Originally named Koornbrug (Corn Bridge) for the corn that was bought here, the bridge has since become known as the Korenbeursbrug (Corn Exchange Bridge). The roof was added in 1825 (it does rain the The Netherlands quite a bit).
You can climb up here for some good views of Leiden. It's an old fort where the Dutch defeated the Spaniards - in a nutshell! We went there when there was either a field trip or recreation period for a bunch of 4th or 5th graders with really healthy vocal chords.
At windmill de Put go right to see the Morspoort.
Leiden had originally 8 citygates, only two remain now. The Morspoort is the western citygate to Leiden. The stone gate was designed in 1669 by Willem van der Helm. It is called the Morspoort, because it led to the swampy area (moeras in dutch) outside the city.
The gate served as a prison for a long time.
Turn back to the windmill. Cross the bridge into the Weddesteeg.
At your left hand you will find a commerative stone in the facade. This is the place where Rembrandt was born in 1606. Ofcourse this modern house is not the house that stood here at that time.
Next street right. This is Noordeinde. Walk back to the parkinglot.
Follow the water, along the Beestenmarkt. Keep following the water, and you will find the old carpenters workshop at your right hand at the Korte Galgewater .
The old wood wharf, or carpenters workshop, is not as nice as the actual house of the city carpenter. Built in 1612 it was the house of the main carpenter of the city, the man who did all the cities official carpenters work. The crow-stepped gable and the red and white shutters for the windows makes it one of the nicest houses of Leiden. The actual workshop was next door. In 1651 Arent van 's Gravesande built a place to store corn here.
Cross the Haarlemmerstraat, keeping the church at your left hand. First street left, follw the street. Just before you see the boerhave museum on your right you encounter the remains of an old church.
In the 10th century this was a seperate village called Maredorp, after the river here. Around1300 a little chapel was built here. In 1325 a bridge connected Maredorp to Leiden. More and more citizens of Leiden came to thsi side of the river to live here. The chapel grew into a church. In 1818 the church was left by the churchpeople and turned into a ruin. Today only a small part of some walls is what is remaining of the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, once the third church of Leiden.
Going down from the castle you walk straight up to the Heerenloogement. Then go left into the small street untill you reach the water of the Oude Rijn. Go left along the water. At the end left and then right. The Waag is at your left hand.
The front part of this building is the actual Waag (weighhouse) , behind it is the Boterhal (Butterhal, where butter was traded). The building is made out of brick, the facade is covered with natural stone. It was designed by Pieter Post in 1657, the large relief at the facade is by Rombout Verhulst. It stands on the spot where the three rivers of Leiden come together, the Old Rhine, the New Rhine and the mare. The perfect spot to trade, and to have a weighhouse.
Today concerts are held here.
Go straight into the Burgsteeg. at the end on your left hand is the gate to the castle.
The Leiden Castle (Burcht) is situated in the centre of the city. The artificial hill was constructed in the 11th century and an wooden fortification was built on top of it. Around 1150 this wooden fortification was replaced by a stone castle.
Leiden Castle was probably never used to live in and only served as a refuge for the people of Leiden. After it lost its militairy use, because the city grew too much, the castle was bought by the town council of Leiden in 1651.
Open: daily 07:00 - 23:00.
Free admission .
Go right into the Breestraat and then first left. Walk straight onto the Koornbrug (cornbridge)
This bridge dates back to 1642. But long before that it was the place were corn was traded. It is known that in the 15th century corn was traded from a bridge on this spot.
In the 19th century it was decided to built a shelter over the bridge to protect the goods. It is a design of Salomon van der Pauw in 1825.
Cross the Langebrug and go straight into the Wolsteeg you will end up in the Breestraat, right in front of you is the huge Cityhall.
Cityhall has a long history. In the early days it was a place for the government, but also for the church. In the middleages it was also used as a tradehouse for cloth and meat.
After Leids Ontzet (1574) (see general tips for more info on the most important year in Leidens history) the government decided that the wealth of Leiden had to be seen in cityhall. They gave architect Lieven de Key the assignment to design a new facade in 1595. In 1929 cityhall burnt down. The facade in the Breestraat was restored but the rest of the building is new, designed by C.J. Blaauw; building started in 1937.
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