Witte Leeu or Witte Leeuw?
For several centuries, 249 Oudegracht has been known as the “De Witte Leeu” (White Lion). To modern Dutch “Leeu” looks peculiar. They spell lion with a W at the end: “leeuw”. But in the Middle Ages, “leeu” was used alongside “leeuw” as an alternative spelling. Since medieval times (De) Witte Leeu(w) has been a common enough name for ales and taverns throughout Belgian and the Netherlands. The origin of our house’s name, however, is not entirely clear. We know that there was a brewery by this name across the Old Canal at number 277 and an official document dating from 1678 states that one of its owner-directors was the proprietor of the house and lived here.
Well, whatever the house was known as before, today it brandishes the name De Witte Leeu. And as such it hopes to welcome you soon to our Wharf-Cellar-Bed-n-Breakfast “De Witte Leeu”.