November 27, 2010

Ger Leegwater, Nederlands Kremlin/Kremlin in the Netherlands

(pictures made april 2011)

It is not a replica, it's just a phantasy structure with decorative elements which evoke a russian basilica. 

Life and works

This creative construction, known as the Kremlin in the Netherlands, has been made by Ger Leegwater (1945?) in the rather large backyard of his house at the outskirts of the small community of Winkel in the green, meadowy area of  the province of North Holland,  Netherlands.

A sheet metal worker, not trained in architecture or construction works, around 1989/1990 he began this project, using all kinds of excess and demolition materials. Currently (2010) he is still going strong. He says, that when in his seventies he might be not so fit anymore, he always can do mosaics. 

Before Leegwater began his project, he had made holiday trips to Italy and like other builders of castle-like structures he became fascinated by romanesque architecture and the classics.

The main building, 14x16 m and 10 m high, is flanked by a number of smaller creations, like corridors, arches, walls and a chapel (which also is availabe for marriage ceremonies).

From sheet iron Ger Leegwater has been making sculptures, such as a scene of Saint George and the Dragon, a statue of the archangel Michael and a sculpture of Orpheus (above). 

On appointment Leegwater is happy to host groups of interested people and school classes, which he informs about classic tales, mythology, the art of building and architecture.

The project was begun without any formal building permit, but the local authorities, convinced of its safety and importance, have decided to legalise it.

* Diashow of pictures made april 2011, Flickr

* Another series of pictures (2008) by Flip van den Elshout on Flickr
* In a video on Youtube (dec.2009), in two parts, Leegwater talking about his project (in dutch). A transcipt of his presentation, in english, is in my collection of outsider environments texts.

* More video's on Youtube, and a report on dutch TV (aug 2008)

Ger Leegwater
Nederlands Kremlin
Limmerschouw 51
1731 NJ Winkel NL 
groups on appointment
private visits possible if the sign at the gate says "open"
open days 2016: July 13 and 14


  1. Hallo Henk,
    What a splendid blog. My compliments!
    Very interesting.
    I was last summer in Winkel. It is a advise
    to visit the Kremlin.

  2. Ah Henk, I think you are like the magician who has an endless number of rabbits to pull out of his hat. I hope to learn that you have indeed visited this site, given how close it is to you. Good of the local authorities to allow it to continue to stand...

  3. Surprise Owen, you may not believe this, but until recently I was not aware of this site (so I still have to pay it a visit). The discoveries continue to surprise me too. Have a nice week.