Leiden

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Leiden

or

Leyden

(both: lī`dən), city (1994 pop. 114,892), South Holland prov., W Netherlands, on the Old Rhine (Oude Rijn) River. Manufactures include medical equipment, machinery, graphic arts, and food products. The famous State Univ. of Leiden is there (founded 1575), the oldest in the Netherlands. It was a center for the study of Protestant theology, classical and oriental languages, science, and medicine in the 17th and 18th cent. The university is particularly noted for its departments of Asian studies, physics, and astronomy, as well as its botanical garden (founded 1590); the Leyden jarLeyden jar
, form of capacitor invented at the Univ. of Leiden in the 18th cent. It consists of a narrow-necked glass jar coated over part of its inner and outer surfaces with conductive metal foil; a conducting rod or wire passes through an insulating stopper in the neck of the
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 was invented there. The city dates from Roman times, and Leiden has had an important textile industry since the 16th cent., when an influx of weavers came from YpresYpres
, Du. Ieper, commune (1991 pop. 35,235), West Flanders prov., SW Belgium, near the French border. It is an agricultural market and an industrial center. Manufactures include textiles, textile-making machinery, and processed food.
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. The city took a prominent part in the revolt (late 16th cent.) of the Netherlands against Spanish rule. Besieged and reduced to starvation in 1574, it was saved from surrender when William the Silent ordered the flooding of the surrounding land by cutting the dikes, thus enabling the fleet of the Beggars of the Sea (see GueuxGueux
[Fr.,=beggars], 16th-century Dutch revolutionary party. In 1566 more than 2,000 Dutch and Flemish nobles and burghers (both Protestants and Roman Catholics) signed a document—the so-called Compromise of Breda—by which they bound themselves in solemn oath to
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) to sail to its relief across the countryside. Leiden became famous as a center of printing after the Elzevir family established (1580) its press. The city was the home of many of the Pilgrims for about 10 years before they embarked (1620) for America. Leiden was the birthplace of the Anabaptist leader John of Leiden and of the painters Jan van Goyen, Jan Steen, Lucas van Leyden, and Rembrandt. The city has a 10th-century fortress; two old churches, the Pieterskerk (14th cent.) and the Hooglandsche Kerk (15th cent.); several museums; and many 17th-century houses.

Leiden

 

(also Leyden), a city in the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, on an arm of the Old Rhine, near its confluence with the North Sea. Population, 100,100 (1971). Leiden has enterprises for the production of textiles and garments; there are also metalworking, electrical-engineering, chemical, and shipbuilding industries. The city is a major cultural and scientific center. It is the site of the University of Leiden and several museums, including the Rembrandt House (where the artist was born) and a museum of natural sciences.

Leiden was first mentioned in the ninth century. From 1090 to 1420 it was the residence of the feudal lord. In the 14th century the city became a center of weaving guilds; in the 16th and 17th centuries, of manufactories producing woolen articles. During the Bourgeois Revolution of the 16th Century in the Netherlands, Leiden was one of the centers of the revolution. Despite hunger and privation, its people endured a protracted siege by Spanish troops (from the end of October 1573 to early October 1574, with an interruption).

Leiden’s historical center is at the junction of the Old (Aude) and New (Nive) Rhines, where the Gothic St. Pieter’s Church (14th-16th centuries) and former Gravensteen Prison (13th-17th centuries) were built. To the south and east is a system of canals. There are numerous 16th- and 17th-century buildings; including the mannerist town hall (1595–97, architect L. de Key), the classicist cloth hall (now the Lakenhal State Museum, 1639–40, architect A. van’s Gravesande), and the weighhouse (1657, architect P. Post). In the mid-20th century, residential sections, a railroad station (1952), a bus station (1956), and other structures were built in Leiden.

REFERENCE

Oerie, H. van. Oud Leiden. Amsterdam, 1950.

Leiden

, Leyden
a city in the W Netherlands, in South Holland province: residence of the Pilgrim Fathers for 11 years before they sailed for America in 1620; university (1575). Pop.: 118 000 (2003 est.)
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