Postcards from Leiden

Just back from our family holiday in Menorca, so I thought I would restart  posting with some snaps from our spring holiday in the Netherlands with Emma and Alessio.  There we managed to fit in a trip to Leiden.  It was one of the sunniest days of our holiday and we got to see Leiden at its best.  The city is well worth a visit in its own right, but we were also there to visit Helen and Simon who now live there.  Helen was just a couple of weeks away from delivering her first child and shortly after our visit she gave birth to the lovely Alexander.  But back to Leiden, which is one of the most beautiful of all Dutch cities.  It is famous for many things and pride of place perhaps goes to its wonderful network of canals, one of the most impressive in the whole of the Netherlands.  Here are some shots to give an idea of the range from the working canals to the peaceful and on to the canal as a site for restaurants.

Leiden is a very old town and has some very attractive and interesting buildings both private and public.  Here are a few, ending one of the more modern ones.

With canals you often find windmills and Leiden is no exception.  It has two very fine examples.   The first one no longer works, but the second is now a working museum and a mine of fascinating information about the history of windmills.  Alessio was just amazed at the narrow ladders which took you up, but very disappointed that he could not get up to the very, very top and get outside.  After the windmills are some photos from inside the museum.

      

As in all town and cities you can come across some strange and wonderful sights.  Leiden was no exception.  Here are three examples.

Apart from the canals, Leiden is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of the great painter, Rembrandt van Rijn and as one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands.  I end this photo essay with a snap of a statue to the great man in what is supposed to be the square where he was born, followed by one of the many old university buildings and lastly the rather ingenious promotional advert for the city.

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