Universiteit Leiden

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Dirk de Vries


Prof.dr.ing. D.J. de Vries
+31 71 527 2451

Dirk de Vries is Professor in Heritage and the History of Construction at the Faculty of Archaeology.

More information about Dirk de Vries

Office days

Dirk de Vries is usually present at the Faculty on Fridays, and by appointment on other days.


The chair for Heritage and Building History deals with the origin and application of historical building materials and constructions. Primarily study is made of buildings with their layered history and in all details. In second instance also of relevant literature, images and archives. The focus of the research is on traditional European architecture, but this approach is in principle suitable for any architecture, from all periods and cultures.

Building history research can be completed both object-oriented and thematically. Practical assignments are chosen in collaboration with local and national heritage services (RCE), with support of the Foundation for Building History (SBN) and the Leiden University Fund (LUF). In the education at the Faculty of Archaeology, this special chair is mainly involved in the master's phase of graduates and PhD students.

Teaching activities

Teaching at the Faculty of Archaeology is limited to a series of tutorials in the master's phase in which basic lectures on the history of building materials and constructions are provided. In addition, students are asked to give substance to four practical exercises, including a final paper on a subject of their choice. Furthermore, the chair provides for the (co) supervision of bachelors, masters and PhD students.

Curriculum vitae

Dirk J. de Vries is an appointed Professor for one day a week in Heritage and the History of Construction in Leiden, first, in 2000, at the department of Art History, since 2012 at the Faculty of Archaeology. During the other four days he works as a senior researcher of Building History at the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) Amersfoort, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).

He had a technical education (MTS Mechanical Engineering and HTS Architecture Zwolle) and studied History of Architecture (Utrecht University). His dissertation at Leiden University: 'Building in the Late Middle Ages. Urban Architecture in the former area of Over- and Nedersticht' (1994) is both based on archives and analyses of the buildings, including dendrochronology which he introduced in the Netherlands around 1981.

De Vries was editor and chief-editor of the Bulletin KNOB (Journal of the Royal Netherlands Society of Architectural History) between 1993 and 2010, vice-president of the German Arbeitskreis für Hausforschung (1991-2010), co-founder (1992) and now advisor of the Dutch Foundation for Building History (SBN). He published on timber, stone, brick, iron and many buildings and gave lectures in Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Eastern Europe, Spain, Egypt and China.    


  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • Archaeological Heritage
  • World Heritage

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A0.07a



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