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Place Leiden

Leiden is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. The municipality of Leiden has a population of 119,713, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with 206,647 inhabitants. The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics further includes Katwijk in the agglomeration which makes the total population of the Leiden urban agglomeration 270,879, and in the larger Leiden urban area also Teylingen, Noordwijk, and Noordwijkerhout are included with in total 348,868 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Oude Rijn, at a distance of some 20 km from The Hague to its south and some 40 km from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes lies just to the northeast of Leiden.
A university city since 1575, Leiden has been one of Europe’s most prominent scientific centres for more than four centuries. Leiden is a typical university city, university buildings are scattered throughout the city and the many students from all over the world give the city a bustling, vivid and international atmosphere. Many important scientific discoveries have been made here, giving rise to Leiden’s motto: ‘City of Discoveries’. The city houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, and Leiden University Medical Center. Leiden University is one of Europe’s top universities, with thirteen Nobel Prize winners.

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Atlas Obscura 2016
0.54km
Masonic Temple Loge La Vertu

Discover Masonic Temple Loge La Vertu in Leiden, Netherlands: One of the oldest masonic temples in the Netherlands, built in 1757.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.72km
Gravensteen’s Whipping Pole

Discover Gravensteen's Whipping Pole in Leiden, Netherlands: A relic of the old jail still stands in its original location.

Atlas Obscura 2015
1.14km
Gebouw Leidsch Dagblad Elephant Drainpipe

Discover Gebouw Leidsch Dagblad Elephant Drainpipe in Leiden, Netherlands: This historic Dutch newspaper building is covered with media-themed details—and one unrelated oddity.

Audio Guide
0.47km
Audio Guide
Human Rights Art Route Amnesty Leiden
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Atlas Obscura 2015
0.46km
The Hidden Eschers of Leiden

Discover The Hidden Eschers of Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands: Tucked away in the Leiden city hall are a group of works by famed artist MC Escher.

Atlas Obscura 2020
0.38km
De Leidse Zeemijn (Leiden’s Naval Mine)

Discover De Leidse Zeemijn (Leiden's Naval Mine) in Leiden, Netherlands: The remnants of a WWI naval mine that once terrorized the country now decorates a street.

Atlas Obscura 2016
3.16km
Corpus Museum

Discover Corpus Museum in Oegstgeest, Netherlands: The world's first interactive human body museum also serves as a chair for a giant orange man.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.97km
Victoria Amazonica

Discover Victoria Amazonica in Leiden, Netherlands: People have been placing babies on these lilies for photoshoots since the Victorian era.

Audio Guide
0.67km
Audio Guide
OWL citywalk 2019
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Atlas Obscura 2012
0.45km
Greccio Museum of Devotional Items

Discover Greccio Museum of Devotional Items in Leiden, Netherlands: This small museum collects the Christian remembrances which would otherwise be forgotten.

Atlas Obscura 2016
0.87km
Zweetkamertje (Sweat Room)

Discover Zweetkamertje (Sweat Room) in Leiden, Netherlands: Graffiti covers the walls of a room where university students through the centuries have waited nervously to defend their theses.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.03km
Bakkerssteeg Street Sign

Discover Bakkerssteeg Street Sign in Leiden, Netherlands: This century-old street sign is a forgotten remnant of the old city.

Atlas Obscura 2020
1.06km
Einstein’s Chair

Discover Einstein's Chair in Leiden, Netherlands: Albert Einstein would often sit in this chair during visits to the observatory to discuss science with Willem de Sitter.

Atlas Obscura 2013
0.19km
The Wall Poems of Leiden

Discover The Wall Poems of Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands: The works of poetry's biggest names grace the walls of the city of Leiden, all carefully painted by hand.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.33km
Burcht van Leiden

Discover Burcht van Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands: This 11th-century castle sits so low you can't see it behind the surrounding buildings.

Atlas Obscura 2015
0.68km
Leiden Gunpowder Disaster Memorial

Discover Leiden Gunpowder Disaster Memorial in Leiden, Netherlands: A massive explosion that leveled hundreds of buildings in the city of Leiden is remembered by a waterside plaque.

Atlas Obscura 2020
1.32km
Ehrenfesthuis (Ehrenfest House)

Discover Ehrenfesthuis (Ehrenfest House) in Leiden, Netherlands: The house of physicists Paul Ehrenfest was also a temporary dwelling and study for his good friend Albert Einstein.

Atlas Obscura 2015
0.49km
The Old Leiden Belltower

Discover The Old Leiden Belltower in Leiden, Netherlands: The remains of a medieval wall discovered in the basement of a jewelry store.

Brutalism
0.61km
Societeit Minerva
Atlas Obscura 2015
2.8km
Einstein’s Sink

Discover Einstein's Sink in Leiden, Netherlands: A lecture hall sink once used by Einstein and other noted physicists is now regarded as a strange science relic.

Atlas Obscura 2017
0.58km
Where Science Meets Wall Art

In a Dutch university city, a series of images shows the artistic beauty of famous equations.

Audio Guide
0.46km
Audio Guide
WW2: Resistance in Leiden
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Atlas Obscura 2019
0.65km
Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory Plaque

Discover Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory Plaque in Leiden, Netherlands: A plaque hidden in the law faculty at Leiden University honors the first scientist to make liquid helium.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.5km
Rijnlandse Roede (The Rhenish Rod)

Discover Rijnlandse Roede (The Rhenish Rod) in Leiden, Netherlands: An unassuming rod in the Netherlands was once the old standard unit of length for the entire Dutch empire.

Atlas Obscura 2022
1.69km
De stal van Stier Herman

Discover De stal van Stier Herman in Leiden, Netherlands: The world's first transgenic bovine has been preserved at the museum where he spent his final years—though his old stable is now a cafe.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.83km
An Ancient Roman Fort, Hidden Beneath a Children’s Playground

Digging within the archaeological park is prohibited until archaeological technology improves.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.07km
‘Bagage’

Discover 'Bagage' in Leiden, Netherlands: A striking memorial to the Jews of Leiden who were murdered during World War II is scattered throughout the city.

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.77km
Kabouterhuisje van Elmer (Elmer’s Gnome House)

Discover Kabouterhuisje van Elmer (Elmer's Gnome House) in Leiden, Netherlands: A tiny house showcases the busy life of a local gnome.

Atlas Obscura 2013
0.98km
Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Discover Hortus Botanicus Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands: A 'living museum' in Leiden, the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands.

Audio Guide
0.83km
Audio Guide
Leiden OWL 2017
en
Atlas Obscura 2015
0.51km
Leiden Stones

Discover Leiden Stones in Leiden, Netherlands: A trio of red, white, and blue stones embedded in the streets of Leiden are markers of medieval territory and law.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.41km
Hidden Basement in Smit

Discover Hidden Basement in Smit in Leiden, Netherlands: A retail shop has preserved the 17th-century food cellar from the old building it now occupies.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.27km
Leiden’s Monumental Urinal

Discover Leiden's Monumental Urinal in Leiden, Netherlands: This public toilet built in the famous Amsterdam School architectural style is a Dutch national monument.

Atlas Obscura 2020
1.44km
‘Zhdun’ (Homunculus Loxodontus)

Discover 'Zhdun' (Homunculus Loxodontus) in Leiden, Netherlands: This Dutch art piece became a Russian icon.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.42km
Leiden’s Floating Christmas Market

Discover Leiden's Floating Christmas Market in Leiden, Netherlands: A market built atop boats is one of the few floating holiday markets in Europe.

Atlas Obscura 2017
0.74km
Where the Heineken Star Came From

The brewing company took a liking to a small Dutch pub's logo.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.85km
Bibliotheca Thysiana

Discover Bibliotheca Thysiana in Leiden, Netherlands: This public library and its impressive collection of academic books have not changed since the 17th century.

Atlas Obscura 2016
0.34km
Hooglandse Kerk Clock

Discover Hooglandse Kerk Clock in Leiden, Netherlands: Once housed in the towers of this Gothic church, this 17th century clock still ticks today.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.56km
Graveyard Groenesteeg

Discover Graveyard Groenesteeg in Leiden, Netherlands: This early 19th-century graveyard is the final resting place of Vincent van Gogh's mother.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.71km
Museum Depot

Discover Museum Depot in Leiden, Netherlands: Unknown to many, this is where items not displayed in a Dutch history of science museum are held.

Audio Guide
1.18km
Audio Guide
Explore Leiden!
en
Atlas Obscura 2015
1.08km
Leiden Observatory

Discover Leiden Observatory in Leiden, Netherlands: Devious political maneuvering and four ancient, working telescopes are central to the world's second-oldest observatory.

Atlas Obscura 2015
0.49km
The Old Leiden Belltower

Discover The Old Leiden Belltower in Leiden, Netherlands: The remains of a medieval wall discovered in the basement of a jewelry store.

Atlas Obscura 2018
2.82km
Van der Wall Telescope

Discover Van der Wall Telescope in Leiden, Netherlands: Once the world's biggest telescope, it was later used as a coat hanger by a famous Dutch astronomer.

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.54km
Vrouwekerk

Discover Vrouwekerk in Leiden, Netherlands: The remains of the last church of the pilgrims before they sailed west due to being 'too accepted'.

Atlas Obscura 2009
0.57km
Museum Boerhaave

Discover Museum Boerhaave in Leiden, Netherlands: A former plague hospital turned medical museum.

Atlas Obscura 2016
0.68km
Willebrord Snellius’ Grave

Discover Willebrord Snellius' Grave in Leiden, Netherlands: One of the great math minds of the 17th century is underfoot in this 900 year old Dutch church.

Atlas Obscura 2015
0.46km
The Hidden Eschers of Leiden

Discover The Hidden Eschers of Leiden in Leiden, Netherlands: Tucked away in the Leiden city hall are a group of works by famed artist MC Escher.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.5km
The Rhenish Rod

Discover The Rhenish Rod in Leiden, Netherlands: An unassuming rod in the Netherlands was once the old standard unit of length for the entire Dutch empire.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.81km
Ehrenfest’s Signature Wall

Discover Ehrenfest's Signature Wall in Leiden, Netherlands: For over 100 years the most important physicists in the world have autographed this university wall.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.8km
Temple of Taffeh

Discover Temple of Taffeh in Leiden, Netherlands: An ancient Egyptian temple sits within a modern European museum.

Atlas Obscura 2018
2.82km
Van der Wall Telescope

Discover Van der Wall Telescope in Leiden, Netherlands: Once the world's biggest telescope, it was later used as a coat hanger by a famous Dutch astronomer.