Leiden, a city I have told you about before, is historically a city that has produced many painters, writers and scientists. No wonder this city has a deep connection with a wall poetry project that has decorated the city in murals. Today I’m giving you a photo tour to a part of Leiden’s wall poetry walk.
I walk past the wall poetry every day. Sometimes, especially on the route I walk every day, I forget to notice them. Recently I told my colleague Dolly about the murals. She’s a real photographer and I thought she might be interested. Little did I know, I’d awoken my own interest as well.
There are 101 murals hidden in- and just outside Leiden’s city center. Some of them were completely invisible due to filth or weeds, but local volunteers have cleaned most of the walls by now. The poetry on the walls in written in various languages. Most of them have an English translation hanging on a sign close by.
The project started in 1992 with a poem from Russian poet Marina Tsvetajeva. The murals are supposed to combine visual art with poetry. The project connects to the city perfectly because of its history of famous painters, writers and scientists. Not only was Rembrandt born here, Dutch famous poets have studied or worked in Leiden and even Einstein was known to teach classes at the university.
Walk the walk
A Dutch website – not related to the project – has come up with an interactive mapped route of all the wall poetry you can find in Leiden. By following the route you will not only pass the city’s highlights, you will also find hidden alleys and secret gardens and courts.
Dolly, the colleague I told about my city oh so vibrantly, got interested and proposed to walk the route partly. She picked a sunny day and went on a trip with her camera. When she asked me if I wanted to use the photos on my blog, I couldn’t be happier! I think she is a great photographer (who’s currently working on her own website, yay!) so I’m proud to present her work!