Leiden
Overview
 
Leiden (in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and archaic
Archaism
In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done deliberately or as part of a specific jargon or formula...

 Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 also Leyden) is a city and municipality
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 in the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 of South Holland
South Holland
South Holland is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world...

. The municipality of Leiden has a population of about 120,000, but the city forms one densely connected urban area with its suburbs Oegstgeest
Oegstgeest
Oegstgeest is a town and municipality in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. Its population was 22,576 in 2008.-Location :...

, Leiderdorp
Leiderdorp
Leiderdorp is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland near the city of Leiden. It had a population of 26,182 in 2004....

, Voorschoten
Voorschoten
Voorschoten is a village and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. It is a smaller town in the Randstad, enclosed by the cities of Leiden and The Hague. The municipality covers an area of 11.59 km²...

, Valkenburg, Rijnsburg
Rijnsburg
Rijnsburg is a community in the eastern part of the city Katwijk, in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The name means Rhines Burg in Dutch.-History:...

 and Katwijk
Katwijk
Katwijk is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. It has a population of 61,292.-Location:...

, which have about 254,000 inhabitants combined. The larger Leiden agglomeration counts 332,000 inhabitants which makes it the sixth major agglomeration in the Netherlands.
Encyclopedia
Leiden (in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and archaic
Archaism
In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done deliberately or as part of a specific jargon or formula...

 Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 also Leyden) is a city and municipality
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 in the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

 of South Holland
South Holland
South Holland is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world...

. The municipality of Leiden has a population of about 120,000, but the city forms one densely connected urban area with its suburbs Oegstgeest
Oegstgeest
Oegstgeest is a town and municipality in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. Its population was 22,576 in 2008.-Location :...

, Leiderdorp
Leiderdorp
Leiderdorp is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland near the city of Leiden. It had a population of 26,182 in 2004....

, Voorschoten
Voorschoten
Voorschoten is a village and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. It is a smaller town in the Randstad, enclosed by the cities of Leiden and The Hague. The municipality covers an area of 11.59 km²...

, Valkenburg, Rijnsburg
Rijnsburg
Rijnsburg is a community in the eastern part of the city Katwijk, in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The name means Rhines Burg in Dutch.-History:...

 and Katwijk
Katwijk
Katwijk is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. It has a population of 61,292.-Location:...

, which have about 254,000 inhabitants combined. The larger Leiden agglomeration counts 332,000 inhabitants which makes it the sixth major agglomeration in the Netherlands. Leiden is located on the Old Rhine, at a distance of some 20 kilometers from The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 to its south and some 40 kilometers from Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen
Kagerplassen
The Kagerplassen is a small lake system in South Holland located to the northeast of Leiden. The Kaag Lakes are a popular area for boating, watersports, fishing, camping and walking...

) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.

A university city since 1575, Leiden houses Leiden University
Leiden University
Leiden University , located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The royal Dutch House of Orange-Nassau and Leiden University still have a close...

 and Leiden University Medical Centre. It is twinned with Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, the location of England's oldest university
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

.

History

It is true that Leiden is an old city, its connection with Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 Lugdunum Batavorum
Brittenburg
The Brittenburg, or Lugdunum Batavorum, is a Roman ruin west of Leiden that was visible on the beach between Katwijk aan Zee and Noordwijk aan Zee after storms in the years of 1520, 1552 and 1562...

 is true though it is actually near the close-by suburb of Katwijk
Katwijk
Katwijk is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. It has a population of 61,292.-Location:...

, whereas the Roman settlement near modern Leiden was called Matilo. However, there was a Roman fortress in Leiden in the 4th century.
Leiden formed on an artificial hill (today called the Burcht van Leiden
Burcht van Leiden
The burcht van Leiden is an old Shell keep in Leiden constructed in the 11th century. It is located at the spot where two tributaries of the Rhine come together, the Leidse Rijn, and another river, now a canal...

) at the confluence of the rivers Oude and Nieuwe Rijn (Old and New Rhine). In the oldest reference to this, from circa 860, the settlement was called Leithon. The landlord of Leiden, situated in a stronghold on the hill, was initially subject to the Bishop of Utrecht but around 1100 the burgrave
Burgrave
A burgrave is literally the count of a castle or fortified town. The English form is derived through the French from the German Burggraf and Dutch burg- or burch-graeve .* The title is originally equivalent to that of castellan or châtelain, meaning keeper of a castle and/or fortified town...

s became subject to the county of Holland. This county got its name in 1101 from a domain near the stronghold: Holtland or Holland.

Leiden was sacked in 1047 by Emperor Henry III
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

. Early 13th century, Ada, Countess of Holland
Ada, Countess of Holland
Ada was Countess of Holland between 1203 and 1207.-Biography:She was the only surviving daughter of Dirk VII, Count of Holland and his wife Adelaide of Cleves. She succeeded her father as Countess in her own right. She immediately had to deal with her uncle William, who claimed Holland for his...

 took refuge here when she was fighting in a civil war against her uncle, William I, Count of Holland
William I, Count of Holland
William I , Count of Holland from 1203 to 1222. He was the younger son of Floris III and Ada of Huntingdon.-Life:...

. He besieged the stronghold and captured Ada.

Leiden received city rights
City rights in the Netherlands
City rights are a medieval phenomenon in the history of the Low Countries. A liegelord, usually a count, duke or similar member of high nobility, granted a settlement he owned certain town privileges that settlements without city rights did not have....

 in 1266. In 1389, its population had grown to about 4000 persons.

Siege of 1420

In 1420, during the Hook and Cod wars
Hook and Cod wars
The Hook and Cod wars comprise a series of wars and battles in the County of Holland between 1350 and 1490. Most of these wars were fought over the title of count of Holland, but some have argued that the underlying reason was because of the power struggle of the bourgeois in the cities against...

, Duke John of Bavaria
John III, Duke of Bavaria-Straubing
John III the Pitiless, Duke of Bavaria-Straubing , of the House of Wittelsbach, was first bishop of Liège 1389–1418 and then duke of Bavaria-Straubing and count of Holland and Hainaut 1418–1425...

 along with his army marched from Gouda
Gouda
Gouda is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Gouda, which was granted city rights in 1272, is famous for its Gouda cheese, smoking pipes, and 15th-century city hall....

 in the direction of Leiden in order to conquer the city since Leiden did not pay the new Count of Holland
Count of Holland
The Counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.-House of Holland:The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia...

 Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut
Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut
Jacqueline of Wittelsbach was Duchess of Bavaria-Straubing, Countess of Hainaut and Holland from 1417 to 1432...

, his niece and only daughter of Count William VI of Holland
William II, Duke of Bavaria-Straubing
Duke William II of Bavaria-Straubing KG was also count William VI of Holland, count William IV of Hainaut and count William V of Zeeland. He ruled from 1404 until 1417, when he died of a dog bite. William was a son of Albert I and Margaret of Brieg.-Biography:William, allied with the Hooks, was...

. The army was well equipped and had some guns.

Burgrave Filips of Wassenaar and the other local Hoekse noblemen assumed that the duke would besiege Leiden first and send small units out to conquer the surrounding citadels. But John of Bavaria chose to attack the citadels first.

He rolled the cannons with his army but one too heavy went per ship. By firing at the walls and gates with iron balls the citadels fell one by one. Within a week John of Bavaria conquered the castles of Poelgeest, Ter Does, Hoichmade, de Zijl, ter Waerd, Warmond and de Paddenpoel.

On 24 June the army appeared before the walls of Leiden. On 17 August 1420, after a two-month siege the city surrendered to John of Bavaria. The burgrave Filips of Wassenaar was stripped of his offices and rights and lived out his last years in captivity.

16th and 18th centuries

Leiden flourished in the 16th and 17th century. At the close of the 15th century the weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

 establishments (mainly broadcloth
Broadcloth
Broadcloth is a dense woollen cloth. Modern broadcloth can be composed of cotton, silk, or polyester, but traditionally broadcloth was made solely of wool. The dense weave lends sturdiness to the material....

) of Leiden were very important, and after the expulsion of the Spaniards Leiden cloth, Leiden baize
Baize
Baize is a coarse woollen cloth, sometimes called felt in American English based on a similarity in appearance.-Usage:...

 and Leiden camlet
Camlet
Camlet, also commonly known as camelot or camblet, is a woven fabric that might have originally been made of camel or goat's hair, now chiefly of goat's hair and silk, or of wool and cotton...

 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
Lodewijk Elzevir
Lodewijk Elzevir , originally Lodewijk or Louis Elsevier or Elzevier, was a significant Dutch printer...

 (1547–1617), who established the largest bookshop and printing works in Leiden, a business continued by his descendants
House of Elzevir
Elzevir is the name of a celebrated family of Dutch booksellers, publishers, and printers of the 17th and early 18th centuries. The duodecimo series of "Elzevirs" became very famous and very desirable among bibliophiles, who sought to obtain the tallest and freshest copies of these tiny...

 through 1712 and the name subsequently adopted (in a variant spelling) by contemporary publisher Elsevier
Elsevier
Elsevier is a publishing company which publishes medical and scientific literature. It is a part of the Reed Elsevier group. Based in Amsterdam, the company has operations in the United Kingdom, USA and elsewhere....

.

In 1572, the city sided with the Dutch revolt against Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 rule and played an important role in the Eighty Years' War. Besieged from May until October 1574
Siege of Leiden
The Siege of Leiden occurred during the Eighty Years' War in 1573 and 1574, when the Spanish attempted to capture the rebellious city of Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands, and ultimately failed.-Background:...

 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
Paper Money
Paper Money is the second album by the band Montrose. It was released in 1974 and was the band's last album to feature Sammy Hagar as lead vocalist.-History:...

, 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
Pilgrims
Pilgrims , or Pilgrim Fathers , is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States...

 (as well as some of the first settlers of New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam was a 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement that served as the capital of New Netherland. It later became New York City....

) 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
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

.

In the 17th century, Leiden prospered, in part because of the impetus to the textile industry by refugees from Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

. 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
Nouvelles Extraordinaires de Divers Endroits
Nouvelles Extraordinaires de Divers Endroits or Gazette de Leyde was the most important newspaper of record of the international European newspapers of the late 17th to the late 18th century. In the last few decades of the 18th century it was one of the main political newspapers in the Western...

, known also as Gazette de Leyde.

19th and 20th century

On 12 January 1807, a catastrophe struck the city when a boat loaded with 17,400 kg of gunpowder blew up in the middle of Leiden. 151 persons were killed, over 2000 were injured and some 220 homes were destroyed. King Louis Bonaparte
Louis Bonaparte
Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, Prince Français, Comte de Saint-Leu , King of Holland , was the fifth surviving child and the fourth surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino...

 personally visited the city to provide assistance to the victims. Although located in the center of the city, the area destroyed remained empty for many years. In 1886 the space was turned into a public park.

In 1842, the railroad from Leiden to Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

 was inaugurated and one year later the railway to Den Haag was completed, resulting in some social and economic improvement. Perhaps the most important piece of Dutch history contributed by Leiden was the Constitution of the Netherlands
Constitution of the Netherlands
The Constitution of the Netherlands is the fundamental law of the European territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The present constitution is generally seen as directly derived from the one issued in 1815, constituting a constitutional monarchy. A revision in 1848 instituted a system of...

. Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798–1872) wrote the Dutch Constitution in April 1848 in his house at Garenmarkt 9 in Leiden.

Leiden's reputation as the "city of books" continued through the 19th century with the establishment of publishing dynasties by Evert Jan Brill and Albertus Willem Sijthoff
Albertus Willem Sijthoff
Albertus Willem Sijthoff was a prominent Dutch publisher from Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands.-Early life:Sijthoff was born in 1829 to an established family in Leiden...

. Sijthoff, who rose to prominence in the trade of translated books, wrote a letter in 1899 to Queen Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina was Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. She ruled the Netherlands for fifty-eight years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw World War I and World War II, the economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial...

 regarding his opposition to becoming a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

. He felt that international copyright restrictions would stifle the Dutch publishing industry.

Leiden began to expand beyond its 17th century moats around 1896 and the number of citizens surpassed 50,000 in 1900. After 1920, new industries were established in the city, such as the canning
Canning
Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as...

 and metal industries. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Leiden was hit hard by Allied bombardments. The areas surrounding the railway station and Marewijk were almost completely destroyed.

Leiden today

The city's biggest and most popular annual festival is 3 Oktober or "3 October," which celebrates the end of the Spanish siege of 1574. It typically takes place over the course of four days and includes parades, a hutspot feast, historical reenactments, a carnival and other events. In recent years, however, the annual festival has drawn criticism for drunken and unruly behavior from attendees.

Leiden has important functions as a shopping and trade center for communities around the city. The University of Leiden is famous for its many developments including the famous Leyden jar
Leyden jar
A Leyden jar, or Leiden jar, is a device that "stores" static electricity between two electrodes on the inside and outside of a jar. It was invented independently by German cleric Ewald Georg von Kleist on 11 October 1745 and by Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek of Leiden in 1745–1746. The...

, a capacitor made from a glass jar, invented in Leiden by Pieter van Musschenbroek
Pieter van Musschenbroek
Pieter van Musschenbroek was a Dutch scientist. He was a professor in Duisburg, Utrecht, and Leiden, where he held positions in mathematics, philosophy, medicine, and astrology. He is credited with the invention of the first capacitor in 1746: the Leyden jar. He performed pioneering work on the...

 in 1746. Another development was in cryogenics
Cryogenics
In physics, cryogenics is the study of the production of very low temperature and the behavior of materials at those temperatures. A person who studies elements under extremely cold temperature is called a cryogenicist. Rather than the relative temperature scales of Celsius and Fahrenheit,...

: Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was a Dutch physicist and Nobel laureate. He pioneered refrigeration techniques, and he explored how materials behaved when cooled to nearly absolute zero. He was the first to liquify helium...

 (1913 Nobel prize winner in physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

) liquefied helium
Helium
Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.002602, which is represented by the symbol He. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table...

 for the first time (1908) and later managed to reach a temperature of less than one degree above the absolute minimum
Absolute zero
Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value. The laws of thermodynamics state that absolute zero cannot be reached using only thermodynamic means....

. Albert Einstein also spent some time at Leiden University during his early to middle career.

The city also houses the Eurotransplant
Eurotransplant
The Eurotransplant International Foundation, commonly known simply as Eurotransplant, is an international non-profit organization responsible for encouraging and coordinating organ transplants in its member countries. The headquarters of Eurotransplant are located in Leiden, the Netherlands. The...

, the international organization responsible for the mediation and allocation of organ donation
Organ donation
Organ donation is the donation of biological tissue or an organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. Transplantable organs and tissues are removed in a surgical procedure following a determination, based on the donor's medical and...

 procedures in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia. Leiden also houses the headquarters of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS), a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide. The group includes Airbus, the leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft worldwide.

Rivers, canals and parks

The two branches of the Old Rhine, which enter Leiden on the east, unite in the centre of the town. The town is further intersected by numerous small canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s with tree-bordered quays. On the west side of the town, the Hortus Botanicus
Hortus Botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus of Leiden is the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. It is located in the southwestern part of the historical centre of the city, between the Academy building and the Leiden Observatory....

 and other gardens extend along the old Singel
Singel
Singel is an old Dutch word meaning a circle , and hence is the name of a number of circular canals in the Netherlands.*Singel *Singelgracht *Singel...

, or outer canal. The Leidse Hout
Leidse Hout
The Leidse Hout is a public urban park in Leiden, the Netherlands. It is located between the border of Oegstgeest, approximately 1.5 kilometers northwest of the Leiden city center, and on the northern border of the Leiden Diaconessenhuis hospital.The park was opened on June 30, 1931 and was the...

 park
Park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

, which contains a small deer park, lies on the northwest border with Oegstgeest
Oegstgeest
Oegstgeest is a town and municipality in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. Its population was 22,576 in 2008.-Location :...

. The Van der Werf Park is named after the mayor Pieter Adriaansz. van der Werff, who defended the town against the Spaniards in 1574. The town was beleaguered for months and many died from famine. The open space for the park was formed by the accidental explosion
Explosion
An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion creates a shock wave. If the shock wave is a supersonic detonation, then the source of the blast is called a "high explosive"...

 of a ship loaded with gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 in 1807, which destroyed hundreds of houses, including that of the Elsevier
Elsevier
Elsevier is a publishing company which publishes medical and scientific literature. It is a part of the Reed Elsevier group. Based in Amsterdam, the company has operations in the United Kingdom, USA and elsewhere....

 family of printers
Printer (publisher)
In publishing, printers are both companies providing printing services and individuals who directly operate printing presses. With the invention of the moveable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1450, printing—and printers—proliferated throughout Europe.Today, printers are found...

.

Buildings of interest

Because of the economic decline from the 17th to the early 20th century , much of the 16th and 17th century town centre is still intact. It is reportedly the second largest 17th century town centre in the Netherlands, the largest being Amsterdam's town centre.

Fortifications

At the strategically important junction of the two arms of the Old Rhine stands the old castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 de Burcht, a circular tower built on an earthen mound. The mound probably was a refuge against high water before a small wooden fortress was built on top of it in the 11th century. The citadel is a so-called motte-and-bailey
Motte-and-bailey
A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle, with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade...

 castle. Of Leiden's old city gate
City gate
A city gate is a gate which is, or was, set within a city wall. Other terms include port.-Uses:City gates were traditionally built to provide a point of controlled access to and departure from a walled city for people, vehicles, goods and animals...

s only two are left, the Zijlpoort
Zijlpoort (Leiden)
Zijlpoort is a city gate in Leiden, The Netherlands. The gate was built in 1667 in the classical style according to a design by the Leiden architect Willem van der Helm and with sculpture by Rombout Verhulst. Because the gates have to connect with the city wall as well as with a bridge, the...

and the Morspoort, both dating from the end of the 17th century. Apart from one small watch tower on the Singel nothing is left of the town's city walls. Another former fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 is the Gravensteen. Built as a fortress in the 13th century it has since served as house, library and prison. Presently it is one of the University's buildings.

Churches

The chief of Leiden's numerous churches are the Hooglandse Kerk
Hooglandse Kerk
Hooglandse Kerk is a Gothic church in Leiden dating from the fifteenth century. The brick church is dedicated to St. Pancras and today serves parishioners of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.-History:...

 (or the church of St Pancras, built in the 15th century and containing a monument to Pieter Adriaansz. van der Werff) and the Pieterskerk
Pieterskerk, Leiden
The Pieterskerk is a late-Gothic church in Leiden dedicated to Saint Peter. It is best known today as the church of the Pilgrim Fathers where John Robinson was buried.-History:...

(church of St Peter (1315) with monuments to Scaliger
Joseph Justus Scaliger
Joseph Justus Scaliger was a French religious leader and scholar, known for expanding the notion of classical history from Greek and Ancient Roman history to include Persian, Babylonian, Jewish and Ancient Egyptian history.-Early life:He was born at Agen, the tenth child and third son of Italian...

, Boerhaave and other famous scholars. From a historical perspective the Marekerk
Marekerk
The Marekerk is a Protestant church in Leiden, located at the Lange Mare and the Oude Vest canal. The church can be easily seen from the Oude Vest and the Burcht van Leiden by its round dome.-History:...

 is interesting too. Arent van 's Gravesande designed that church in 1639. Other fine examples of his work in Leiden are in the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal
Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal
Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal is a city museum of fine arts in Leiden, the Netherlands. The museum hosts a collection of altarpieces and religious artifacts from before the Protestant Revolution that were formally ceded to the state in 1572, but it is mainly of interest for its collection of...

(the municipal museum of fine arts), and the Bibliotheca Thysiana. The growing town needed another church and the Marekerk was the first church to be built in Leiden (and in Holland) after the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. It is an example of Dutch Classicism
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

. In the drawings by Van 's Gravesande the pulpit
Pulpit
Pulpit is a speakers' stand in a church. In many Christian churches, there are two speakers' stands at the front of the church. Typically, the one on the left is called the pulpit...

 is the centrepiece of the church. The pulpit is modelled after the one in the Nieuwe Kerk
Nieuwe Kerk (Haarlem)
The Nieuwe kerk is a historical church dating from the 17th century on the Nieuwe kerksplein in Haarlem, Netherlands.-History:The tower was built in 1613 by Lieven de Key against the older St. Anna church that itself was replaced by a design by Jacob van Campen in 1645-1649. The organ was...

at Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

 (designed by Jacob van Campen
Jacob van Campen
Jacob van Campen , was a Dutch artist and architect of the Golden Age.-Life:He was born into a wealthy family at Haarlem, and spent his youth in his home town. Being of noble birth and with time on his hands, he took up painting mainly as a pastime...

). The building was first used in 1650, and is still in use.

University buildings

The town centre contains many buildings that are in use by the University of Leiden. The Academy Building is housed in a former 16th century convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

. Among the institutions connected with the university are the national institution for East Indian languages, ethnology
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

 and geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

; the botanical gardens
Hortus Botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus of Leiden is the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. It is located in the southwestern part of the historical centre of the city, between the Academy building and the Leiden Observatory....

, founded in 1587; the observatory
Leiden Observatory
Leiden Observatory is an astronomical observatory in the city of Leiden, Netherlands. It was established by Leiden University in 1633, to house the quadrant of Snellius, and is the oldest operating University observatory in the world Leiden Observatory (Sterrewacht Leiden in Dutch) is an...

 (1860); the museum of antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is the national archaeological museum of the Netherlands. It is located in Leiden. The Museum grew out of the collection of Leiden University and still closely co-operates with its Faculty of Archaeology...

); and the ethnographical
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

 museum, of which P. F. von Siebold's Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese collections was the nucleus (Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde). The Bibliotheca Thysiana occupies an old Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 building of the year 1655. It is especially rich in legal works and vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 chronicles. Noteworthy are also the many special collections at Leiden University Library
Leiden University Library
Leiden University Library is a library founded in 1575 in Leiden, Netherlands. It is regarded as a significant place in the development of European culture: it is a part of a small number of cultural centres that gave direction to the development and spread of knowledge during the Enlightenment...

 among which those of the Society of Dutch Literature (1766) and the collection of casts and engravings. In recent years the university has built the Bio Science Park at the city's outskirts to accommodate the Science departments.

Other buildings

Some other interesting buildings are the town hall (Stadhuis), a 16th century building that was badly damaged by a fire in 1929 but has its Renaissance façade designed by Lieven de Key
Lieven de Key
Lieven de Key was a famous Dutch renaissance architect in the Netherlands, mostly known today for his works in Haarlem.-Biography:...

 still standing; the Gemeenlandshuis van Rijnland
Gemeenlandshuis van Rijnland
.The Gemeenlandshuis van Rijnland on the Breestraat in Leiden is the oldest Gemeenlandshuis of the Netherlands that kept its function until the current century. Currently, it is still in use by the Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland, but only for meetings and special occasions...

(1596, restored in 1878); De Waag
Weigh House (Leiden)
The Leiden Weigh House is a Rijksmonument located on Aalmarkt street .It was designed by Pieter Post around 1657 and opened in 1659. For centuries, merchants came here to weigh and trade a variety of goods. In addition to being a weigh house, the Leiden Weigh House has hosted a variety of...

 (weigh house in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

), built by Pieter Post
Pieter Post
Pieter Jansz Post was a Dutch Golden Age architect, painter and printmaker.-Biography:...

; the former court-house (Gerecht); a corn-grinding windmill, now home to a museum (Molen de Valk) (1743); the old gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 (Latijnse School) (1599) and the city carpenter's yard and wharf
Wharf
A wharf or quay is a structure on the shore of a harbor where ships may dock to load and unload cargo or passengers.Such a structure includes one or more berths , and may also include piers, warehouses, or other facilities necessary for handling the ships.A wharf commonly comprises a fixed...

 (Stadstimmerwerf) (1612), both built by Lieven de Key
Lieven de Key
Lieven de Key was a famous Dutch renaissance architect in the Netherlands, mostly known today for his works in Haarlem.-Biography:...

 (c. 1560–1627). Another building of interest is the "pesthuis", which was built at that time just outside the city for curing patients suffering the bubonic plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

. However, after it was built the feared disease did not occur in the Netherlands anymore so it was never used for its original purpose, it now serves as the entrance of Naturalis
Naturalis
Naturalis is the national natural history museum of the Netherlands, based in Leiden. It originated from the merger of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie and the Rijksmuseum van Geologie en Mineralogie in 1984. In 1986 it was decided that the museum had to become a public museum and a new...

, one of the largest natural history
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 museums in the world. Oudt Leyden, the so called oldest pancake house (pannekoekenhuis in Dutch) in the world is home to its famous large pancakes and Delft
Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

 crockery, it's also known for serving the likes of Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 and the Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word далай meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning "teacher"...

.

Bus lines

  • Connexxion
    Connexxion
    Connexxion is the largest public transport bus company in the Netherlands, operating in the west, middle, east and far northern part of the country. It was formed in 1999 as result of a fusion between the public transport companies NZH, ZWN, Midnet and Oostnet. Its name is a mutation of the French...

     Region West:
    • Bus stop
      Bus stop
      A bus stop is a designated place where buses stop for passengers to board or leave a bus. These are normally positioned on the highway and are distinct from off-highway facilities such as bus stations. The construction of bus stops tends to reflect the level of usage...

      s and lines in Leiden: (links to schedules by stop and line)
    • Bus lines with schedules by line in the region

Railway

  • Railway stations: Leiden Centraal
    Leiden Centraal railway station
    Leiden Centraal is the main railway station in Leiden, a city in the Netherlands.-History:Leiden Centraal station opened on 17 August 1842 as the southern terminal of the first expansion of the Old Line from Haarlem. The original building was replaced by a new one, designed by D.A.N. Margadant, in...

    , Leiden Lammenschans
    Leiden Lammenschans railway station
    Leiden Lammenschans is a railway station in Leiden, the Netherlands. The station, designed by Koen van der Gaast, was opened on 18 May 1961. It is served by trains running between Leiden Centraal and Utrecht Centraal, and by RijnGouweLijn trains running between Leiden Centraal and Gouda at Peak...

    , De Vink


To plan a train journey follow the link

Leiden is on the planned route of the RijnGouweLijn
RijnGouweLijn
The RijnGouweLijn or RGL is originally a plan for a light rail project in South Holland, Netherlands, with partly new rail tracks and partly using existing rail tracks of the Gouda–Alphen aan den Rijn railway and the Woerden–Leiden railway....

, the Netherland's first Light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 project. This project has, however been shelved for the foreseeable time.

Notable inhabitants

See also People from Leiden

The following is a selection of important Leidenaren throughout history:
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606–1669, painter.
  • Ludolph van Ceulen
    Ludolph van Ceulen
    Ludolph van Ceulen was a German / Dutch mathematician from Hildesheim. He emigrated to the Netherlands....

    , 1540–1610, mathematician, computed Pi
    Pi
    ' is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. is approximately equal to 3.14. Many formulae in mathematics, science, and engineering involve , which makes it one of the most important mathematical constants...

    .
  • Marinus van der Lubbe
    Marinus van der Lubbe
    Marinus van der Lubbe was a Dutch council communist convicted of, and controversially executed for, setting fire to the German Reichstag building on February 27, 1933, an event known as the Reichstag fire. ....

    , 1909–1934, accused of setting fire to the Reichstag
    Reichstag fire
    The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany....

     in Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

    .
  • Herman Boerhaave
    Herman Boerhaave
    Herman Boerhaave was a Dutch botanist, humanist and physician of European fame. He is regarded as the founder of clinical teaching and of the modern academic hospital. His main achievement was to demonstrate the relation of symptoms to lesions...

    , 1668–1738, humanist and physician.
  • Jan Steen
    Jan Steen
    Jan Havickszoon Steen was a Dutch genre painter of the 17th century . Psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour are marks of his trade.-Life:...

    , 1626–1679, painter.
  • Gegard Mousasi
    Gegard Mousasi
    Gegard Mousasi, born Geghard Movsesian is an Armenian-Dutch mixed martial artist and kickboxer. He is fighting out of Team Jurojin in Leiden, Netherlands and is a member of Russian Red Devil Sport Club and Netherlands' Golden Glory...

    , 1985-, Professional MMA fighter of Armenian descent.
  • Johann Bachstrom
    Johann Bachstrom
    Jan Fryderyk or Johann Friedrich Bachstrom was a writer, scientist and Lutheran theologian who spent the last decade of his life in Leiden. His surname is sometimes spelt Bachstroem or Bachstrohm...

    , 1688–1742, writer, scientist and Lutheran theologian.
  • Bernhard Siegfried Albinus
    Bernhard Siegfried Albinus
    Bernhard Siegfried Albinus was a German-born Dutch anatomist.Albinus was born at Frankfurt , where his father, Bernhard Albinus , was professor of the practice of medicine...

    , 1697–1770, anatomist.
  • Love Brewster
    Love Brewster
    Elder Love Brewster was an early American settler, the son of Elder William Brewster and his wife, Mary Brewster. He traveled with his father, mother and brother, Wrestling, on the Mayflower reaching what became the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620...

    , 1611-1650/1, pilgrim.
  • William Brewster
    William Brewster
    William Brewster may refer to:*William Brewster , Pilgrim and Mayflower passenger*William Brewster , ornithologist*William K. Brewster, Democratic politician and a retired U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma...

    , 1567–1644, pilgrim.
  • William Bradford, 1590–1657, pilgrim, leader of the American Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.
  • Gerard Dou
    Gerard Dou
    Gerrit Dou , also known as Gerard and Douw or Dow, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose small, highly-polished paintings are typical of the Leiden fijnschilders...

    , 1613–1675, painter.
  • Jouke de Vries
    Jouke de Vries
    Jouke de Vries is a professor at Leiden University in Leiden.De Vries grew up in the village of Balk in Friesland and in 1979 started his studies in political science at the University of Amsterdam. He has been working at the group Leaderships Art at the University of Leiden since 1984. De Vries...

    , 1960, professor at Leiden university, runner-up candidate for the PVDA elections in 2002 (lost to Wouter Bos
    Wouter Bos
    Wouter Jacob Bos is a Dutch management consultant and former politician of the Labour Party . He was Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister in the Cabinet Balkenende IV from February 22, 2007 till February 23, 2010...

    ), currently resides at Leiden.
  • Cornelius Engelbrechtszoon, 1468–1533, painter.
  • Jan van Goyen, 1596–1656, painter.
  • John of Leiden
    John of Leiden
    John of Leiden , was an Anabaptist leader from the Dutch city of Leiden. He was the illegitimate son of a Dutch mayor, and a tailor's apprentice by trade.-Life:...

    , 1509?–1536, leader of the Anabaptist
    Anabaptist
    Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

     Münster Rebellion
    Münster Rebellion
    The Münster Rebellion was an attempt by radical Anabaptists to establish a communal sectarian government in the German city of Münster. The city became an Anabaptist center from 1534 to 1535, and fell under Anabaptist rule for 18 months — from February 1534, when the city hall was seized and...

    .
  • Philipp Franz Bathasar von Siebold
    Philipp Franz von Siebold
    Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold was a German physician and traveller. He was the first European to teach Western medicine in Japan...

    , 1796–1866, physician, collector, 'Japanologist'.
  • Lucas van Leyden
    Lucas van Leyden
    Lucas van Leyden , also named either Lucas Hugensz or Lucas Jacobsz, was a Dutch engraver and painter, born and mainly active in Leiden...

    , 1494–1533, engraver and painter.
  • Gabriel Metsu
    Gabriel Metsu
    Gabriël Metsu was a Dutch painter of history paintings, genre works and portraits.- Life :Metsu was the son of the Flemish painter Jacques Metsu , who lived most of his days at Leiden, and Jacomijntje Garniers, his third wife, whom he married in 1625. Jacomijntje was the widow of a painter with...

    , 1629–1667, painter.
  • Frans Post
    Frans Post
    Frans Janszoon Post was a Dutch painter. He was the first European artist to paint landscapes of America. In 1636 he traveled to Dutch Brazil at the invitation of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen.- Biography :...

    , 1612–1680, painter.
  • Pieter de Ring
    Pieter de Ring
    Pieter de Ring, or Ryng was a Dutch Golden Age painter of still lifes. became famous for his opulent, flashy still lifes or banquet pieces with fruit, a lobster, a goblet, shrimps, oysters, a rug and Chinese porcelain...

    , ca 1615-1660, painter
  • Theo van Doesburg
    Theo van Doesburg
    Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist, practicing in painting, writing, poetry and architecture. He is best known as the founder and leader of De Stijl.-Biography:-Early life:...

    , 1883–1931, painter, architect, writer.
  • Willebrord Snell, 1580–1626, astronomer and mathematician.
  • Johannes Diderik van der Waals
    Johannes Diderik van der Waals
    Johannes Diderik van der Waals was a Dutch theoretical physicist and thermodynamicist famous for his work on an equation of state for gases and liquids....

    , 1837–1923, physicist.
  • Hendrik Lorentz
    Hendrik Lorentz
    Hendrik Antoon Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect...

    , 1853–1928, physicist.
  • Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was a Dutch physicist and Nobel laureate. He pioneered refrigeration techniques, and he explored how materials behaved when cooled to nearly absolute zero. He was the first to liquify helium...

    , 1853–1926, physicist.
  • Pieter Zeeman
    Pieter Zeeman
    Pieter Zeeman was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hendrik Lorentz for his discovery of the Zeeman effect.-Childhood and youth:...

    , 1865–1943, physicist.
  • Willem de Sitter
    Willem de Sitter
    Willem de Sitter was a Dutch mathematician, physicist and astronomer.-Life and work:Born in Sneek, De Sitter studied mathematics at the University of Groningen and then joined the Groningen astronomical laboratory. He worked at the Cape Observatory in South Africa...

    , 1872–1934, mathematician, physicist, astronomer.
  • Paul Ehrenfest
    Paul Ehrenfest
    Paul Ehrenfest was an Austrian and Dutch physicist, who made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations with quantum mechanics, including the theory of phase transition and the Ehrenfest theorem.- Biography :Paul Ehrenfest was born and grew up in Vienna in a Jewish...

    , 1880–1933, physicist.
  • Hendrik Casimir
    Hendrik Casimir
    Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir FRS was a Dutch physicist best known for his research on the two-fluid model of superconductors in 1934 and the Casimir effect Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir FRS (July 15, 1909 in The Hague, Netherlands – May 4, 2000 in Heeze) was a Dutch physicist best known...

    , 1909–2000, physicist.
  • Jan Hendrik Oort, 1900–1992, astronomer.
  • Willem Einthoven
    Willem Einthoven
    Willem Einthoven was a Dutch doctor and physiologist. He invented the first practical electrocardiogram in 1903 and received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1924 for it....

    , 1860–1927, physician, physiologist.
  • Pieter Adriaansz. van der Werff, 1529–1604, mayor of Leiden.
  • William II, 1228–1256, count of Holland, later also king of Germany.
  • Gottfried van Swieten
    Gottfried van Swieten
    Gottfried, Freiherr van Swieten was a diplomat, librarian, and government official who served the Austrian Empire during the 18th century...

    , 1733–1803, diplomat, friendship and collaboration with several great composers.
  • Nina Foch
    Nina Foch
    Nina Foch was a Dutch-born American actress and leading lady in many 1940s and 1950s films.- Personal life :...

    , 1924–2008, actress/ acting teacher.
  • Armin Van Buuren, 1976-, music/ DJ.

Town twinning

Leiden's twin towns
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 are: East London
Buffalo City Local Municipality
Buffalo City is a metropolitan municipality situated on the east coast of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It includes the towns of East London, Bhisho and King William's Town, as well as the large townships of Mdantsane and Zwelitsha....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 Juigalpa, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 Krefeld
Krefeld
Krefeld , also known as Crefeld until 1929, is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located northwest of Düsseldorf, its centre lying just a few kilometres to the west of the River Rhine; the borough of Uerdingen is situated directly on the Rhine...

, Germany Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, England (United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

) Toruń
Torun
Toruń is an ancient city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River. Its population is more than 205,934 as of June 2009. Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The medieval old town of Toruń is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus....

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...


Miscellaneous

  • The coat of arms of Leiden is two red keys, crossed in an X-shape on a white background. These keys are those to the gates of heaven held by St.Peter, for whom a large church in the city center is named. Because of this coat of arms, Leiden is referred to as the "Sleutelstad" ("the key city").
  • For a time Leiden held the title "The Coldest Place on Earth" because of the developments in cryogenics
    Cryogenics
    In physics, cryogenics is the study of the production of very low temperature and the behavior of materials at those temperatures. A person who studies elements under extremely cold temperature is called a cryogenicist. Rather than the relative temperature scales of Celsius and Fahrenheit,...

     in a laboratory there. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
    Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was a Dutch physicist and Nobel laureate. He pioneered refrigeration techniques, and he explored how materials behaved when cooled to nearly absolute zero. He was the first to liquify helium...

     (1913 Nobel prize winner in physics) liquefied helium
    Helium
    Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.002602, which is represented by the symbol He. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table...

     for the first time (1908), and later managed to reach a temperature of less than one degree above Absolute zero
    Absolute zero
    Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature at which entropy reaches its minimum value. The laws of thermodynamics state that absolute zero cannot be reached using only thermodynamic means....

    .
  • The Norwegian cheese "nøkkelost" ("key cheese") is named after the keys in coat of arms of Leyden, as it is a variation of Leyden cheese
    Leyden cheese
    Leyden, from , is a yellow cumin spiced cheese made in the Netherlands from semi-skimmed cow's milk.It is made both in factories and on farms, historically in the Leiden area....

    .
  • The following places and things are named after this city:
    • Leyden, New York
      Leyden, New York
      Leyden is a town in Lewis County, New York, United States. The population was 1,792 at the 2000 census.The Town of Leyden is in the south part of the county and is north of Rome.- History :Settlement began around 1794....

      , USA
    • Leyden, Massachusetts
      Leyden, Massachusetts
      Leyden is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 772 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

      , USA
    • Leyden High School District 212
      Leyden High School District 212
      The Leyden High School District 212, named after Leiden, operates two high schools in Cook County, Illinois, USA. The district has 207 teachers serving 3,477 students.School FactsSchool NameCityStudentsFTE TeachersPupil/Teacher Ratio...

       in Franklin Park, Illinois
      Franklin Park, Illinois
      Franklin Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 19,800 at the 2004 census.-Geography:Franklin Park is located at ....

      , USA.
    • Leiden scale
      Leiden scale
      The Leiden scale was used to calibrate low-temperature indirect measurements in the early twentieth century, by providing conventional values of helium vapour pressure...

      , for measuring extreme low temperatures.
    • Factor V Leiden
      Factor V Leiden
      Factor V Leiden is the name given to a variant of human factor V that causes a hypercoagulability disorder. In this disorder the Leiden variant of factor V cannot be inactivated by activated protein C. Factor V Leiden is the most common hereditary hypercoagulability disorder amongst Eurasians...

       is named after the city of Leiden where it was discovered in 1994.
    • The Leyden jar
      Leyden jar
      A Leyden jar, or Leiden jar, is a device that "stores" static electricity between two electrodes on the inside and outside of a jar. It was invented independently by German cleric Ewald Georg von Kleist on 11 October 1745 and by Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek of Leiden in 1745–1746. The...

      , a capacitor
      Capacitor
      A capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy in an electric field. The forms of practical capacitors vary widely, but all contain at least two electrical conductors separated by a dielectric ; for example, one common construction consists of metal foils separated...

       made from a glass jar, was invented here by Pieter van Musschenbroek
      Pieter van Musschenbroek
      Pieter van Musschenbroek was a Dutch scientist. He was a professor in Duisburg, Utrecht, and Leiden, where he held positions in mathematics, philosophy, medicine, and astrology. He is credited with the invention of the first capacitor in 1746: the Leyden jar. He performed pioneering work on the...

       in 1746. It was actually first invented by Ewald Georg von Kleist the year before, but the name "Leyden jar" stuck.

Adjacent municipalities

Clockwise:
  • Oegstgeest
    Oegstgeest
    Oegstgeest is a town and municipality in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. Its population was 22,576 in 2008.-Location :...

  • Teylingen
    Teylingen
    Teylingen is a municipality in the province of South Holland, the Netherlands. It was created on January 1, 2006, through the amalgamation of Sassenheim, Voorhout, and Warmond...

  • Leiderdorp
    Leiderdorp
    Leiderdorp is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland near the city of Leiden. It had a population of 26,182 in 2004....

  • Zoeterwoude
    Zoeterwoude
    Zoeterwoude is a municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers 21.91 km² . It had a population of 8,526 in 2004....

  • Leidschendam-Voorburg
    Leidschendam-Voorburg
    Leidschendam-Voorburg is a municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality had a population of 73,832 in 2004, and covers an area of 35.68 km² of which 2.86 km² is water.-Origin:...

  • Voorschoten
    Voorschoten
    Voorschoten is a village and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. It is a smaller town in the Randstad, enclosed by the cities of Leiden and The Hague. The municipality covers an area of 11.59 km²...

  • Wassenaar
    Wassenaar
    Wassenaar is a town in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. A fairly affluent suburb of The Hague, Wassenaar lies 10 km north of that city on the N44 highway near the North Sea coast. It is part of the Haaglanden region...

  • Katwijk
    Katwijk
    Katwijk is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. It has a population of 61,292.-Location:...



External links

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