Scenic Leiden, Leiden
The Old Police Headquarter dates from 1927 and was designed by Jan Neisingh in the style of the Amsterdam school. The building is a National monument. Since the closure of the headquater in 2005 the city of Leiden is looking for another destination for the building like rendering of service.
Location: Zonneveldstraat 10 - 2311RV Leiden
In the innercity of Leiden you can find 35 almshouses. Most of these almshouses have 12 small houses built by the rich for the poor. The rich (often after they died, by testament) ordered this small houses to be built because they believed it could buy them a place in heaven. Most date back to the 17th century. And apart from the bicycles in the ones occupied by students, they still look like then. A quiet place in the city.
Most of the time you enter via a entrance gate. In the old days this was the place where the gatekeeper controlled the openingtimes. Living in the almshouses was under certain strict rules: you had to be home at a decent hour. But there were also regulations about how many times you have to bath, and you always have to behave good. In return you good free housing and often food was included.
Almshouses are all over the innercity. Get a booklet at the touristinfo (around 2 Euro) , it will give details about the almshouses and the adresses.
Fondest memory: All the almshouses and their adresses:
Annahofje of Aalmoeshuis, St Hooigracht 9, Middelstegracht 4
Annahofje of Joostenpoort, St Zegersteeg 14
Assendelfthofje, Van Langegracht 49
Bethaniën- of Emmaüshofje Kaiserstraat 43
Bethlehemshofje Levendaal 109-111
Brouchovenhofje, Van Papengracht 16
Carelhuis, Justus Witte Rozenstraat 51a
Coninckshofje Oude Vest 15
Elisabethgasthuishof, St Oude Vest 25, Caeciliastraat 16
Groeneveldstichting Oude Vest 41
Heilige Geest- of Cornelis Sprongh-hofje Doezastraat 1a
Hoogeveenshofje, Eva van Doelensteeg 7
Houttijnhofje, François Hooigracht 81
Jacobsdochterhofje, Cathrijn Kaarsenmakerstraat 1
Jacobs of Crayenboschhofje, St Doezastraat 25
Janshofje of van der Laanshofje, St Haarlemmerstraat 264
Jeruzalemhof Kaiserstraat 49
Laterehofje, Jan de 2e Binnenvestgracht 13
Lindenhofje of Remonstrantenpoort, Joost Frans van der Grevenstraat 16
Loridanshofje, Pieter Oude Varkenmarkt 1
Maartensdochterhofje, Cathrijn Pasteurstraat 2a
Maashofje, Juffrouw Kalvermarkt 6
Meermansburg Oude Vest 159
Michelshofje, Jean Pieterskerkstraat 10
Mierennesthofje Hooglandse Kerkgracht 38
Namenhofje, Barend van Hoefstraat 12
Pesijnhofje, Jean Kloksteeg 21
Pieters- of van der Speckhofje, St Pieterskerkhof 42
Salvatorhofje, St Steenstraat 17
Schachtenhofje Middelstegracht 27
Sionshofje Sionssteeg 4
Sionshofje, Klein Lange Schoolsteeg 3-5
Stevenshofje of Convent van Tetterode, St Haarlemmerstraat 50
Tevelingshofje 4e Binnenvestgracht 7
Info coming from: http://www.hollebeek.nl/leiden/ldnhof.html
Such a variety of things and, apart from the opening picture of the wonderful music machine, there was statuary in abundance.
You can buy recordings of the organ recitals on the spot, something you might enjoy if you like the oom-pah-pah beat.
Fondest memory: Clearly the most unforgettable is the one in picture three. You can almost hear the dulcet tones emanating from her vocal cords. I loved it.
Within the gardens themselves are pavilions housing all manner of well known and exotic plants, some I guarantee you've never seen before.
There are also lots of things for sale for the tourist who is looking for that gaudy souvenir that you promised you wouldn't buy.
One thing that I found interesting was the vast array of plants that are not only on show but available for sale here.
Fondest memory: Hopefully in these pictures I can give you some idea of the variety on display at different points in the gardens.
One of the items you can expect to see plenty of at Keukenhof is water features; what once were called fountains. Still, one must move with the times.
Fondest memory: The first major one I came across (pics 1 & 5) would have been sufficient for me but then I came across several more with the piece de resistance being the one in picture 4 that is set in one of the far corners of the gardens.
It is more of a show than a fountain and, with varying heights and intermittent displays, the whole thing takes minutes to go through its range of sprays, more than enough to keep the kiddies amused and the adults contented as they sit in the provided seating.
The buses are there. They even have their own spot just outside the railway station. "Keukenhof" it says, and they take them there by the busload, literally.
Though this place is only open about 9 weeks a year and charges 12 euros when I was there to get in, its continuing reputation is assured.
Fondest memory: During the next lot of tips, which I have obviously dedicated to Keukenhof, I will show you pictorial reasons why this place has a world wide reputation as perhaps the world's finest garden. Whatever's better than it would have to be spectacular.
Favorite thing: There are nine windmills in Leiden. The most famous is De Valk a couple of blocks south east of the central train station. The two pictured here are a couple of blocks north west of the central train station. In the foreground in Maredijmolen dating from 1735. In the background is D’Heesterboom dating from 1804.
In the 17th century there were 19 windmills on the city walls of Leiden. Today only De Valk is still standing. (not counting the replica of de Put) The present mill is the third mill called De Valk. In 1611, the first windmill De Valck was built upon the Valkenburger bulwark in 1667 a wooden tower replaced it. In 1743, the city council granted permission for the construction of a tower mill made of stone.
Today it hosts the windmill museum. All information in the mill museum is in German, English and French as well as in Dutch. The mill is operational as often as possible and also grinds regularly.
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sundays and public holidays 1 pm - 5 pm
Website: home.wanadoo.nl/molenmuseum/, also in english
Within the city limits of Leiden you can find nine windmills:
Molen de Put (more in the things to do tips)
Molen de Heesterboom, sawmill
Molen de Valk , museum
Molen de Herder, sawmill
Kikkermolen, milling water from the polder, no longer active
Stevenshofjesmolen, milling water from the polder
Roodenburgermolen, private house
Stadspoldermolen, milling water from the polder, no longer active
Maredijkmolen, milling water from the polder, no longer active
more info about this windmills:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~philip73/LeidseMolens.htm, dutch only.
The city has a lot of cute details you can discover while wandering along the canals.
Some are tiny others pretty big. Go and explore!
Fondest memory: Leiden is beautiful in each season, in winter when everybody lights their houses and the city dresses the trees with lights,but best when the canals freeze over!
In spring when the trees get their bright green leaves on the canals, and the people start to come out again, and the honeysuckle and chestnuts bloom.
In summer when it 's warm and people have their dinnder oudside on the sidewalk (b/c lack of a back yard)and when you hear the voices of peopletaling,laughing and drinking wine in the alleys and the roofterraces.
In fall when it's windy and you have to brace yourself when going to the market and you can skulkinside with a warm drink,looking out over the changing trees.
Take the effort to climb up the castle of Leiden.
Fondest memory: Because from here you have the best view over the old city.
Leiden is a typical dutch city, with many canals, wooden drawbridges, gabled houses and so on. There are many, many monuments to see, several fine museums, nice shops and restaurants and so on. You can walk the cobbled streets and see for yourself.
Leiden is also known for its university, the oldest in The Netherlands and for its many students. There is no mass tourism in Leiden and we would like to keep it that way!
Here´s the new great site:
The information office sells a far few walks. Some specialised like the one on Rembrandt or the walking tour along Leiden's almhouses (price 2 or 2,5 euro). A more generic walk is the Leiden Loop. It'll take you along the main highlights and gives you a good impression of Leiden.
I have no idea how long the walk is. I did walk it but got distracted several times so in the end it took me almost all day.
The description of the walk you can buy at the Tourist information office which is located just outside the trainstation in the direction of the centre. It costs 4.95 euro (2004 prices).
If weather allows it, i generally take visitors on a city tour, tell them a bit about Leiden's history and depending on the level of interest, i visit 1 of Leiden's many museums.
Fondest memory: When i'm away from Leiden i miss its canals, it friendly atmosphere and my home offcourse.
Just make a relaxed walk around this city.
There are windmills, there's water, old buildings and colourful people. Plenty to keep you and your photocamera happy.
And oh yeah.....there are some pretty amazing musea too! When i took this picture i just came back from "het Leids rijksmuseum der oudheden". They had a special exhibition about Syria there. Amazing!
Every time I come in the city, I discover something new!
Fondest memory: Lately my eye caught this old public water pump. Isn't it cute, with a miniature of the castle on top? It is standing hidden in a corner of the Hooglandse church.