All the thematic walks mentioned are available after consulting the coordinator.
The group size is limited to 12 participants. In cases of larger groups more tour guides will be made available.
A General Leiden Tour and its Almshouses
Leiden originated along the borders of the river Rhine where the Fortress was situated and the counts had settled.
Walking along the numerous Leiden canals and almshouse courts the guide sketches a portrait of times bygone when commerce and the cloth industry thrived, the Dutch painters flourished and the university was founded.
The Rich and Poor Walk
Barely 50 years ago the ‘ Pancras’ area of town seemed hopelessly dilapidated and ready to be demolished. Miraculously however, this part of town has been revived and given a whole new life. From the Hooglandse kerk (church) till the tinning factory of Tieleman and Dros and from the Saint Anna’s Almshouses to the Zwartehandspoort (Blackhands’ Gate) the guide will show you Leiden’s other façade that also existed in the 17th century and he/she will explain the social consequences of its industrialization in the turbulent 19th century which this quarter of town has witnessed.
The Boerhaave Walk Through The Old Town
Boerhaave was the most distinguished and learned medical doctor of his time. Even today we are still indebted to him for a great deal of knowledge that this famous academic passed on. His whole life Boerhaave was connected to Leiden University and many buildings in town are related to his former activities.
This walk follows in Boerhaave’s footsteps, recounting what he did and whom he met in his life time.
The Academy Walk
This tour reflects the intimate relationship that Leiden has always had with its University. The guide takes you to the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory where in the world of Physics and Chemistry history was written. This building is situated where the Gunpowder ship exploded in 1807.The walk continues past the Academy building and the Botanical gardens and you will also visit some almshouse courts. This tour’s starting point is decided together with the coordinator
Former Filled-in Canals
Of old, Leiden has had an abundance of water. Nevertheless quite a substantial part of these water-ways have been filled-in making way for roads because of the increase in traffic during the ages.
This tour gives you an impression of how more and more water vanished from Leiden.
The Jugendstil Walk
Around 1890 an art style evolved in a number of European towns which was foremost a reaction to the neo-styles of the 19th century.
Inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain this new art form influenced different artists in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands to form the Jugendstil movement while its reverberations in France and Belgium lead to the more fluid Art Nouveau style there. Its experimental and typical architecture introduced the available new materials and techniques such as the iron skeleton construction using large glass surfaces for shop windows for the first time.
This Jugendstil tour offers you a varied impression of the remnants of that ‘new art’ form in our town of Leiden
The Pilgrim Fathers City-tour
2020 was the year in which we commemorated that the Pilgrim Fathers, as they are called today, left Leiden for America. They are considered to be the founding fathers of the USA : so certainly a good reason to make this tour!
The starting point of the walk is decided together with the coordinator. The guide will then take you along the still visible traces of the Pilgrims as they had been persecuted in England and fled to Leiden in 1609 where they lived and worked in the centre of this 17th Century town for a period of eleven years.
The Rembrandt Walk
This tour leads you through Rembrandt’s Leiden life.
The Guide starts at the Stadstimmerwerf (The old construction Wharf) and together you walk past the artist’s place of birth as well as other noteworthy spots showing you what influenced Rembrandt’s early life before he definitely settled as a painter in Amsterdam. The walk ends in the centre of town where we can still see the house where this famous Dutch artist had his first painting lessons.
The Moats Walk
Today It is possible to walk all around the Leiden inner city along the former defensive moats of the 17th Century . During the ages these borders have been levelled and adapted so that today parks, cemetries and the Hortus Botannicus have developed there. Originating as a public initiative the town council gradually embraced the idea of a round- about walk adding new bridges and greenery over the past few years. Specific jocular icons show you the way and even modern statues embellish the route now. As their central theme the statues have ‘limitation and boundaries’, a recurring motif that can also apply to Leiden as a town of immigrants throughout the ages .
The Gilde guides will focus predominantly on the cultural and historical sites and stories along the way.
Tour Through Alleys
Leiden has an impressive number of alley ways of which some 86 have withstood the wear and tear of time. Wondering through some of them the guide can explain their often surprising names. Although a lot of the names are Dutch, their historical background is fascinating and explains a lot of this part of the town’s social history.
Starting point and ending: at the square near the Burcht (fortress).
For details and possibilities please contact our coordinator via the telephone nr: 00316.122.09.120 (available on workdays between 9am and 5pm)
or please fill out the form.