Lieven de Key

Lieven de Key

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Lieven de Key was a famous Dutch renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 architect in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, mostly known today for his works in Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...



He was born in Ghent, and was already a well known architect when the Haarlem council asked him to become city architect in 1592 to succeed Wouter den Abt. He brought to Haarlem the same Dutch renaissance style that Hendrick de Keyser
Hendrick de Keyser
Hendrick de Keyser was a Dutch sculptor and architect born in Utrecht, Netherlands, who was instrumental in establishing a late Renaissance form of Mannerism in Amsterdam...

 brought to Amsterdam. Everything attributed to him or his followers, whether a building, a doorway, or merely a gable stone, is considered a rijksmonument
A rijksmonument is a National Heritage Site of the Netherlands, listed by the agency Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed acting for the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.-History and criteria:...


The reason so many buildings in Haarlem can be attributed to him is because Haarlem had suffered a severe fire in 1576 that destroyed a third of the city, and plans were underway for large city projects when he was appointed city architect. Before working in Haarlem and Leiden, De Key had worked in London from 1580-1591.

Buildings he designed

  • Front of the city hall of Leiden
  • The Vleeshal
    The Vleeshal is a historical building dating from 1603 on the Grote Markt in Haarlem, Netherlands.-History:Vleeshal means meat-hall; it was the only place in Haarlem where fresh meat was allowed to be sold from 1604 to the 18th century. The ox-heads on the front of the building indicate the...

     in Haarlem, 1602-1603
  • The gymnasium in Leiden
  • The tower of the St. Anna church in Haarlem
    Nieuwe Kerk (Haarlem)
    The Nieuwe kerk is a historical church dating from the 17th century on the Nieuwe kerksplein in Haarlem, Netherlands.-History:The tower was built in 1613 by Lieven de Key against the older St. Anna church that itself was replaced by a design by Jacob van Campen in 1645-1649. The organ was...

    , which still exists, though the rest of the church was demolished and rebuilt by Jacob van Campen
    Jacob van Campen
    Jacob van Campen , was a Dutch artist and architect of the Golden Age.-Life:He was born into a wealthy family at Haarlem, and spent his youth in his home town. Being of noble birth and with time on his hands, he took up painting mainly as a pastime...

  • The Waag in Haarlem, 1595
  • North wing of the city hall of Haarlem
    City Hall (Haarlem)
    The City Hall in Haarlem is the seat of the city's government.-History:Around 1100 a wooden building was constructed on the location of the current Gravenzaal of the City Hall. Traces of this building were found in 1955....

    , 1620
  • The stone entranceway to the Proveniershuis
    The Proveniershuis is a hofje in Haarlem, Netherlands.-History:The hofje was founded in 1707 by the city council to house elderly men of low means, called proveniers. The main building is much older than that. The entire site was once a nunnery, called the St...

     in Haarlem, 1592
  • The facade of the main hall of the Frans Hals Museum
    Frans Hals Museum
    The Frans Hals Museum is a hofje and municipal museum in Haarlem, Netherlands. The museum was founded in 1862 in the newly renovated former cloister located in the back of the Haarlem city hall known as the Prinsenhof...

    , 1604-1609.