Molen de Valk (The Falcon) is a mill museum dating back to 1743. Standing at 29 meters high, it is the last original mill of the nineteen that once stood on the Leiden’s ramparts. This flour mill became a museum in 1966 after the death of miller Willem van Rhijn. Museum Windmill de Valk has 7 floors and all of which are open to the public.
There were originally two families lived and worked in this mill till 1869. The present museum setting has a building extension on the ground floor with 2 living quarters and a kitchen. The simple furnishing was left largely intact, just as they were in the last miller’s days.
A short audio-visual program on the first floor presents the history of mills and milling. Help yourself in selecting your preferred language to watch; English, Dutch, German and French. There are many windmill models, memorabilia, books and tools associated with milling throughout the next few floors. Read the de Valk’s history on the second floor and learn about the different types of mills and grain grinding on the third floor. All milling activities took place from the fourth floor onwards.
I love the idea that visitors could roam around freely on their own in this mill. This makes it very ideal when visiting with kids. Some mills usually have scheduled tour-guides to show you around. At this mill, my kids were able to explore every corners again and again.
Be very cautious climbing the narrow stairs and steep ladders as you go higher up. Walk out to the gallery/balcony of the windmill to check out the view at 14 meters high as your reward. It is nerve-wrecking looking down so do not pay attention to the gaps between the wooden boards where you are standing! 🙂
Going down on those ladders can be scary, so mind your head and backpack if you are carrying one. Instruction on ‘how to descend the ladder’ is provided nearby. Seriously.
If you love windmills, have strong legs and not afraid of heights, go visit! Entrance fees are very affordable. Your visit should take at least an hour.
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am -5pm & Sundays and Public Holiday from 1pm – 5pm.
Entrance fees: €4.00 (adults), €2.00 (6-15yrs) and kids 0-5 years are free
Free entry for Museum Card holder.
Address: 2e Binnenvestgracht 1. 2312 BZ Leiden.
How to get there: about 6 minute walk from Leiden train station.