Top floor

The rooms on the top floors and in the attics numbered in the same order as in the inventory of notary Joris Geesteranus.

18 Clothes attic

19 Front loft

20 Back attic

21 Back loft

22 Back room

23 Rear loft

24 Attic

Three parts of the house had upper floors, the exception being the gallery.

As shown on the floor plan above right, the main house had a top floor (#18, #20) with two rooms each opening onto a landing at the top of the stairs. The cross-section on the right (click to enlarge) shows a similar layout in the main house's attic (#19, #21).

The kitchen had only an upper floor under a peaked roof (#24), so it was called an attic.

The back kitchen acquired in 1708 had an upper floor (#22), no doubt a servant's quarters, and an attic under the roof (#23), all accessible via the same staircase. Both kitchens had fireplaces.

18 Clothes attic (kleerzolder)

Above the front room was a room for storing clothing.

In the classic Dutch home from the Golden Age, the family lived above the shop and below the storage area. The inventory's articles   list huge quantities of clothing, fabrics, and porcelain and metal objects in the house when Maria died. Where did they go in this tiny house? The top floor is the best candidate because of the few things left to note in the final articles -_ of the inventory.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed the following in the clothes attic (op de kleersolder)

A trunk (koffer)

A painted chest (kist)

A polished chest

A small ditto

A large fire chest (vuurkist)

1 table that can be expanded (uijthaaltafel)

6 polished footwarmers (stoven)

1 old screen or partition (schut)

8 clothing racks (kleerstokken)

1 wicker basker with handles (vateben)

Some pots and pans



19 Front loft (voorvliering)

vliering Space above the kleerzolder.

in the loft (op de vlieringh)

2 ladders

Some woodwork (houtwerk) and junk (rommelingh)



20 Back attic (achterzolder)

achterzolder This room could be used for sleeping. probably there was already a cupboardbed (2 children v. Helden)

Leeuwenhoek, placed a wineglass with water on the third floor to collect microbs, probably in the window of this 'zolder' at the quiet side with less dust.

De overige ruimte tot de achtergevel. Van Leeuwenhoek beschrijft hoe hij water opvangt op zijn plaats in een porcelijnen bord. Dat giet hij over in een wijnglas. Ook zet hij op de derde verdieping (gerekend met de  begane grond als eerste verdieping) een porcelijnen bord in het open raam in de verwachting dat het water verrijkt wordt met microben uit de lucht.

in the back attic (op de agtersolder)

1 large old-fashioned trunk with iron fittings (beslagen)

A painted chest (kisje)

An old-fashioned oak chest (eijke kist) and some Delt earthenware therein

An old porcelain? (pors)

A chicken coop (hoenderhok)

2 chairs

A small case (kasje) with 17 glasses and ?? (romers)

A small cage (kooijtje) and box (bakje)

A clothes rack (kleerrakje)

9 clothes rods (kleerstokken)

1 ?? (vateben) with bottles



21 Back loft (achtervliering)


in the back loft (op de agtererste vlieringh)

Some woodwork and junk



22 Back room (achterkamer)

in the back room above the back kitchen (op de agterkamer boven de agterkeuken)

achterkamer boven achterkeuken    Space in the house at the Nieuwe straat

2 chairs

1 painted table

1 mirror

1 ?? (vateben)

1 small desk for reading and writing (lessenaartje)

1 church stool (kerkstoeltje), 4 foot warmers (stoven)

1 barrel (tobbe)

1 glass door

1 basket

1 board

1 tealeaf? (theeblaatje)

1 table leaf (tafelblad)

Some basketwork

Some junk



23 Rear loft (achterstevliering)

in the loft (op de vlieringh)

Some wood, some stones and junk



24 Attic (zolder)

in the back attic (op de agtersolder)

Some peat (turff)


The house was compact as you see at the 'KAART FIGURATIEF', just like other houses in the area. The drawing showes just one chimney, connected tot the heart in the 'AGTERKAMER' and probably the room. above. Van Leeuwnhoek writes in a letter about the fire that is burning all the time in his bedroom, when it is needed in the colder seasons. In the inventory of 1745 Delfts Blue plates are mentioned in the front room upstairs, for above the hearth. Also is in that inventory mentioned just one bed wirth blue bedhangings, but a lot more bedding, so that must have been used in bedsteads. So one may asume that van Leeuwenhoek used a bedstaed in his study for sleeping.

The horse that is mentioned in his letters must have been stalled elswhere.



kast - case or cupboard

kerkstoel - church stool or chair. note the paintings of 17th century Delft churches, which have no pews or chairs. In some, women sat on stools during the sermon; the men remained standing. Learn more: Churches Without Chairs: How Christians Used to Worship

kist - chest

kleer = kleed. kleerzolder - An attic where clothing was  washed or bleached and hung to dry on wooden rods.

koffer - trunk or carton




tobbe - a wooden barrel wider at the top, used for bathing or laundry

vateben ben = (wicker) basket