Burcht van Leiden


This 11th-century citadel on a motte (raised earthwork) surrendered its protective function as the city grew around it and subsequently fell into disrepair. Now a shell, it has been transformed into a park commanding views over the town's rooftops.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Leiden attractions

1. Hooglandse Kerk


Built on the Hoge Land (High Land) of Leiden, this church was consecrated in 1366 as the collegiate church of St Pancras and was extended in stages…

2. Leiden American Pilgrim Museum

0.11 MILES

This museum is a fascinating restoration of a one-room house occupied around 1610 by the soon-to-be Pilgrims. The house itself dates from 1365–70 (check…

3. Young Rembrandt Studio

0.15 MILES

Leiden's most famous son is celebrated at this 17th-century house where he learned his craft between 1606 and 1630, studying in the studio of Jacob van…

4. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

0.22 MILES

Named in honour of physician, botanist, chemist and University of Leiden teacher Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738), this impressive museum of science and…

5. Latin School

0.22 MILES

Before it became a commercial building, the gabled Latin School, built in 1600, was graced by a pupil named Rembrandt from 1616 to 1620.

6. Marekerk

0.22 MILES

The Marekerk dates to 1639 and has a beautiful octagonal wooden interior. Regular concerts and theatre performances take place here; check the agenda…

7. Pieterskerk

0.24 MILES

Crowned by its huge steeple, this now deconsecrated church is often under restoration – a good thing, as it has been prone to collapse since it was built…

8. Gravensteen

0.24 MILES

The Gravensteen dates to the 13th century and was once a prison. Judges once watched executions from the gallery facing the plaza, which was known as…