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Sigths in Leiden

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					                                 Αξιοθέατα στο Leiden


About the city




Situated at what has traditionally been an important junction where waterways and roads cross
stands a city that will enchant you: Leiden. The city is famous for its almshouses, university,
museums and glorious history. The spirit of the Golden Age lives on here, a place where
Rembrandt was born and inspired so many other influential painters. But even after this era
Leiden continued to attract scientists, artists and industry. The canals, the historical buildings,
the alleyways, the treasuries of knowledge, culture and science: Leiden is definitely worth
seeing.




Museums




Museum De Lakenhal
Experience the city culture of Leiden from the 16th century to the present day. The Lakenhal,
once the centre of the Leiden cloth industry, houses masterpieces by Lucas van Leyden,
Rembrandt, Jan Steen and many other celebrated masters. In the museum’s stylish exhibition
rooms you can enjoy collections of tin, tiles, glass and silver. The temporary exhibitions reflect
traditional and present-day art, and display contemporary and historic artefacts.

Boerhaave Museum
Discover five centuries of natural science and medicine in the Boerhaave Museum. Key
exhibits include the microscopes used by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and the oldest pendulum
clock, that belonged to Christiaan Huygens, not to mention the ultra-low temperature
equipment used by Kamerlingh Onnes. You can carry out physics experiments yourself or try
out your skills with models of historic instruments. The most spectacular part of the museum
has to be the Anatomical Theatre with its sensational exhibition of human and animal
skeletons. The museum is located in the old Cecilia hospital, on hallowed ground where
Professor Herman Boerhaave gave his famous lessons at the patient’s bedside.
Hortus botanicus
More than four centuries of collecting, cultivating and studying have produced Leiden
University’s wonderful teaching garden with its plants from all corners of the world. The prize
exhibit of the Hortus is the famous Victoria amazonica, the giant water lily. Strolling through the
garden you’ll come across giant trees like the Ginkgo biloba planted here in 1785. Make sure
you don’t miss the Clusius garden, a reconstruction of the first garden created in 1594, and the
tranquil Japanese garden.

Naturalis
The world-class natural history collection of the Naturalis museum is packed with exhibits of
animals, plants, minerals and fossils. Wonder at the dinosaurs, the prehistoric horse and the
mammoth. Learn about the enormous diversity and beauty of nature. Be inspired by the wealth
of colours and shapes, now and in the billions of years of the earth’s history. Naturalis never
stands still: there are always new exhibitions, workshops, tours and special activities for
children.

National Museum of Antiquities
Learn about numerous treasures from rich ancient cultures and meet the ancient Egyptians,
Greeks and Romans. Discover the world-class collection of mummies and sarcophagi, and
actually walk in one of the museum’s showpieces, a real Egyptian temple. The museum tells
the complete history of the Netherlands, from ancient times to the present day. Film clips and
interactive multimedia make this a lively visit that can be enjoyed and understood by young and
old.

National Museum of Ethnology
Make a world trip in your own country, travelling from Indonesia to Africa and from North
America to China. Discover art treasures thousands of years old, Inca and Aztec statues,
Chinese paintings and African bronzes. Ever since 1837, the National Museum of Ethnology
has housed worldfamous collections on diverse non-Western cultures. Everyday tools used by
ordinary people whose only aim was survival make this a very special collection.

Pilgrim Archives
The Pilgrim Archives present a surprising view of a unique part of Leiden’s history: the story of
the Pilgrims. These English Protestants fled from England to escape the harsh regime of the
established church. They lived and worked in Leiden from 1609 until 1620, when they departed
for America. Learn about their history and about the Leiden of the seventeenth century that was
their home.

Academic Historical Museum
This museum’s vast collection is housed in the Academy Building and comprises objects,
photographs and documents on the history of the university and student life.
Monuments




Stadhuis Leiden
Leiden's Stadhuis or town hall is one of the most characteristic buildings in the entire city.
Located on the banks of the New Rhine, it has a long and turbulent history, the tragic low point
of which was the fire of 1929. The old Renaissance exterior facing the Breestraat survived the
fire and dates back to 1595; the part facing the Vismarkt was built in 1940 after the original
section was destroyed in the fire.

De Burcht
In Leiden, De Burcht or 'citadel' is one of the oldest surviving examples of a 'motte' castle in the
Netherlands. These early medieval fortresses were built on a man-made hill called a motte and
were usually made of wood. The citadel is open to the public. The stairs are very steep, but if
you manage to reach the top your efforts will be rewarded with an absolutely fantastic view of
Leiden.
De Waag
Dating back to the Golden Age, De Waag or the 'weigh house' is a textbook example of Dutch
Classicism. The weigh house opened in 1659. For centuries, this was where merchants came
to weigh and trade all sorts of goods. Gradually, business practices changed and the last
cheese was sold in 1972. From then on, the building has served a cultural purpose.

Het Gravensteen
When it was built in the early Middle Ages, buildings were seldom made of stone, which
explains why this monument earned the nickname Het Gravensteen or 'the Count's Stone'. It
was reinforced tower constructed as part of the local count's estate. Over the centuries, it has
been used as a prison, a community home and a book depository. Today it is part of the
university.

Pieterskerk
The Pieterskerk or 'church of Peter' was founded in 1121 as the count's chapel and was built in
phases (depending on financial means). Today, the church looks more or less the way it did by
the 16th century. Before 1811 many prominent people were buried in the Pieterskerk, like
Jacobus Arminius, Herman Boerhaave, Jan Steen and John Robinson, pastor of the "Pilgrim
Fathers".
Hooglandse Kerk
The Hooglandse Kerk or 'Highland church' is an imposing, late Gothic cathedral in the heart of
Leiden. The Gothic interplay of lines and huge windows allow a tremendous amount of light into
the enormous space. The church has excellent acoustics and is famous for its elegance.

St. Anna Aalmoeshuis
Founded in 1492, this is one of the oldest hofjes or almshouses in Leiden. A striking detail is
the small chapel for the residents, which was consecrated in 1509. The chapel is filled with
unique furniture and fittings, and the windows feature the oldest stained glass in the
Netherlands.

				
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posted:9/28/2011
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