Place of interest in Leiden
Leiden is not a city short of museums. There is a museum for everyone in this city, whether you are interested in science, art, or even plants! Leiden’s most prominent museum is Museum De Lakenhal, which is home to works by Rembrandt. It has been closed since 2016 due to major renovations but is reopening this year in 2019, so check online to make sure it has officially reopened before you go! Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is a top museum in Leiden, which houses the Rijksmuseum’s collection of Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and Egyptian artifacts. It is home to the reconstructed Temple of Taffeh, mummy cases and ancient Near East treasures. Definitely a fascinating museum to check out! Leiden is also home to the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum. It is said that Leiden is where some of the first Pilgrims who traveled to Massachusetts and New Amsterdam (New York) came from. The museum building is a restored one-room house that was occupied by the soon-to-be Pilgrims around 1610. This museum is an interesting cross section of Dutch and American history. Another top choice museum in Leiden is Museum Volkenkunde. This museum is home to more than 300,000 artifacts from across the globe with galleries dedicated to almost every world part: Africa, Asia, Central, South, and North America, the Arctic, and Oceania. It also holds impressive temporary exhibitions. Leiden is home to another Rijksmuseum called Rijksmusem Boerhaave, which is a science and medicine museum. It shows major scientific discoveries from the Netherlands and has a hands-on interaction exhibit. The museum I am most interested in is Hortus Botanicus Leiden. This is one of Europe’s oldest botanical gardens, founded by the University of Leiden in 1590. Most of its collection has come from Southeast and East Asia, making it a great place for research, education, and public enjoyment. This is a great place to relax in the beauty and tranquility of nature after walking through the city all day!
There are two main churches in Leiden, Hooglandse Kerk and Pieterskerk. Hooglandse Kerk was declared sacred in 1366 as the collegiate church of St Pancras. It is built on the Hoge Land, or High Land, of Leiden and was not completed until 1842. It has an enormous vaulted ceiling and its transept is 65 meters long. If you would like to attend a service there, they are held every Sunday at 10am and 11:45 am. The second church is Pieterskerk, noticeable by its large steeple. It was built in 1121 and has been under constant construction ever since! A notable fact about this church is that Rembrandt attended Latin School at this precinct from 1616-1620.