A Culture of Bikes
Anatomy of an Alley
City Scenes 1
City Scenes 2
Leidenaars at Play
A Kid's Life
In the Classroom
Order the Film
City Scenes 2
Leiden is nicknamed “The City of Keys” (Sleutelstad). Red, crossed keys on a white background are the coat of arms of the city and represent St. Peter’s keys to heaven. How many keys can you find in the film?
This is the Haarlemmerstraat, a primary commercial street that runs the length of Leiden. It’s essentially a long mall, but also a public space. The character of this street changes throughout the day. Early morning it is a primary bicycle commuting route. Then delivery vans come and drop wares off at the shops. As the day progresses, the street fills with pedestrian shoppers. Throughout all hours of day and night, this street remains open to the public.
With so many windows and canals, reflections abound in Leiden. This adds an extra layer of visual interest to the city.
Some houses have their fronts protected by iron railings designed to be hostile to sitting.
Bollards (the small iron posts) are used widely throughout Leiden. They define and protect pedestrian spaces from automobiles.
Must you own a boat to enjoy the canals? No. This shop rents both motor and rowboats to all.
The Oude Rijn (Old Rhine River). Rembrandt was born on the right bank of this stretch of river, while his studio was on the left. When he signed his paintings “Rembrandt van Rijn” this was the place he was referring to.
By keeping the city compact and defined, farmlands can be very close to the town. The south side of Leiden is mainly farm animals. In the distance you can see a group of road cyclists heading our way.
To the north of Leiden are tulip fields. After a long, dark gray winter, the tulip bloom is truly amazing.
The clouds come in low and fast off the North Sea, so rain can come quickly and unexpectedly in Leiden, barely time to duck under an awning to wait it out.
Market day happens Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. Early morning is the favorite time for folks on powered scooters to do their shopping.