Historical center of Leiden
In the footsteps of young Rembrandt.
Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden in 1606. He lived in this city during the first 25 years of his life. He went to school in Leiden and it was here that he decided to become a painter. He enjoyed his first apprentice years in Leiden before he left for Amsterdam. After he had finished his apprenticeship he returned to Leiden to set up as an independent painter. He painted several of his masterpieces in his Leiden studio.
The walking route takes you past all authentic Rembrandt locations in the historical center of Leiden. Information signs in English and Dutch are erected along the route. They give you an impression of Leiden as it was during Holland's Golden Age, the 17th century. One of the highlights of the walk is Weddesteegplein. This picturesque square will be redeveloped especially for the Rembrandt Year. Rembrandt’s famous chiaroscuro technique will be a main feature in the design of the renovated square.
Another highlight along the walking route is the Latin School. Rembrandt attended this school, designed by architect Lieven de Key. When you look through the windows you will imagine yourself in the world of a schoolboy in the early 17th century. Just a few steps will take you on to William van Swanenburgh’s studio in which the young Rembrandt spent many an hour.
Rembrandt is without a doubt the most famous artist Amsterdam has produced in the course of the centuries. His name is inextricably linked with Holland’s ‘Golden Age’. In the 17th century Amsterdam quickly developed into the richest city in the world and it attracted numerous artists. The Amsterdam of Rembrandt has been preserved surprisingly well. The Rembrandt walking route acquaints visitors with the many places which played an important role in Rembrandt’s life. These include the Oude Kerk (Old Church), the Waag (Weighing House), the Palace on Dam Square – the then town hall - , the Westerkerk and, of course, the Rembrandt house, where he lived and worked for well over twenty years.
1oo guilder print
leiden tourist info
Leiden's most famous son is the painter Rembrandt Harmernszoon van Rijn. He was born on the 15th of July 1606 in a pharmacy in the street called "Weddesteeg". From 1614 to 1620 he attended the Latin School at the back side of the "Gravensteen" in Leiden. In 1623 he started to work as an apprentice in the work shop of the Amsterdam painter Pieter Lastman (1583-1633). Rembrandt is not the only famous painter from Leiden. All the painter from the 15th until the 17th century are grouped into was is called the "Leiden School". Lucas van Leyden lived in the city from 1489 until his death in 1533. Jan Steen (1626-1679), who spent most of his life in Leiden, is seen as one of the most humorist painters in The Netherlands. The Dutch expression "It looks like one of the paintings of Jan Steen" is used to describe a funnily chaotic situation.