Leiden's Monumental Urinal – Leiden, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura
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Leiden, Netherlands

Leiden's Monumental Urinal

This public toilet built in the famous Amsterdam School architectural style is a Dutch national monument. 

Public urinals are usually seen as a last resort, rarely clean and usually accompanied by a quite unpleasant smell. Very rarely are they seen as architectural masterpieces or national monuments. However, the urinal on the Havenplein in Leiden is both of these things.

The urinal was built in 1930 in the famous Amsterdam School style. (Ironically, the urinal monument in Amsterdam—yes, more than one public urinal has been given national monument status in the Netherlands—is in a different architectural style altogether.)

Leiden’s monumental urinal was installed at the crossing of four waterways near the old Leiden harbor, as a means to help passing sailors, dock workers, and shippers relieve themselves. Since that time, the harbor has lost much of its economic value and is now mostly used by boating enthusiasts, so the urinal is used much less frequently. Fortunately, it has not been abandoned and remains open for business over 80 years later. Unfortunately, it is still quite stinky inside.

Know Before You Go

It's free to access (men only, unfortunately), but do expect a bad smell. 

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