For friends visiting Leiden on the occasion of my 90th birthday I made a list of places to visit: Intimate treasures, with a basic map. Someone, Thomas Erdbrink, suggested it might be interesting for a wider circle and to put it on my website.
Here it is.
A. Climb the Burcht,12th century citadel (1) to look over the city from ramparts.
B. Roman Limes (2) along the Rhine, (the Rhine was a frontier of the Roman Empire; Breestraat, “broad way”, a Roman road) is a guiding theme at the National Museum of Antiquities (3) on the Rapenburg).
C. Siebold Memorial Garden in Hortus Botanicus (4); original trees from von Siebold (circa 1830)
Also, reconstruction of original (1587) Clusius garden.
D. Drinks outside at sunset beside canal at Zijlpoort (5), looking at moat and original ramparts. (Alternatively near Doelen Gate, terrace of Tabú (6)).
E. Statue of Rembrandt by Balkenhol (7) at the place where the painter was born near windmill at the Morspoort.
F. Foodmarket (8) on Saturday and Wednesday with Harteveldt fish, de Mooy’s flowers, Hollands Kaascentrum, Turkish food at Meltem, nuts of Bas en Bastiaan, and fruits and vegetables everywhere.
G. Old-fashioned crafts at Doezastraat (9) (shopping street): traditional butcher, Frisian bakery, good flower shop, pharmacy of Mr. Bik.
H. Centuries-old coffee and tea shop Het Klaverblad (10) for good Chinese and Indian teas and South American coffee.
I. Mosselpannetje at Cronesteyn (11) along the Vliet in summer.
J. Showroom of Lighting Design (12) by David van den Nieuwenborg at Levendaal (can be bought around the corner at his studio).
K. Klare Lijn with a diversity of modern design in two shops, a large (13) and a smaller
L. Jacobs’ (14) freshly baked and handmade pastries/biscuits/chocolates at the Nieuwe Rijn
M. Lorentz House (15) and Garden (national monument) between Middelweg and Hooigracht. Middelweg links both branches of the Rhine across the island of het Hoge Land. Poem of Bashō (calligraphy by Owen Tjon Sie Fat)in garden where Einstein and Lorentz worked.
N. Across the road opposite the House of Lorentz starts the Groene Steeg (16), with on its corner the Lorentz Formula, and half way on the right is commemorated the birth place of Marinus van der Lubbe, the communist who set fire to the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933 and was beheaded under Hitler. The Green Alley ends at a cemetery where lies buried the mother of Vincent van Gogh.
O. poem Le Bonheur de ce Monde by Plantin (17) painted on the wall at the corner of Kaasmarkt and Hooigracht as part of a 100 poems on walls in Leiden. Inaugurated at the occasion of Adriaan’s retirement as director of the Planning Office.
P. Free entry on weekends to the Hooglandse Kerk (18) with interesting tombstones and memorials.
Q. Opposite the Hooglandse Kerk, Ron and Thea’s antiques shop Anterieur (19) on Saturday morning (walk through the shop into Aladdin’s cave). Also open on demand.
R. Almshouse St. Anna Aalmoeshuis (20) (1492) with only surviving Roman Catholic chapel.
S. Pilgrim’s Hofje near Pieterskerk (21) where the early Protestant English colonists to America of the Mayflower lived and on Breestraat the Eglise Wallon (22) of the Huguenot refugees.
T. Nude Beach at Vlietland in summer.
U. Art Deco former police station (23) (behind Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory, where Lorentz, Einstein, Ehrenfest etc. taught). At police station, notice the granite suitcases commemorating victims of the Holocaust (like the Stolpersteine in Breestraat)
V. Second-hand bookshop Klikspaan (24) of Aad van Maanen near Hooglandse kerk. At Saturday morning, participates with book market. Does research for you.
W. Nice walk along Het Plantsoen (25), peaceful 19th century park. Has been incorporated into a circular green walk around the old city of Leiden, the Singelpark (26) (merits the walk but will cost several hours or more).
X. Fine drinking water from the tap. The water from the dunes is pure in taste and in the icebox you will find it cooled.
Y. Thai food in cozy cosmopolitan restaurant Siri Thai (27) in the Doezastraat.
Z. The Anatomical Theatre in science museum Boerhaave. (28)