“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph”
— Matt Hardy
The second largest 17th-century town centre in the Netherlands
Leiden is in our opinion, the most beautiful city in the Netherlands. It is difficult to describe it without resorting to clichés: Amsterdam in miniature; full off hidden treasures; cosmopolitan atmosphere etc etc.
Leiden is a fraction of the size of Amsterdam, and largely built in the same Flemish architectural style. Because of the economic decline from the end of the 17th until the middle of the 19th century, much of the 16th- and 17th -century city centre is still intact. It is the second largest 17th-century town centre in the Netherlands – Amsterdam’s has the honour of being the largest.
Leiden offers superb photo opportunities within relatively short walking distance: magnificent churches, a maze of pretty canals with barges and moored houseboats, 18th-century fortifications, elegant public buildings and museums, windmills and fountains.
Leiden also houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, founded in 1575, and Leiden University Medical Centre.
It boasts thirteen Nobel Prize winners, and is twinned with Oxford, the United Kingdom’s oldest university. Its buildings are scattered throughout the city and the many students from all over the world give the city a bustling, lively and international atmosphere.
Leiden also is a city with a rich cultural heritage, not only in science, but also in the arts. One of the world’s most famous painters, Rembrandt, was born and educated in Leiden.
A hundred buildings in the centre are decorated with large murals of poetry, part of a wall poem project active since 1992, and still ongoing.
Places visited on The Leiden tour
- Pieterskerk (church of St Peter, dating from 1315)
- 16th century almshouses and courtyards
- De Burcht van Leiden – the old castle guarding the junction of the Old and New Rijn.
- Hooglandsekerkgracht – Leiden’s prettiest street
- Leiden’s west gate, de Morspoort
- Galgewater and the old harbour
- The smallest house and the narrowest house
- Windmill de Valk
- Kornbrug and Visbrug historic bridges
Note: The evening itinerary will vary according to the time of year
The photography experience
Leiden offers fantastic photo opportunities away from the main tourist areas, if you know where to look for them. And we do!
The city has many fine examples of 16th-century almshouses arranged around secret courtyards. There is also an old town centred round the church of St Peter, peaceful and seldom visited so people are not constantly walking in front of your camera!.
All tours start and end Leiden Central Station (Centraal Station). There are direct rail services to Leiden from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
This session is not only limited to couples naturally, but also suitable for families or group of friends, for a special occasion or just for fun!