The gunpowder ship disaster Leiden-Netherlands
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member naj16
N 52° 09.345 E 004° 29.295
31U E 601811 N 5779405
Quick Description: Painting of the gunpowder ship disaster in Leiden.
Location: Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Date Posted: 3/16/2013 10:20:33 AM
Waymark Code: WMGKDM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 20

Long Description:
"The Leiden gunpowder disaster took place on January 12th1807, at a quarter past four in the afternoon during the French occupation. A ship that went from Haarlem to Delft had 37.000 pounds (17 760 kg) of gunpowder on board. It exploded right in the centre of Leiden at the Steenschuur in line with the Rapenburg.
The disaster took over 151 deaths and 2000 wounded. Approximately 220 houses were completely destroyed. Even in the remotest districts in Leiden windows were broken and roof tiles blown off. The Pieterskerk was also affected, the Van Hagerbeer organ was very badly damaged and the windows were blown out of the church. The blast was heard in The Hague, and according to some unreliable sources even in Friesland (north of Holland). The cause of the disaster is unknown.
It is claimed that this was due to carelessness of a crew member during cooking, a pedestrian saw shortly before the explosion that potato peels were thrown overboard. Within 5 hours King Louis Napoleon was already at the scene of the disaster, he stayed a whole day. He wanted to help and put thousands of soldiers at work to rebuild Leiden. These soldiers were actually meant to watch on the beach for an English invasion. The King set up a disaster fund and donated 30.000 guilders from his private fortune, a considerable sum of money for that time. Leiden didn’t have to pay tax for the ten years that followed (until 1817). He ordered bakers from the neighbouring city of Delft to bake breads for the affected inhabitants of Leiden and sent his court surgeon to Leiden.
He also had Huis ten Bosch converted into an emergency hospital. After that all he was called 'Louis the Good'. A national collection raised nearly 2 million guilders. It took weeks to clear the debris. Some people could still be removed from the rubble, but for many, help came too late. As a direct result of the accident, the King prohibited the transportation of gunpowder through densely populated areas. The reconstruction of the centre of Leiden was slow because of the poor economic situation and (alleged) corruption by administrators.
At the request of Louis Napoleon, an obelisk was erected, but it didn't rise above the brick foundation. In 1837 King William I decided that the monument would not be erected further. Until this very day, the location of the disaster is marked in the centre of Leiden. The location of the gunpowder ship is marked by a memorial stone in the dock of the Steenschuur." Wikipedia.
Direction to look: East
Website of painting. Exact URL of painting is required: [Web Link]

Artist: Carel Lodewijk Hansen

Date of Painting: 1/12/1807

Date of Your Photograph: 3/16/2013

Medium of Painting: oil on canvas

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