Leiden sights

Leiden is a beautiful city with many sights from the Middle Ages and the New Ages. It is located in South Holland and stands on the banks of the Old Rhine River. There are almost 400,000 residents in Leiden.

Top 6 sights in Leiden

The first mention of Leiden dates back to the beginning of the 10th century, and two centuries later, a castle and a Catholic church were built in the city, the Market Square appeared and the brisk trade on it, Leiden acquired all the features of a medieval city.

A few centuries later, Leiden had its own textile industry and printing and built its own university, which very soon became one of Europe’s centers of Protestantism, a fresh reading of the New Testament.

University of Leiden

This is Leiden’s most famous attraction. The university was founded here in the second half of the 16th century at the behest of William of Orange after the Spanish blockade of Leiden was lifted as a reward for the city’s residents’ special heroism and courage.

University of Leiden, Netherlands

The Dutch Leiden is like the English Cambridge, full of students, even on the streets of the city, studying their sciences. About 25,000 students study here on a fee-for-service basis each year. The university has produced many Nobel laureates.

Today the university is housed in several old and new, historic and modern buildings. The main building houses only the administration of the university and the famous botanical garden. Auditoriums for lectures and seminars are in other buildings.

Botanical Garden

It is the oldest garden in Leiden, the Netherlands, or perhaps all of Europe, located in the Old Town, between the main building of the Alma Mater and the observatory. The garden is organized for young botanists and medical students studying at the university.

The Botanical Gardens - a landmark of Leiden

At first the garden was rather small in size, but thanks to the connections of Leiden scholars around the world, a rich collection of trees, shrubs, flowers, etc., no less than a thousand different specimens was immediately assembled.

Next, the collection of plants from the tropics and subtropics continued. A detailed catalog of the flora growing in the garden was compiled, herbaria from Japan, India and Asia were collected, greenhouses for tropical plants were built, the garden itself was significantly expanded, etc.

Leiden Castle

The castle has a second name – Strengthening Burkht. It is considered to be the first building in Leiden that was erected in the 11th century. The first structure was made of wood, but soon the wood was replaced by stone. It is the oldest fortification structure in the Netherlands.

Leiden Castle (Burkht), Netherlands

The walls of Leiden Castle are almost one meter thick. Household and domestic buildings in it almost did not remain. Two centuries after its construction the fortress lost its defensive value, so its main tower was dismantled.

In the mid-19th century, the local authorities bought the castle and placed in it a water tower.

Today it is one of the most favorite tourist attractions of Leiden, demonstrating the period of the Early Middle Ages in this city.

The Church of St. Joseph, which was founded by the Church of the Holy Trinity. Peter

It is the oldest temple in the city, its construction began at the end of the 14th century and was completed almost two centuries later. Before that, on the site of the Church of St. John the Baptist. There was a small 12th-century chapel belonging to the Dutch counts of St. Peter.

St. Peter's Church in Leiden, Netherlands

Leiden grew and expanded rapidly in the 13th century, so it became necessary to build a new temple for services. However, it was built around the chapel. There also appeared a tall tower, which collapsed in the early 16th century.

Windows and stained-glass windows were not installed in the temple until the beginning of our century, during a major renovation. After restoration, the church was reopened, but it is no longer in operation. Today, tours, meetings, exhibitions, symposia, etc. are held here.

Hoogladse Church

It is the largest active Protestant church in Leiden. It was built in the Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century. The church was gigantic in size for its time and was rebuilt many times over the seven centuries of its existence.

Hoogladse Church in Leiden, Netherlands

Today Hoglades Church is in good condition, and the city and parishioners have enough money to maintain it. As in many Protestant churches today, not only church services are held here, but also various concerts and conferences.

Windmill Museum

This museum is located in a huge mill with seven floors, which was built in the 70s of the 18th century. In the middle of the last century, the Molain de Vallck was extensively renovated and restored, after which a museum was opened there.

Leiden, Netherlands - Windmill Museum

Here you can see an exhibition devoted to the history of the mill and the mill industry in the Netherlands. Various artifacts are shown to the public, guided tours are conducted. This attraction of Leiden is very popular with tourists.

Video overview of the sights of Leiden

Sightseeing map of Leiden

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