Template:Infobox Dutch municipality 4 File:Ltspkr.pngLeiden (in English also, but now rarely, Leyden) is a city and municipality in South Holland, The Netherlands. It forms one urban area with Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp and Voorschoten. It is located on the Old Rhine, close to the cities of The Hague and Haarlem.
A university town since 1575, Leiden houses:
It is true that Leiden is an old town, but its claimed connection with Roman Lugdunum Batavorum is spurious; this Roman encampment would rather be the modern city of Katwijk. Leiden's medieval name was Leithen, and it was governed until 1420 by burgraves, the representatives of the courts of Holland. It received city rights in 1266.
Leiden flourished in the 16th and 17th century. At the close of the 15th century the weaving establishments (mainly broadcloth) of Leiden were very important, and after the expulsion of the Spaniards Leiden cloth, Leiden baize and Leiden camlet were familiar terms. It played important role in the Eighty Years' War. Yearly on October 3 the end of the siege by the Spaniards in 1574 is still celebrated. Besieged from May until October, it was relieved by the cutting of the dikes, thus enabling ships to carry provisions to the inhabitants of the flooded town. As a reward for the heroic defence of the previous year, the University of Leiden was founded by William I of Orange in 1575. Tradition tells that the citizens were offered the choice between a university and a certain exemption from taxes. Leiden is also known as one of the places where some of the Pilgrim Fathers lived for a time in the early 17th century before their departure to the New World.
From the late 17th century onwards Leiden slumped, mainly because of decline of the cloth industries. In the beginning of the 19th century the baize manufacture was altogether given up, although industry remained central to Leiden economy. This decline is painted vividly by the fall in population. The population of Leiden which, it is estimated, reached 100,000 in 1640, had sunk to 30,000 between 1796 and 1811, and in 1904 was 56,044.
Rivers, canals and parks
The two branches of the Old Rhine, which enter Leiden on the east, unite in the centre of the town. The town is further intersected by numerous small and sombre canals with tree-bordered quays. On the south side of the town, the Hortus Botanicus and other gardens extend along the old Singel, or outer canal. The Van der Werff Park is named after the mayor Pieter Adriaanszoon van der Werff, who defended the town against the Spaniards in 1574. This open space 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.
Buildings of interest
At the strategically important junction of the two arms of the Old Rhine stands the old castle De Burcht, a circular tower built on an earthen mound. The mound probably was a refuge against high water before a small wooden fortress was built on top of it in the 11th century. Of Leiden's old city gates only two are left, the Zijlpoort and the Morspoort, both dating from the end of the 17th century. Apart from one small wachtower on the Singel nothing is left of the town's city walls. Another former fortification is the Gravensteen. Built as a fortress in the 13th century it has since served as house, library and prison. Presently it is one of the University's buildings.
Of the numerous churches Leiden counts the chief are the Hooglandsche Kerk, or the church of St Pancras, built in the 15th century, containing the monument of Pieter Adriaanszoon van der Werff, and the Pieterskerk (church of St Peter(1315) with monuments to Scaliger, Boerhaave and other famous scholars. From a historical perspective the Marekerk is interesting too. Arent van 's Gravesande designed the church in 1639. Other fine examples of his work in Leiden are De Lakenhal, in which the municipal museum is located, and the Bibliotheca Thysiana. The growing town needed another church and the Marekerk was the first church to be built in Leiden after the Reformation. It is an example of Dutch Classicism. In the drawings by Van 's Gravesande the pulpit is the centrepiece of the church. The pulpit is modelled after the one in the Nieuwe Kerk at Haarlem (designed by Jacob van Campen). The building was first used in 1650, and is still in use.
The town centre contains many buildings that are in use by the University of Leiden. The Academy Building is housed in a former 16th century convent. 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. F. von Siebold's Japanese collections was the nucleus. The Bibliotheca Thysiana occupies an old Renaissance building of the year 1655. It is especially rich in legal works and vernacular chronicles. 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. In recent years the university has built the Bio Science Park at the city's outskirts to accommodate the Science departments.
Some other interesting buildings are the town hall (Stadhuis), a 16th century building that was badly damaged by a fire in 1929); the Gemeenslandshuis van Rynland (1596, restored in 1878); the weigh house (Waag), built by Pieter Post ; the former court-house (Gerecht); a corn-grinding windmill, now home to a museum (Molen de Valk) (1743) the old gymnasium(Latijnse School) (1599) and the city carpenter's yard and wharf (Stadstimmerwerf) (1612), both built by Lieven de Key (c. 1560-1627). Another building of interest is the "pesthuis", which was built at that time just outside the city for curing patients suffering the bubonic plague. However, after it was built the feared disease didn't occur in the Netherlands anymore so it was never used for its original purpose.
- William II, Count of Holland, 1228-1256, King of Germany
- Herman Boerhaave, 1668 - 1738, humanist and physician (born in Voorhout).
- Gerhard Douw, 1613 - 1675, painter.
- Cornelius Engelbrechtszoon, 1468 -1533, painter.
- Jan van Goyen, 1596 - 1656, painter.
- John of Leiden, 1509? - 1536, leader of the Anabaptist Münster Rebellion.
- Lucas van Leyden, 1494 - 1533, engraver and painter.
- Marinus van der Lubbe, 1909 - 1934, accused of setting fire to the Reichstag in Berlin.
- Gabriel Metsu, 1629 - 1667, painter.
- Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606 - 1669, painter.
- Jan Steen, 1626 - 1679, painter.
- Johannes Diderik van der Waals, 1837 - 1923, scientist.
- Pieter Adriaanszoon van der Werff, 1529 - 1604, mayor of Leiden.
- The mayor is Henri Lenferink (since 2003).
- The coat of arms of Leiden is two keys, crossed in an X-shape.
- Wireless Leiden is a wireless community network, see that article.
- For a time Leiden held the title "The Coldest Place on Earth": in a laboratory, because of the developments in cryogenics that have happened there. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1913 Nobel price 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.
- The Leyden jar, a capacitor made from a glass jar, was invented here by Pieter van Musschenbroek in 1746. It was actually first invented by Ewald Georg von Kleist the year before, but the name "Leyden jar" stuck.
- Leiden is on the planned route of the RijnGouweLijn, the Netherland's first Light rail project. Within Leiden its route will be: Leiden Lammenschans - Korevaarstraat - Breestraat - stop Haarlemmerstraat - Stationsplein - Joop Walenkamptunnel - Albinusdreef (LUMC) - Sandfortdreef - Zernikedreef (Hogeschool) - (Einsteinweg) - Ehrenfestweg - (Plesmanlaan) - Transferium A44.
- There are plans for a mega movie theater and disco (see nightclub)  next to the bus station. There is also opposition, because it would damage the exploitation of other cinemas.
- Leiden has five twin towns: Juigalpa in Nicaragua, Krefeld in Germany, Oxford in the UK, Buffalo City in South Africa and Toruń in Poland
- Postal codes are in the range 2300-2334.
- The telephone area code is 071.
- Leyden High School District 212 in Franklin Park, Illinois, USA got its name from this town.
- Official site
- Leiden.NU: Cultural site + Agenda
- Municipality guide (in Dutch)
- Map showing the neighborhoods and the grouping into quarters (districts) and the town parts Noord, Midden, West and Zuid (pdf) (note that one quarter is partly in one town part, partly in another one)
- Statistics in Dutch (pdf) - with (towards the end) a map showing the neighborhoods and (a few pages further) the population figures etc. as well as the grouping into quarters
- Official Leiden portal
- City plan
- 360 degree panoramas of Leiden
- Pictures of Leiden
- Tall buildings in Leiden
- Entries for Leiden in Gazetteers: Alexandria Digital Library Getty Thesaurus Global Gazetteer Tageo World Gazetteer
Museums and libraries
- Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal Municipal Museum
- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden National Museum of Antiquities
- Naturalis National Museum of Natural History
- Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde National Museum of Ethnology
- Museum Boerhaave National Museum of the History of Science and Medicine
- Molen de Valk (site in Dutch) Museum Windmill
- Hortus Botanicus Hortus Botanicus Leiden
- Leiden American Pilgrim Museum museum dedicated to the Pilgrim Fathers
- Penningkabinet National Museum of Coins and Medals
- Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden Leiden University Library
- Siebold House
- Rail transport departure schedules (see also http:/www.ns.nl ):
- Connexxion Region West: 
- Tracks on Train station Leiden Centraal
- RijnGouweLijn Light rail project
Clockwise, with maps.
- Oegstgeest 
- Leiderdorp 
- Zoeterwoude 
- Leidschendam-Voorburg 
- Voorschoten 
- Wassenaar