Leiden is one of the most famous cities in the Netherlands, partly due to its university, which is by far the oldest in the country (University of Leiden),
partly due to its outstanding position in the country around the beginning of the development of modern Netherlands, partly as the birth city of the most notable Dutch painter, Rembrandt van Rijn
The city, originally built at the meeting of the Old Rhein and the New Rhein near the see, is today not among the largest ones in the country, but, with its numerous canals and the original river branches, it inevitably reminds one of Amsterdam on a smaller scale and a very pleasant atmosphere:
No wonder one can see, besides hordes of cyclers in the streets, a lot of rowing parties on the waters of the city.
Hortus Botanicus, established in 1590, is the oldest botanical garden still in existence in the Netherlands.
The largest church in town, Hooglandse Kerk, formely called Sint Pancraskerk, almost became a cathedral in the 16th century. The size would make it understandable.
but we can’t really see the full size from anywhere. However, it is interesting inside due to two objects: an ancient clock worked through huge ropes working on enormous cogwheels by weights on the wall
and the “English Organ”, one built in England but taken to pieces and still being built in this church
Back to the “streets” …
As in Amsterdam, restaurants and cafes are sometimes crammed full of people even during the day
just as “rondvarten” are popular
Interestingly enough, the neighbourhood of the railways station is highly reminiscent of the same area in the Hague
Apart from this, however I look at it, it is an interesting and beautiful city with an old atmosphere worth visiting just outside of Amsterdam.