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JUNE 2013 / VOLUME 1


Leiden, Netherlands


THIS ISSUE History / 4 Dutch Culture / 8

Museums / # Windmill Tours / # Famous Sites / # Walking Tour / # Playgrounds and Parks / # Wall Poems / # Nearby Cities / #

Local Classics / # Kid-Friendly Restaurants / # Translating Dutch food / # Navigating Markets / #


Introduction to Leiden HISTORY

Situated at what was traditionally an important junction where waterways and roads cross stands a city that will enchant you: Leiden. The city is famous for its almshouses, university, museums and glorious history. The spirit of the Golden Age lives on here, a place where Rembrandt was born and inspired so many other influential painters. But even after this era Leiden continued to attract scientists, artists and industry. The canals, the historical buildings, the alleyways, the treasuries of knowledge, culture and science: Leiden is definitely worth your while.


By the end of the 15th century, Leiden was the largest city in the county of Holland. This was largely due to the international cloth-making industry. However, the economic tide began to turn with the advent of the 16th century. The reformation led to mass prosecution of Protestants. In 1572, Leiden joined the Dutch resistance against Spain’s oppression. The city was occupied by the Spanish. The people of Leiden succumbed to disease and starvation and the Spanish were close to conquering the city. However, the citizens of Leiden successfully drove the troops out

on October 3rd, 1574. The great relief of the city, known as Leidens Ontzet or the Relief of Leyden, is still lavishly celebrated today. The extensive celebration is not the only result of the Spanish occupation; the city was allegedly given the university as a reward for its heroic resistance. The Relief marked the beginning of a new Golden Age. In 1577 tens of thousands of Dutch people from the south flocked to Leiden on account of their Calvinist faith. They were experienced textile workers and business people who helped revive the failing wool industry in Leiden with new products, techniques, capital and labour. Leiden was the second largest city in the Republic after Amsterdam. The population of Leiden

quadrupled despite major plague epidemics. The city was expanded in 1611, 1644 and again in 1659 and the network of canals was laid out in its current incarnation. At the height of the boom around 1670, the city was densely populated by some 60,000 people.


In 1575, Leiden had the distinction of becoming the first city in the northern Netherlands to have a university. Legend has it that the university served as a reward for the heroic resistance against the Spanish occupation. Leiden University became one of the leading universities in Europe and the tremendous degree of freedom of conscience stimulated the school’s growth.


Leiden’s wool industry had begun a steady decline in the 18th century: jobs dried up and people moved elsewhere. The downturn caused by the failing wool industry led to unrest. The ongoing war waged by Napoleon only aggravated the situation. The final straw came when Leiden was struck by catastrophic disaster. A ship carrying gunpowder exploded on January 12th 1807, destroying dozens of houses and killing at least 160 people.


From 1815, the city began to show signs of recovery. Leiden’s industry began to diversify in the second half of the century with emerging new sectors such as metal, printing and canning.

The beautiful retail buildings in the city offer unequivocal proof that prosperity started picking up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

and other high tech companies in the Leeuwenhoek deserve special mention. Today, Leiden has a low unemployment rate and one of the most highly educated populations in the NetherMETAMORPHOSIS lands. Leiden underwent a dramatic Nowadays, the restored histransformation during the last 30 toric city centre is an especially years of the 20th century. In the pleasant place to live. With all 1960s, Leiden was a rundown of its monuments, museums, industrial city with the university ancient alleyways, canals and as its main claim to fame. By the moats, Leiden also continues to early 1980s the industries had attract an increasing number of disappeared, and unemploytourists and day visitors who apment was rampant. However, the preciate the city’s charms. city managed to bounce back by tapping into new sectors. Aritcle by Expact Centre Leiden The Leiden Bio Science Park

DID YOU KNOW? The Pilgrims lived in Leiden for 11 years before moving to America.



HORTUS BOTANICUS The Hortus houses more than 4,000 different species of plants, which is about 1% of all plant species growing on Earth. The plants grow in the Hortus as they occur in nature. Frequently, they are cultivated from seeds that were collected in the field, and thus definitely belong to the pure natural form of the species. By cultivating and propagating these plants, the Hortus is contributing to the conservation of the species and acts as a gene bank. The Hortus gathers information on each plant,

such as its Dutch name, scientific name, natural distribution, and the location where it was found, and stores it in a database. Each plant is given a unique number, the ‘accession number’, which can be used to search for information in the database. Visitors to the Hortus will find a sign next to each plant with the scientific name of the plant and its accession number. The natural distribution of the plant, and in some cases details about its growth habit, flowering, ecology, or use by man, are also included on the signs.

The common thread running through all the permanent exhibitions is the story of the Earth and life on Earth: System Earth. Our exhibitions show the diversity of nature and how it is continuously changing. You can find out about

geological processes that are shaping and have shaped the Earth, how species have adapted to the changing Earth and how animals and plants survive their daily struggle for life. The story of Naturalis

Biodiversity Center is the story of our planet: what is its history? What hascaused this huge diversity? The exhibition also shows the diversity of species, past and present, over billions of years of the Earth’s history.




While studying abroad in Leiden, the Netherlands, the culminating project was to design a travel magazine. I developed "Kiddo," a magazine f...