2_DiscoverBenelux_Issue21_Sep_2015_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 28/08/2015 20:45 Page 12
Discover Benelux | City Feature | Leiden
The Young Rembrandt at Weddesteeg Rembrandtplein reminds you of this history. To learn more about the city of Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal, founded in 1874, is the place to go. Displays of new visual arts, fine art and exhibitions on the history of Leiden come together in a fantastic collection. Highlights include paintings by old masters such as Lucas van Leyden, Jan Steen and of course Rembrandt, but also shows the work of contemporary artists Theo van Doesburg, Jan Wolkers and Erwin Olaf.
Visions on globalisation Apart from its permanent museums, Leiden is full of other cultural gems. Hosted in the flourmill or ‘Meelfabriek’, a tall, striking industrial structure found by the canal, is the Global Imaginations exhibition. Open until early October, the art display is presented by the Museum De Lakenhal. This will be the last event held at this spectacular location before it will be renovated into penthouses and student accommodation. Global Imaginations gives a new lease of life to the factory that was built in 1884.
The exhibition consists of 30 works by 20 leading contemporary artists from all over the world. Each of them have created installations, video projections, sculptures or other artwork that reflects their vision on today’s globalised world. From American artist collective Ghana Think Tank who ask critical questions about the internationally renowned Dutch tolerance, to artists like Lucy and Jorge Orta, who draw attention to the world’s worrying lack of clean water by purifying water from the Zijlsingel that runs past the mill. The exhibition’s diversity and the relatable issues discussed give it a broad appeal.
doors. These are included in the ‘Along Leiden's Almshouses’ walk, or you can discover them during the guided ‘City and courtyard walking tour’. During this, a guide from the Leiden Guild reveals the beautiful, quiet courtyards, many of them lined with linden trees. With its beautiful canals, 17th century architecture and rich history, Leiden sports many of Amsterdam’s charming characteristics but has a more relaxed and refined atmosphere. Leiden’s compact centre and wealth of cultural activities make this a perfect day trip destination that also avoids the hordes of tourists in the capital.
Leiden by foot The inner city is easy to explore alone on foot but there are also various walking tours available that immerse visitors in specific histories. Self-guided walks include ‘In the footsteps of the young Rembrandt’, the historical ‘The Leiden Loop’ and a mural poetry walk which passes a selection of Leiden’s 101 public wall poems. Also worth a visit are the city’s hidden courtyards, whose entrances are often concealed by heavy
Discover Leiden - Normally not open to the public, you can visit the Academy Building of Leiden University on 12 and 13 September during Open Monument Day. - The Hortus Botanicus Leiden is open daily from 10am to 6pm (until 31 October). - Museum de Lakenhal is open 10am to 5pm during weekdays and 12am to 5pm on the weekends (closed on Mondays). Do note that the museum will be closing at the start of 2016 for a grand renovation. - Visit the Global Imaginations exhibition in De Meelfabriek from 12pm to 6pm daily (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, until 4 October). - The Leiden walking tours, both selfguided and with Guild guide, are available to book via the Leiden Visitor Centre. - On Wednesdays and Saturdays the quays of Botermarkt, Vismarkt, Aalmarkt and New Rhine offer an extensive produce market where you can taste local specialties including the traditional Dutch sugar bread or mature cheese with cumin. - The keen shopper should head to the Haarlemmerstraat, which is one kilometre of high-street shops and boutiques in the centre.
12 | Issue 21 | September 2015
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.