Laurens Janszn Koster (1370 - 1440) was the DUtch inventor of the art of book printing.
A statue of this famous Dutchman can be found in the front wall of the houses at the Haarlemmerstraat 86.
Above the statue's head it sais.
On it's coat it sais:
Underneath the statue it sais:
M. GAVSSA P. ARNOLDVS
HOGENACKER Ao 1630
EERSTE LETTER GIETER
EN DE VINDER VAN DE
ATM's at Leiden are located in or close to the main shopping streets.
There are a dozen of ATM's in the old city center that accept creditcards.
The Pilgrim Fathers and their voyage on the ship Mayflower not only is part of the American history. Things started in the early 17th century when many Brits fled their country for religious reason. Amongst them was a group leaded by Richard Clifton and William Brewster, who sailed from Scrooby to Amsterdam. To avoid trouble with othere refugees already living at Amsterdam, they travelled to Leiden in 1609 and got permission to live at 2 small houses at the Kloksteeg alley, the location of the present Jean Pesynhofje.
Till 1620 they lived at Leiden led by John Robinson. In 1620 a big group set sail for Southhampton and joined another group of separatist. On September 16, 1620 the combined group of 102 people left on board the Mayflower to North Virginia, heading for a piece of land they acquired via the family of Brewster. After 65 stormy days they ariived at Cape Cod.
At Leiden there still are things that memorate the Pilgrim Fathers, like the gable stone at the William Brewsterstaag that reads:
SITE OF THE VICUS CHORALI (OR PILGRIM) PRESS, ON PIETERSKERKKOORSTEEG / (ST. PETER’S CHURCH, CHOIR ALLEY), LEYDEN, NETHERLANDS, IN THE (1609-1620) / HOME OF THE SEPARATIST PILGRIM FATHER, ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER OF SCROOBY,/ NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND, THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF PLYMOUTH IN NEW ENGLAND / UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1643-44. / THE GENERAL SOCIETY OF MAYFLOWER DESCENDANTS (USA, 1897) / WALDO MORGAN ALLEN, GOVERNOR GENERAL / ON THEIR FIRST PILGRIMAGE – 152, BY PLANES – TO THE NETHERLANDS AND ENGLAND / SEPTEMBER 22 - OCTOBER 6, 1955 / 335 YEARS AFTER THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER"
There also is the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum at the Beschuitsteeg 9.
In Leiden several famous Dutch lived, like:
-poet JC Bloem
-painter Jan Steen
-Painter Rembrandt van Rijn
More recent Leiden people are:
-Armin van Buuren DJ
-Fred Emmer TV Newsreader
-Sebastiaan Labrie Actor and VT member
-Fay Lovsky Musician and Theremin player
A corner house with a long history is located at the Botermarkt and the Gangetje. It was known as the Roodentoren (Red tower) before 1389, the year that Leiden expanded for the third time.
The gables stones at the Gangetje street reads:
IS LEYDEN VERGROOT
DOOR GODES ZEGEN
STEENSCHUUR WAS DOEN VEST
MYN NAEM ROODE TOOREN
STAE SCHIER INT BEST
DANKT GOD DAERVOOREN
The Society Het Leidsche Volkshuis founded in 1899 the Volkshuis. The prime use of the building was to increase the education, civilisation and wellbeing of the working class Leiden residents. For almost 100 years many courses were given to the youth.
Nowadays the building is used to house Leiden students.
The location is between the Haarlemmerstraat and the Apothekersdijk.
Leiden is the city where the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born on July 15, 1606.
At bit off the beaten path is the location of a statue to his honour at the Wiite Singel canal close to the Noordeinde.
Favorite thing: Afscheid Zonder Thuiskomst or Goodbye Without Homecoming is a monument for the soldiers from Leiden that were sent to the East Indish (Indonesia) after World War II, but never returned to their home town.
When you leave the Centraal Station and walk to the old city across the first bridge over the Rijnsburgersingel, there's a kind of big camera at the Kiekpad along the canal.
That piece of art memorates Israël David Kiek, a famous photographer from Leiden.
He introduced the word "Kiekje" for a photographic picture and at times that word still is used by Dutchmen taking pictures.
David Kiek's workshop was across the canal and you can see it through the camera.
Leiden has enogh attractions to easily fill a full day.
Make the Visitor Centre your first stop and get the latest on Leiden events and more.
The Visitor Centre is located at Stationsweg 41 (Opposite the Centraal Station); tel: +31-71-5166000.
The most important day in the history of Leiden happened in 1574. It is still celebrated every year on the 3rd of October. A local holiday.
At that time the 80 year war raged over our country. In 1574 Leiden was besieged by the spanish. The first time it was a 6 month closure of the city, during the winter of 1573-1574. In march the spanish army went away to battle with the Lodewijk van Nassau. But the freedom didn't last long. In may they were back with 5000 soldiers. City government didn't prepare for the new siege. And the conditions were worse. There was not enough food inside the citywalls. Not only hunger stoke the city but also diseases like the plague.
The spanish tried to force the city to surrender. But the brave people of Leiden wouldn't give up. The story tells us, that the major even offered his own body as food for the people.
The salvation has to come from the Prince of Orange. He ordered the dikes to be destroyed, so the spanish had to flee for the water. During the night of 2 and 3 october 1574 a part of the citywall collapses. The spanish fear an outbreak and from the other side the water, they flee in hurry leaving their just prepared food. The food containing onions, carrots and meat (now known as hutspot, a dutch dish) was eaten by the people of Leiden. When the liberators came later that day they brought herring and white bread.
The city was rewarded for their courage with a university.
Today the feast of Leids Ontzet is still celebrated on the 3rd of October, ever since 1574 traditional food is herring, white bread and hutspot. Early in the morning (around 7 am) the city gives every citizen herring and white bread. Large festivals are in the city that day.
If you catch the Train from Amsterdam like I did, as you depart the main part of Leiden Station there is an Information desk located in the centre. To the right of this are counters where you can buy a 'RETURN BUS & ADMISSION TO KEUKENHOF GARDENS" ticket. Its a good idea to do this, as when I arrived at the Gardens, there was a very long queue, but I just walked straight in. I went to the Gardens the last week of the season, so imagine how long the queue would have been in full season.
If you are not sure which counter, ask at the info desk, they will point you in the right direction.
Leiden shares its name with Lyon in France and London in UK.
It is derived from Lugdunum. Leiden has the added Lugdunum Batavorum.
For a little more historical information see:
Did you know that Rembrandt was born in Leiden? Maybe you did. Did you know he turned 400 this year (2006)? Of course you did! On my last morning in Leiden, I walked around and found this new monument to him, across from the plaque that commemorates his birth. I also found the Rembrandt Expo. There wasn't a lot to look at but I did buy some gifts there!
Fondest memory: Here's a website where you can read more about it:
When steering through the tight canals and low bridges of Leiden, safety should always come first, and our wine sampling tour was no exception. Note that no safety stone was left unturned: (1) Get the Captain drunk, (2) Wait till its almost dark outside, (3) Secure the last bottle of wine with the Safety Preserver, and finally (4) Give the steering wheel to the seven year old..... (well she was the only sober one aboard....)
Happy Boating.... and stay safe out there....
Typical holiday inn hotel...very americanised surroundings. Decent buffet breakfast and dinner....more
Unfortunately my experience with the Van der Valk was not as pleasant. I had to travel to Leiden for...more
Golden Tulip Leiden Centre is a modern hotel directly at the Leiden train station. The building has...more