Leiden (sometimes spelled Leyden in English), is situated in the province of South Holland, midway between Amsterdam and The Hague, at a 30 minute ride from Amsterdam. My car takes you there and would seat 3 to 4 adults.
This image shows the court house situated at the former area of the Hall of the Count, notably Floris the 5th. One of the fascinating stories in Leiden is how the power of the local count diminished around 1300 - 1400 and the power of the local city government grew stronger.
Back in 1568, the newly founded Protestant state, the Republic of The Netherlands urgently needed a group of intelligent people, well trained in religion and law, and therefore a place to educate these preachers and lawyers. Leiden University was the very first to be founded in this country and since those days it has remained a major focus of learning and a center of excellence. The Rapenburg canal is now lined with a number of the institutions of the university such as the Great Hall, university institutions and the Hortus Botanicus, or botanical gardens.
Another major building houses the RMO Archaeology and Antiquity Museum in which you may explore such diverse objects as stone axes, one spectacular one, recently acquired, is a ceremonial bronze hand axe. A prize posession is a Dutch fishing net from the time of the early Pharaohs. Its Egyptian collection contains the full size temple of Taffeh, donated by the state of Egypt, and good number of mummies, among which that of a baby and various grave objects. Thus the Egyptian collection is arguably considered the fourth or fifth most important collection in the world (after Cairo, Metropolitan NYC, Louvre, Turin, Brooklyn).
Among the many other museums well worth visiting are the Ethnography museum and the Fine arts museum called Lakenhal, which exhibits paintings by Rembrandt, Dou and other masters in Leiden Fine Painting. I will also take you to the secret street and alley where the Pilgrim Fathers lived before they sailed west to America. There are a number of sites with plaques inducating their history. Near the railway station we find a windmill, which reminds us of the one operated by Rembrands's father and brother. Across the tracks just outside the center is the huge Naturalis, the National Museum of Natural History. Elsewhere in Leiden we may visit large churches, small houdes, a wonderful central canal and, half hidden, a massive mound of earth on which local inhabitants could flee high waters. Scattered throughout town are the 'hofjes' or couryards for the elderly.
Drs. Kaldenbach is chairman of the Circle of Academic Tour Guides of the Netherlands and Flanders (CATON). Starting at your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural walking tour of your choice. My guided itinerary offers you accessable informative conversation in English, Dutch, or German (my French and Italian are more limited). You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. Our cultural tour organisation office will take care of a unique and memorable experience.
- Please contact me for time and fees of the tailor-made tour you ar interested in
- These tailor made tours are available upon request - please contact me to book a date
- Minimum group size: 2 person
- Maximum group size is limited to about 10 persons.
Normally starting from Amsterdam by car or train (train: extra ticket cost). Time spent in the city about 2 to 4 hours. Contact me for information on larger groups with other venues and more people.
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