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"Leyden" redirects here. Leiden_sentence_0

For other uses, see Leyden (disambiguation). Leiden_sentence_1


CountryLeiden_header_cell_0_1_0 NetherlandsLeiden_cell_0_1_1
ProvinceLeiden_header_cell_0_2_0 South HollandLeiden_cell_0_2_1
BodyLeiden_header_cell_0_4_0 Municipal councilLeiden_cell_0_4_1
MayorLeiden_header_cell_0_5_0 Henri Lenferink (PvdA)Leiden_cell_0_5_1
MunicipalityLeiden_header_cell_0_7_0 23.27 km (8.98 sq mi)Leiden_cell_0_7_1
LandLeiden_header_cell_0_8_0 21.91 km (8.46 sq mi)Leiden_cell_0_8_1
WaterLeiden_header_cell_0_9_0 1.36 km (0.53 sq mi)Leiden_cell_0_9_1
ElevationLeiden_header_cell_0_10_0 0 m (0 ft)Leiden_cell_0_10_1
Population (Municipality, January 2019; Urban and Metro, May 2014)Leiden_header_cell_0_11_0
MunicipalityLeiden_header_cell_0_12_0 124,899Leiden_cell_0_12_1
DensityLeiden_header_cell_0_13_0 5,701/km (14,770/sq mi)Leiden_cell_0_13_1
UrbanLeiden_header_cell_0_14_0 258,923Leiden_cell_0_14_1
MetroLeiden_header_cell_0_15_0 344,299Leiden_cell_0_15_1
Demonym(s)Leiden_header_cell_0_16_0 LeidenaarLeiden_cell_0_16_1
Time zoneLeiden_header_cell_0_17_0 UTC+1 (CET)Leiden_cell_0_17_1
Summer (DST)Leiden_header_cell_0_18_0 UTC+2 (CEST)Leiden_cell_0_18_1
PostcodeLeiden_header_cell_0_19_0 2300–2334Leiden_cell_0_19_1
Area codeLeiden_header_cell_0_20_0 071Leiden_cell_0_20_1
WebsiteLeiden_header_cell_0_21_0 Q43631#P856Leiden_cell_0_21_1

Leiden (/ˈlaɪdən/, Dutch: [ˈlɛi̯də(n) (listen); in English and archaic Dutch also Leyden) is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. Leiden_sentence_2

The municipality of Leiden had a population of 123,856 in August 2017, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with 206,647 inhabitants. Leiden_sentence_3

The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) further includes Katwijk in the agglomeration which makes the total population of the Leiden urban agglomeration 270,879, and in the larger Leiden urban area also Teylingen, Noordwijk, and Noordwijkerhout are included with in total 348,868 inhabitants. Leiden_sentence_4

Leiden is located on the Oude Rijn, at a distance of some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from The Hague to its south and some 40 km (25 mi) from Amsterdam to its north. Leiden_sentence_5

The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden. Leiden_sentence_6

A university city since 1575, Leiden has been one of Europe's most prominent scientific centres for more than four centuries. Leiden_sentence_7

Leiden is a typical university city, university buildings are scattered throughout the city and the many students from all over the world give the city a bustling, vivid and international atmosphere. Leiden_sentence_8

Many important scientific discoveries have been made here, giving rise to Leiden's motto: ‘City of Discoveries’. Leiden_sentence_9

The city houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, and Leiden University Medical Center. Leiden_sentence_10

Leiden University is one of Europe's top universities, with thirteen Nobel Prize winners. Leiden_sentence_11

It is a member of the League of European Research Universities and positioned highly in all international academic rankings. Leiden_sentence_12

It is twinned with Oxford, the location of the United Kingdom's oldest university. Leiden_sentence_13

Leiden University and Leiden University of Applied Sciences (Leidse Hogeschool) together have around 35,000 students. Leiden_sentence_14

Modern scientific medical research and teaching started in the early 18th century in Leiden with Boerhaave. Leiden_sentence_15

Leiden is a city with a rich cultural heritage, not only in science, but also in the arts. Leiden_sentence_16

One of the world's most famous painters, Rembrandt, was born and educated in Leiden. Leiden_sentence_17

Other famous Leiden painters include Lucas van Leyden, Jan van Goyen and Jan Steen. Leiden_sentence_18

History Leiden_section_0

See also: Timeline of Leiden Leiden_sentence_19

Leiden was formed on an artificial hill (today called the Burcht van Leiden) at the confluence of the rivers Oude and Nieuwe Rijn (Old and New Rhine). Leiden_sentence_20

In the oldest reference to this, from circa 860, the settlement was called Leithon. Leiden_sentence_21

The name is said to be from Germanic *leitha- "canal" in dative pluralis, thus meaning "at the canals". Leiden_sentence_22

"Canal" is actually not the completely proper word. Leiden_sentence_23

A leitha (later "lede") was a human-modified natural river, partly natural, partly artificial. Leiden_sentence_24

Leiden has in the past erroneously been associated with the Roman outpost Lugdunum Batavorum. Leiden_sentence_25

This particular castellum was thought to be located at the Burcht of Leiden, and the city's name was thought to be derived from the Latin name Lugdunum. Leiden_sentence_26

However the castellum was in fact closer to the town of Katwijk, whereas the Roman settlement near modern-day Leiden was called Matilo. Leiden_sentence_27

The landlord of Leiden, situated in a stronghold on the hill (motte), was initially subject to the Bishop of Utrecht but around 1100 the burgraves became subject to the county of Holland. Leiden_sentence_28

This county got its name in 1101 from a domain near the stronghold: Holtland or Holland. Leiden_sentence_29

Leiden was sacked in 1047 by Emperor Henry III. Leiden_sentence_30

Early 13th century, Ada, Countess of Holland took refuge here when she was fighting in a civil war against her uncle, William I, Count of Holland. Leiden_sentence_31

He besieged the stronghold and captured Ada. Leiden_sentence_32

Leiden received city rights in 1266. Leiden_sentence_33

In 1389, its population had grown to about 4,000 persons. Leiden_sentence_34

Siege of 1420 Leiden_section_1

In 1420, during the Hook and Cod wars, Duke John III of Bavaria along with his army marched from Gouda in the direction of Leiden in order to conquer the city since Leiden did not pay the new Count of Holland Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut, his niece and only daughter of Count William VI of Holland. Leiden_sentence_35

Burgrave Filips of Wassenaar and the other local noblemen of the Hook faction assumed that the duke would besiege Leiden first and send small units out to conquer the surrounding citadels. Leiden_sentence_36

But John of Bavaria chose to attack the citadels first. Leiden_sentence_37

He rolled the cannons along with his army but one which was too heavy went by ship. Leiden_sentence_38

By firing at the walls and gates with iron balls the citadels fell one by one. Leiden_sentence_39

Within a week John of Bavaria conquered the castles of Poelgeest, Ter Does, Hoichmade, de Zijl, ter Waerd, Warmond and de Paddenpoel. Leiden_sentence_40

On 24 June the army appeared before the walls of Leiden. Leiden_sentence_41

On 17 August 1420, after a two-month siege the city surrendered to John of Bavaria. Leiden_sentence_42

The burgrave Filips of Wassenaar was stripped of his offices and rights and lived out his last years in captivity. Leiden_sentence_43

16th to 18th centuries Leiden_section_2

Leiden flourished in the 16th and 17th century. Leiden_sentence_44

At the close of the 15th century the weaving establishments (mainly broadcloth) of Leiden were very important. Leiden_sentence_45

After the expulsion of the Spaniards, Leiden cloth, Leiden baize and Leiden camlet were familiar terms. Leiden_sentence_46

In the same period, Leiden developed an important printing and publishing industry. Leiden_sentence_47

The influential printer Christoffel Plantijn lived there at one time. Leiden_sentence_48

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. Leiden_sentence_49

In 1572, the city sided with the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule and played an important role in the Eighty Years' War. Leiden_sentence_50

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. Leiden_sentence_51

As a reward for the heroic defence of the previous year, the University of Leiden was founded by William I of Orange in 1575. Leiden_sentence_52

Yearly on 3 October, the end of the siege is still celebrated in Leiden. Leiden_sentence_53

Tradition tells that the citizens were offered the choice between a university and a certain exemption from taxes and chose the university. Leiden_sentence_54

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_sentence_55

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. Leiden_sentence_56

In the 17th century, Leiden prospered, in part because of the impetus to the textile industry by refugees from Flanders. Leiden_sentence_57

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. Leiden_sentence_58

During the Dutch Golden Era, Leiden was the second largest city of Holland, after Amsterdam. Leiden_sentence_59

Particularly due to the work by Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738), it played a crucial role in the establishment of modern chemistry and medicine. Leiden_sentence_60

From the late 17th century onwards Leiden slumped, mainly due to the decline of the cloth industries. Leiden_sentence_61

In the beginning of the 19th century the baize manufacture was altogether given up, although industry remained central to Leiden economy. Leiden_sentence_62

This decline is painted vividly by the fall in population. Leiden_sentence_63

The population of Leiden had sunk to 30,000 between 1796 and 1811, and in 1904 was 56,044. Leiden_sentence_64

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_sentence_65

19th and 20th centuries Leiden_section_3

On 12 January 1807, a catastrophe struck the city when a boat loaded with 17,400 kilograms (38,360 pounds) of gunpowder blew up in the middle of Leiden. Leiden_sentence_66

151 persons were killed, over 2,000 were injured and some 220 homes were destroyed. Leiden_sentence_67

King Louis Bonaparte personally visited the city to provide assistance to the victims. Leiden_sentence_68

Although located in the centre of the city, the area destroyed remained empty for many years. Leiden_sentence_69

In 1886 the space was turned into a public park, the Van der Werff park. Leiden_sentence_70

In 1842, the railroad from Leiden to Haarlem was inaugurated and one year later the railway to Den Haag was completed, resulting in some social and economic improvement. Leiden_sentence_71

Perhaps the most important piece of Dutch history contributed by Leiden was the Constitution of the Netherlands. Leiden_sentence_72

Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798–1872) wrote the Dutch Constitution in April 1848 in his house at Garenmarkt 9 in Leiden. Leiden_sentence_73

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. Leiden_sentence_74

Sijthoff, who rose to prominence in the trade of translated books, wrote a letter in 1899 to Queen Wilhelmina regarding his opposition to becoming a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Leiden_sentence_75

He felt that international copyright restrictions would stifle the Dutch publishing industry. Leiden_sentence_76

Leiden began to expand beyond its 17th-century moats around 1896 and the number of citizens surpassed 50,000 in 1900. Leiden_sentence_77

After 1920, new industries were established in the city, such as the canning and metal industries. Leiden_sentence_78

During World War II, Leiden was hit hard by Allied bombardments. Leiden_sentence_79

The areas surrounding the railway station and Marewijk were almost completely destroyed. Leiden_sentence_80

Leiden today Leiden_section_4

The city's biggest and most popular annual festival is celebrated at 3 October and is called simply 3 Oktober. Leiden_sentence_81

The people of Leiden celebrate the end of the Spanish siege of 1574. Leiden_sentence_82

It typically takes place over the course of two to three days (usually two but three if there's a Sunday involved) and includes parades, a hutspot feast, historical reenactments, a funfair and other events. Leiden_sentence_83

The city has recently started to host the Leiden International Film Festival, the fastest growing festival of its type in the Netherlands. Leiden_sentence_84

Leiden has important functions as a shopping and trade centre for communities around the city. Leiden_sentence_85

The University of Leiden is famous for its many discoveries including Snells law (by Willebrord Snellius), the famous Leyden jar, a capacitor made from a glass jar, invented in Leiden by Pieter van Musschenbroek in 1746. Leiden_sentence_86

Another development was in cryogenics: Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1913 Nobel prize winner in physics) liquefied helium for the first time (1908) and later managed to reach a temperature of less than one degree above the absolute minimum. Leiden_sentence_87

Albert Einstein also spent some time at Leiden University during his early to middle career. Leiden_sentence_88

The city also houses the Eurotransplant, the international organization responsible for the mediation and allocation of organ donation procedures in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia. Leiden_sentence_89

Leiden also houses the headquarters of Airbus, a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide. Leiden_sentence_90

The group includes Airbus, the leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft worldwide. Leiden_sentence_91

Rivers, canals and parks Leiden_section_5

The two branches of the Oude Rijn, which enter Leiden on the east, unite in the centre of the city. Leiden_sentence_92

The city is further intersected by numerous small canals with tree-bordered quays. Leiden_sentence_93

On the west side of the city, the Hortus Botanicus and other gardens extend along the old Singel, or outer canal. Leiden_sentence_94

The Leidse Hout park, which contains a small deer park, lies on the northwest border with Oegstgeest. Leiden_sentence_95

The Van der Werf Park is named after the mayor Pieter Adriaansz. Leiden_sentence_96 van der Werff [], who defended the city against the Spaniards in 1574. Leiden_sentence_97

The city was beleaguered for months and many died from famine. Leiden_sentence_98

The open space for the park was formed by the accidental explosion of a ship loaded with gunpowder in 1807, which destroyed hundreds of houses, including that of the Elsevier family of printers. Leiden_sentence_99

Buildings of interest Leiden_section_6

Because of the economic decline from the end of the 17th until the middle of the 19th century, much of the 16th- and 17th-century city centre is still intact. Leiden_sentence_100

It is the second largest 17th-century town centre in the Netherlands, the largest being Amsterdam's city centre. Leiden_sentence_101

A hundred buildings in the centre are decorated with large murals of poetry, part of a wall poem project active from 1992, and still ongoing. Leiden_sentence_102


  • Leiden_item_0_0
  • Leiden_item_0_1
  • Leiden_item_0_2
  • Leiden_item_0_3

Fortifications Leiden_section_7

Churches Leiden_section_8

The chief of Leiden's numerous churches are the Hooglandse Kerk (or the church of St Pancras, built in the 15th century and containing a monument to Pieter Adriaansz. Leiden_sentence_103

van der Werff) and the Pieterskerk (church of St Peter (1315)) with monuments to Scaliger, Boerhaave and other famous scholars. Leiden_sentence_104

From a historical perspective the Marekerk is interesting too. Leiden_sentence_105

Arent van 's Gravesande designed that church in 1639. Leiden_sentence_106

Other fine examples of his work in Leiden are in the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal (the municipal museum of fine arts), and the Bibliotheca Thysiana. Leiden_sentence_107

The growing city needed another church and the Marekerk was the first Protestant church to be built in Leiden (and in Holland) after the Reformation. Leiden_sentence_108

It is an example of Dutch Classicism. Leiden_sentence_109

In the drawings by Van 's Gravesande the pulpit is the centrepiece of the church. Leiden_sentence_110

The pulpit is modelled after the one in the Nieuwe Kerk at Haarlem (designed by Jacob van Campen). Leiden_sentence_111

The building was first used in 1650, and is still in use. Leiden_sentence_112

The Heilige Lodewijkkerk is first catholic church in Leiden that was built after the Reformation. Leiden_sentence_113

This church was given to the Catholics after the gunpowder explosion in 1807, which killed 150 inhabitants and destroyed a large part of the city centre. Leiden_sentence_114

The 'Waalse Kerk' (Breestraat 63) was originally part of the Katharina Hospital. Leiden_sentence_115

In 1584 it became the church of Protestant refugees from the Southern Netherlands (Brugge) and France. Leiden_sentence_116

Later churches in the centre include the St. Leiden_sentence_117 Joseph in expressionistic style. Leiden_sentence_118

University buildings Leiden_section_9

The city centre contains many buildings that are in use by the University of Leiden. Leiden_sentence_119

The Academy Building is housed in a former 16th-century convent. Leiden_sentence_120

Among the institutions connected with the university are the national institution for East Indian languages, ethnology and geography; the botanical gardens, founded in 1587; the observatory (1860); the museum of antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden); and the ethnographical museum, of which P. Leiden_sentence_121 F. von Siebold's Japanese collection was the nucleus (Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde). Leiden_sentence_122

This collection is now housed in a separate museum called the SieboldHuis. Leiden_sentence_123

The Bibliotheca Thysiana occupies an old Renaissance building of the year 1655. Leiden_sentence_124

It is especially rich in legal works and vernacular chronicles. Leiden_sentence_125

Noteworthy are also the many special collections at Leiden University Library among which those of the Society of Dutch Literature (1766) and the collection of casts and engravings. Leiden_sentence_126

In recent years the university has built the Leiden Bio Science Park at the city's outskirts to accommodate the Science departments. Leiden_sentence_127

Other buildings Leiden_section_10


  • Stadhuis (City Hall), a 16th-century building that was badly damaged by a fire in 1929 but has its Renaissance façade designed by Lieven de Key still standingLeiden_item_1_4
  • Gemeenlandshuis van Rijnland (1596, restored in 1878)Leiden_item_1_5
  • De Waag (weigh house in Dutch), built by Pieter PostLeiden_item_1_6
  • Gravensteen – a former 15th century jail at the Gerecht square (former court-house)Leiden_item_1_7
  • Stedelijk Gymnasium (aka Latijnse School) – the old gymnasium (1599)Leiden_item_1_8
  • Stadstimmerwerf – the city carpenter's yard and wharf (1612), both built by Lieven de Key (c. 1560–1627)Leiden_item_1_9
  • Heilige Geest Weeshuis (a former Holy Spirit Orphanage) – a complex of 16th century buildings.Leiden_item_1_10
  • Molen de Valk – a corn-grinding windmill, now home to a museum (1743)Leiden_item_1_11
  • Pesthuis, which was built during 1657–1661 at that time just outside the city for curing patients suffering the bubonic plague. However, after it was built the feared disease did not occur in the Netherlands anymore so it was never used for its original purpose. The building has been used as a military hospital, prison, national asylum and army museum. It now serves as the entrance of Naturalis, one of the largest natural history museums in the world.Leiden_item_1_12

Public transport Leiden_section_11

Bus transport in Leiden is provided by Arriva. Leiden_sentence_128

Railway stations within the municipality of Leiden are: Leiden_sentence_129


Notable inhabitants Leiden_section_12

See also: :Category:People from Leiden Leiden_sentence_130

The following is a selection of important Leidenaren throughout history: Leiden_sentence_131

Public thinking & Public Service Leiden_section_13


The Arts Leiden_section_14


Science Leiden_section_15


Sport Leiden_section_16



Others Leiden_section_17


  • Maria Swanenburg (1839–1915) a Dutch serial killer, murdered at least 27 people and suspected of killing more than 90Leiden_item_8_104
  • Marinus van der Lubbe (1909–1934) executed for the Reichstag fire in Berlin in 1933Leiden_item_8_105
  • Buurtpoes Bledder (2011–2013) a male domestic cat, media star for his exploits in the cityLeiden_item_8_106

International relations Leiden_section_18

Twin cities – sister cities Leiden_section_19

Leiden is twinned with: Leiden_sentence_132


Leiden_cell_1_0_0 Leiden_cell_1_0_1

Miscellaneous Leiden_section_20


  • The coat of arms of Leiden is two red keys, crossed in an X-shape on a white background. These keys are the Keys of Heaven held by St. Peter, for whom a large church in the city centre is named. Because of this coat of arms, Leiden is referred to as the "Sleutelstad" ("the key city").Leiden_item_9_107
  • For a time Leiden held the title "The Coldest Place on Earth" because of the developments in cryogenics in a laboratory there. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1913 Nobel prize winner in physics) liquefied helium for the first time (1908), and later managed to reach a temperature of less than one degree above Absolute zero.Leiden_item_9_108
  • 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.Leiden_item_9_109
  • The following places and things are named after this city:Leiden_item_9_110
  • Leiden's Stadhuis (Town Hall) has a poem in the form of a cryptogram on its façade that records the date 1574 in Roman numerals, the year of the "Black Famine" or Spanish siege (W equals two Vs):Leiden_item_9_117

(Dutch: "When the Black Famine had brought to the death nearly six thousand persons, then God the Lord repented, and gave bread again as much as we could wish".) Leiden_sentence_133

Sports Leiden_section_21


  • Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden is the basketball club of Leiden. In 2011 and 2013 they won the National Title, in 2010 and 2012 the National Cup and in 2011 and 2012 the National Super Cup. The club also played in the FIBA EuroChallenge and reached the Second Round (Best 16) in 2011/2012.Leiden_item_10_118

See also Leiden_section_22


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiden.