19 Jan 2019 - 20 Jan 2019
2 guests - 1 room
I kinda miss the fact that Rembrandt, yes the painter was born here and raised till he moved to Amsterdam in his adult years... Well some history: A university city since 1575, Leiden houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, and Leiden University Medical Center. It is twinned with Oxford, the location of England's oldest university. More history: 16th to 18th centuries Leiden flourished in the 16th and 17th century. At the close of the 15th century the weaving establishments (mainly broadcloth) of Leiden were very important, and after the expulsion of the Spaniards Leiden cloth, Leiden baize and Leiden camlet were familiar terms. In the same period, Leiden developed an important printing and publishing industry. The influential printer Christoffel Plantijn lived there at one time. One of his pupils was Lodewijk Elzevir (1547–1617), who established the largest bookshop and printing works in Leiden, a business continued by his descendants through 1712 and the name subsequently adopted (in a variant spelling) by contemporary publisher Elsevier. In 1572, the city sided with the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule and played an important role in the Eighty Years' War. Besieged from May until October 1574 by the Spanish, Leiden was relieved by the cutting of the dikes, thus enabling ships to carry provisions to the inhabitants of the flooded town. As a reward for the heroic defence of the previous year, the University of Leiden was founded by William I of Orange in 1575. Yearly on 3 October, the end of the siege is still celebrated in Leiden. Tradition tells that the citizens were offered the choice between a university and a certain exemption from taxes and chose the university. The siege is notable also for being the first instance in Europe of the issuance of paper money, with paper taken from prayer books being stamped using coin dies when silver ran out. Leiden is also known as the place where the Pilgrims (as well as some of the first settlers of New Amsterdam)lived (and operated a printing press) for a time in the early 17th century before their departure to Massachusetts and New Amsterdam in the New World. In the 17th century, Leiden prospered, in part because of the impetus to the textile industry by refugees from Flanders. While the city had lost about a third of its 15,000 citizens during the siege of 1574, it quickly recovered to 45,000 inhabitants in 1622, and may have come near to 70,000 circa 1670. During the Dutch Golden Era, Leiden was the second largest city of Holland, after Amsterdam. From the late 17th century onwards Leiden slumped, mainly due to the decline of the cloth industries. In the beginning of the 19th century the baize manufacture was altogether given up, although industry remained central to Leiden economy. This decline is painted vividly by the fall in population. The population of Leiden had sunk to 30,000 between 1796 and 1811, and in 1904 was 56,044. From the 17th to the early 19th century, Leiden was the publishing place of one of the most important contemporary journals, Nouvelles Extraordinaires de Divers Endroits, known also as Gazette de Leyde
LEIDEN Leiden is a cheerful city with an aura of intellect generated by the 20.000 students who make up a sixth of the population. The university, the oldest in the country, was a gift from William the Silent for withstanding a long Spanish siege in 1574. A third of the residents starved before the Spaniards retreated on 3 October, now the date of Leiden’s biggest festival. Most of the sights lie within a confusing network of central canals. Sights to see are: The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Museum Naturalis, The Hortus Botanicus, The Lakenhal and Windmill De Valk.
A nice old city with a lot of characters. That's the city the founding fathers lived before goign to england and then using the mayflower to go to america.
The canals were trashed because I went during Queen's day but overall, Leiden is a really cute little town. Packed with college and biotech settlers, it's quiet and quaint. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit, but it's easy to get to from Amsterdam and the Leiden Centraal is convenient for transfers to the Hague and other places in Netherlands.