Showing the invisible: the remarkable history of the Leper House, St. Jurrien Deventer

Bison code: L.28095

On the Snipperlingsdijk, a street in Deventer, stood the Leper House St. Jurriën. It was built in 1345 and existed till 1578. The complex offered a  home to people that suffered from the Leprous disease. In contrast to for example the plague, a patient with leprosy can live for decades. A person diagnosed with this disease was no longer allowed to live his ordinary life within the city walls and had to move to this complex at the edge of the city’s territory.

The Leper House was a city in miniature which consisted of a chapel, dormitories, kitchens and workshops. Around 1578 the house went up in flames. The site was reused as a farm. The area around the Leper House is being redeveloped by the municipality Deventer, housing foundation Rentree and a property developer. The mound where the main remains of the House are located, is being redeveloped by the private owners. The boundaries of the site have been excavated in recent years, which yielded the remains of a Chapel, some burials and a gatehouse. In 2022, some trial trenches will be dug in the central part of the site.

This project is part of bigger project which focuses on an investigation of the site and a presentation of the results to the broad public through historical information and art. The part of the project presented here focuses on making the special history of this location visible to as many people as possible. We want to make the residents proud of the special history of their neighbourhood and have them connect with the story. The project also introduces visitors and interested parties, like tourists, to this special place.

Cluster: Deventer Past and Future

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):