-leather wallpaper and the parchment in the Churchwardens Room | Restorer: Restauratie Nijhoff Asser | 2014 | Sponsors: Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation, Jochem Meijer, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Hendrik Muller Fonds

The restoration-atelier Nijhoff Asser has restored the 18th century gold-leather wallpaper and parchment lists of the Churchwardens. These are unique elements of the Churchwardens Room, an historic room dating back to the 17th century.

In 1739 Nicolaas Blankert (†1750) supplied the gold-leather wallpaper to the churchwardens in the Pieterskerk Leiden. The pattern was specially made to fit this room. On the parchment lists are the names of all Churchwardens from 1532 until 1868.

Detail kroonluchter Pieterskerk Leiden

Replacing lighting (2013 & 2014)

What: the installation of led-lighting | November-December 2013 – 2014 | Sponsors: the Order of St. Peter, Friends of the Pieterskerk Foundation, Universiteit Leiden, Fonds 1818, Prins Bernhardfonds.

All lamps in the chandeliers and in the regular lighting have been replaced by dimmable led-lighting. Each year this adds up to a saving of 10.000 KWh. That represents energy savings comparable to the energy use of three households.

Restoring the 17th century wine cellar (2013)

What: restoring the old wine cellar | Contractor: Bram Siera, caretaker of the Pieterskerk Leiden | Summer 2013 | Sponsor: The Order of St. Peter

In 2013 the small stairway to the 17th century wine cellar was rediscovered during the restoration of the gold-leather wallpaper of the Churchwardens Room. The stairs were laid open and the wine cellar has been brought back to its original function after centuries.

The title of Steward has also been restored.

Replacing the wall anchors (2013)

What: replacing two rusted wall anchors | Contractors: Smith Van de Geijn & Burgy Bouwbedrijf BV | 2013 | Maintenance budget Pieterskerk Leiden

The iron (wall)anchors in the stonework had started to rust. Because of the salt in rainwater and expansion when it freezes, the iron eventually starts to rust. Rusty iron expands greatly and pushes the stone apart due to the resulting pressure.

In 2013, following an inspection by the Monumentenwacht (Heritage Inspection) two new wall-anchors were fitted.

(picture: bouwhistorisch bureau www.moned.nl)