Sword of Burgomaster Van der Werff of Leiden, Anonymous, 1544

Sword of Burgomaster Van der Werff of Leiden, Anonymous, 1544

iron (metal), l 103.5cm. More details

In 1574 Spanish forces besieged Leiden. The city’s inhabitants were so hungry that they considered surrender. Legend has it that their mayor, Burgomaster Pieter van der Werff, gave them with his sword and demanded that they kill and eat him. This sword is believed to have belonged to the self-sacrificing mayor.

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