ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting Europe

Visiting Leiden, The Netherlands, and its City Hall: 17th century Renaissance-style architecture by Lieven de Key

Updated on December 6, 2011
Flag of The Netherlands
Flag of The Netherlands | Source
City Hall, Breestraat, Leiden
City Hall, Breestraat, Leiden | Source
View of Leiden City Hall, by Carel Jacobus Behr (1812-1895)
View of Leiden City Hall, by Carel Jacobus Behr (1812-1895) | Source
Map location of Leiden, South Holland, The Netherlands
Map location of Leiden, South Holland, The Netherlands | Source

An ornate frontage from the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age

This remarkable building in Leiden, The Netherlands, is noted for its ornate frontage.

Some history and features

The work of Lieven de Key (1560-1627), the fine frontage of this building, which is the City Hall (Dutch: Stadhuis ) dates from 1600, at a time when The Netherlands was entering its Golden Age. Architect de Key worked for many years for the city of Haarlem, in which city he was particularly noted for the Vleeshal building. He began work on the CIty Hall, Leiden, in the closing years of the 16th century.

I was particularly struck by the elaborate steps at the City Hall's entrance. The tower, showing eclectic influences, is a prominent landmark.

In the 17th century, Leiden was the second largest city of The Netherlands, after Amsterdam. The City Hall was thus the administrative centre for a prosperous municipality, symbolized in a measure by the opulence of the building's style. Today, the city is twinned with Oxford, England.

After a destructive fire in 1929, rebuilding of the City Hall was overseen by Architect Cornelis Blauw (1885-1947).

Close to the City Hall are the banks of the New Rhine River (Dutch: Nieuwe Rijn). As a city, Leiden seemed to me to be among the most sedate of cities: partly because it is much smaller than other 'Randstad' cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam and partly because of the presence of its venerable university.

Leiden is situated in the Dutch province of South Holland (Dutch: Zuid-Holland ). The City Hall is located in Breestraat .

Note on spelling

The standard Dutch spelling for the name of the city is 'Leiden'. In English, particularly in earlier writing, the spelling 'Leyden' was common. However, even in English, there is an increasing tendency to spell the name 'Leiden', according to the Dutch way; I have conformed to this tendency.

Also worth seeing

In Leiden itself, the University's main building is the hub of an ancient and highly respected seat of learning. The Hortus Botanicus is a venerable botanic garden, dating from the 16th century, to which Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) was a regular visitor. Leiden's castle (Dutch: Burcht van Leiden ) is Medieval. The City has historical associations with the Mayflower Pilgrims.

The Hague (Dutch: Den Haag ; distance: 18 kilometres) has many noted buildings, including the Peace Palace, the Binnenhof and the Huis ten Bosch.

...

How to get there: Airlines flying to Amsterdam Airport from New York include Delta Airlines and KLM. The Dutch railroad company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) maintains rail services from Amsterdam to Leiden . There is car rental availability at Amsterdam airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile image
      Author

      MJFenn 6 years ago

      Yes, Leiden is a remarkable and historic city. Thank-you for your comment.

    • lilalollie profile image

      lilalollie 6 years ago from The Netherlands

      Hi, interesting to read your hub about Leiden. I currently live in this city. Wonderful, and there is so much to do and see. Maybe I'll write something about Leiden too.

      Thanks for your nice hub about Leiden!

      Lilalollie

    • MJFenn profile image
      Author

      MJFenn 6 years ago

      Sottway: Yes, Leiden is an interesting city. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Sottway profile image

      Infopedia 6 years ago from Worldwide

      Interesting little hub MJFENN

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)