Leiden Favorite Tips by tompt Top 5 Page for this destination
Leiden Favorites: 50 reviews and 97 photos
Favorite thing: The most important day in the history of Leiden happened in 1574. It is still celebrated every year on the 3rd of October. A local holiday.
At that time the 80 year war raged over our country. In 1574 Leiden was besieged by the spanish. The first time it was a 6 month closure of the city, during the winter of 1573-1574. In march the spanish army went away to battle with the Lodewijk van Nassau. But the freedom didn't last long. In may they were back with 5000 soldiers. City government didn't prepare for the new siege. And the conditions were worse. There was not enough food inside the citywalls. Not only hunger stoke the city but also diseases like the plague.
The spanish tried to force the city to surrender. But the brave people of Leiden wouldn't give up. The story tells us, that the major even offered his own body as food for the people.
The salvation has to come from the Prince of Orange. He ordered the dikes to be destroyed, so the spanish had to flee for the water. During the night of 2 and 3 october 1574 a part of the citywall collapses. The spanish fear an outbreak and from the other side the water, they flee in hurry leaving their just prepared food. The food containing onions, carrots and meat (now known as hutspot, a dutch dish) was eaten by the people of Leiden. When the liberators came later that day they brought herring and white bread.
The city was rewarded for their courage with a university.
Today the feast of Leids Ontzet is still celebrated on the 3rd of October, ever since 1574 traditional food is herring, white bread and hutspot. Early in the morning (around 7 am) the city gives every citizen herring and white bread. Large festivals are in the city that day.
Favorite thing: In the innercity of Leiden you can find 35 almshouses. Most of these almshouses have 12 small houses built by the rich for the poor. The rich (often after they died, by testament) ordered this small houses to be built because they believed it could buy them a place in heaven. Most date back to the 17th century. And apart from the bicycles in the ones occupied by students, they still look like then. A quiet place in the city.
Most of the time you enter via a entrance gate. In the old days this was the place where the gatekeeper controlled the openingtimes. Living in the almshouses was under certain strict rules: you had to be home at a decent hour. But there were also regulations about how many times you have to bath, and you always have to behave good. In return you good free housing and often food was included.
Almshouses are all over the innercity. Get a booklet at the touristinfo (around 2 Euro) , it will give details about the almshouses and the adresses.
Fondest memory: All the almshouses and their adresses:
Annahofje of Aalmoeshuis, St Hooigracht 9, Middelstegracht 4
Annahofje of Joostenpoort, St Zegersteeg 14
Assendelfthofje, Van Langegracht 49
Bethaniën- of Emmaüshofje Kaiserstraat 43
Bethlehemshofje Levendaal 109-111
Brouchovenhofje, Van Papengracht 16
Carelhuis, Justus Witte Rozenstraat 51a
Coninckshofje Oude Vest 15
Elisabethgasthuishof, St Oude Vest 25, Caeciliastraat 16
Groeneveldstichting Oude Vest 41
Heilige Geest- of Cornelis Sprongh-hofje Doezastraat 1a
Hoogeveenshofje, Eva van Doelensteeg 7
Houttijnhofje, François Hooigracht 81
Jacobsdochterhofje, Cathrijn Kaarsenmakerstraat 1
Jacobs of Crayenboschhofje, St Doezastraat 25
Janshofje of van der Laanshofje, St Haarlemmerstraat 264
Jeruzalemhof Kaiserstraat 49
Laterehofje, Jan de 2e Binnenvestgracht 13
Lindenhofje of Remonstrantenpoort, Joost Frans van der Grevenstraat 16
Loridanshofje, Pieter Oude Varkenmarkt 1
Maartensdochterhofje, Cathrijn Pasteurstraat 2a
Maashofje, Juffrouw Kalvermarkt 6
Meermansburg Oude Vest 159
Michelshofje, Jean Pieterskerkstraat 10
Mierennesthofje Hooglandse Kerkgracht 38
Namenhofje, Barend van Hoefstraat 12
Pesijnhofje, Jean Kloksteeg 21
Pieters- of van der Speckhofje, St Pieterskerkhof 42
Salvatorhofje, St Steenstraat 17
Schachtenhofje Middelstegracht 27
Sionshofje Sionssteeg 4
Sionshofje, Klein Lange Schoolsteeg 3-5
Stevenshofje of Convent van Tetterode, St Haarlemmerstraat 50
Tevelingshofje 4e Binnenvestgracht 7
Info coming from: http://www.hollebeek.nl/leiden/ldnhof.html
Windmill De Valk, Leiden
Favorite thing: In the 17th century there were 19 windmills on the city walls of Leiden. Today only De Valk is still standing. (not counting the replica of de Put) The present mill is the third mill called De Valk. In 1611, the first windmill De Valck was built upon the Valkenburger bulwark in 1667 a wooden tower replaced it. In 1743, the city council granted permission for the construction of a tower mill made of stone.
Today it hosts the windmill museum. All information in the mill museum is in German, English and French as well as in Dutch. The mill is operational as often as possible and also grinds regularly.
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sundays and public holidays 1 pm - 5 pm
Website: home.wanadoo.nl/molenmuseum/, also in english
Within the city limits of Leiden you can find nine windmills:
Molen de Put (more in the things to do tips)
Molen de Heesterboom, sawmill
Molen de Valk , museum
Molen de Herder, sawmill
Kikkermolen, milling water from the polder, no longer active
Stevenshofjesmolen, milling water from the polder
Roodenburgermolen, private house
Stadspoldermolen, milling water from the polder, no longer active
Maredijkmolen, milling water from the polder, no longer active
more info about this windmills:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~philip73/LeidseMolens.htm, dutch only.
The keys of Leiden, above the gate to the burcht.
Favorite thing: Everywhere in the city you will encounter keys. A nickname for Leiden is Sleutelstad (keycity).
Since 1293 the cityseal had St Peter on it. St Peter often has a key in his hand. This comes from the biblical text (Matthew 16: 19) in which Jesus gives Peter the keys to the heavens.
St Peter was patron saint of the city. And the main church was dedicated to him.
The official seal of Leiden now bears two keys.
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