Their home: Het Gulden Hoofd

According to his biographers, from the age of 22, Leeuwenhoek lived along the Hippolytusbuurt gracht, a tree-lined, gently flowing canal in the center of quiet little Delft. He is buried beside it, too.

A view of the Hippolytusbuurt gracht, looking south,
coming up on Leeuwenhoek's house on the right just before the Warmoesbrug.

In Delft, a gracht is a brick-lined canal within a city, about two meters deep. The inner city of Delft has miles of grachts like this one; it is named after the section of the street that lines it. The Hippolytusbuurt is only one short section of the Nieuwe Delft between the Stadhuis and the Oude Kerk. It extends from the Voorstraat (behind the picture taker) to the Wijnhaven (past the Warmoesbrug). Known locally as the Pooltjesbuurt, it was also called Voorstraat well into Leeuwenhoek's lifetime, when Hippolytusbuurt became common.

Most of the year, the water flows in a southeasterly direction toward the Warmoesbrug along the front of Leeuwenhoek's house, Het Gulden Hoofd (golden head), now part of Hippolytusbuurt 1. Long gone, it was on the west side just two houses before the bridge. That's the right-hand side in the photo above and the lower row in the Kaart Figuratief below, the second roof in directly across from the M in Vis Marct.

Directly across the gracht, so close he could smell them, are the Vismarkt, the ancient fish market, and next to it, the Vleeshal, the newly constructed (1650) meat market. The Warmoesbrug, the wide bridge, is part of an open square, the Cameretten, all clearly labeled in Bleyswyck's map, above. Warmoes is old-fashioned Dutch for vegetables.