Sawmill De Salamander
A mechanism that is hundreds of years old, ready for action
The first wood sawmill was built in 1643 and after a fire largely destroyed in 1773. Some years later the mill was rebuilt by the new owner. For the past centuries various timber merchants owned De Salamander. At the end of the 19th century the mill underwent modernisation and became four saw-frames. A steammachine was installed to keep the mill operating during calm weather. In 1953 the Salamander was closed. Decay set in and through the years the mill deteriorated visibly.
Dismantled with care
Once a symbol of power and industrialisation, after many years a ruined, dry rot infected memory of past times. Demolition seemed inevitable. But demolition was not implemented. Monument authorities demanded that the demolition should be effected by an official mill maker, which was expensive. In 1985 things changed. “Stichting Opbouw De Salamander” was responsible for careful dismantling of the mill. The cap was lifted with caution and packed with care. Beams were numbered, listed and catalogued. The frame was taken away bit by bit and separately stored in a dry and wind free place. Thanks to subsidies by the local authorities, companies and friends De Salamander got a new life. The mill was rebuilt in 1989 nearer to the riverbank in the old beam hole. The rebuilding and completion was very complex and finally on 25 October 1995 the sawmill could cut lumber on the old traditional way again.
Preserved with pride and enthusiasm
Sawmill De Salamander plays an important role in the history of Leidschendam and for a major part defines the appearance of the old Leidschendam centre near the Vliet canal. It is unique in its type and surely a monument to be proud of. At the mill wood is sawn in rough planks for wood floors, furniture, ship restoration, etc. Ask the miller, he can tell you more. And the mill guides lead the visitors through the mill.
De Wiek 19
2265 VK Leidschendam
Admission and opening hours
Every Wednesday and Saturday from 12.00 – 16.00 and by appointment for groups.
Entrance is free, group tours 2,50 euro p.p.