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Holland Tourism: In the footsteps of Rembrandt by Leiden

Autumn is an ideal time to visit this beautiful Dutch city full of shops, cafes, floating terraces and rembrandts! Much more in the year of the anniversary of the famous painter.

'Leiden, Holland' - Image Credits: Flickr

In Leiden, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) was born, from which 350 years after his death, this year he moved between his hometown and Amsterdam, where he developed his career.

Among many other acts, the city is celebrating the event with the exhibition The Young Rembrandt, rising star, which brings together for the first time 40 paintings, 120 prints and 20 drawings around the first years of the artist's creation.

The works, which reveal his exceptional talent, now return to the city of his birth; from the early painting 'The seller of glasses', the oldest known work of the painter, belonging to the museum's own collection where it is exhibited, De Lakenhal; until the exceptional painting 'Man in oriental' costume, loan from the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

THE FOOTPRINTS OF THE ARTIST

A route through the city runs through the emblematic sites of Rembrandt's youth, such as where his birthplace was on Weddesteeg Street, with a memorial plaque that reminds him and a sculptural ensemble that honors the painter made by the German artist Stephan Balkenhol Across the street we see the replica of an old mill, De Put, which refers us to the origin of Rembrandt himself, son and grandson of millers.

The environment has something nostalgic, if only for the private garden, exquisitely decorated, of an old house by the river, which is a peaceful arm of the Rhine.

In the same area, there is the Stadstimmerwerf building, which dates back to 1612, and was the home-workshop of a rich carpenter. Its brick facade, white and red, had to be a daily vision for the adolescent Rembrandt because he lived opposite.

The tour of the places that the artist had stepped on takes us to the studio where he learned to paint, to draw, and also the technique of engraving.

It was located in a small 17th-century house located in Langebrug, 89 and is now a small information
and souvenir sales center - The Young Rembrandt Studio -, where they project a very entertaining and instructive audiovisual about the first years of his life.

Then he would move to Amsterdam, where he opened his final workshop, and marry, in 1934, Saskia van Uylenburgh, who worked for him as a model.

WHAT MORE TO SEE IN LEIDEN?

In Rembrandt's time there were 50 mills scattered around the city, of which 9 are preserved today. Valk's mill is the only one in Holland that is still inhabited. Its situation, next to a landscaped square, makes it one of the most visited and photographed places in the city. You can also visit the interior.

Five hundred years have passed since the first tulip was introduced in Leiden. Throughout all these years, the oldest botanical garden in Holland, Hortus Botanicus pays tribute to its founder, botanist Carolus Clusius, who was precisely the one who introduced the first bulbs.

The hortus has continued to treasure plants, trees and rare species. The visit to the 17th-century greenhouse, the first one built throughout the country, is worthwhile.

On the banks of the Rapenburg, the main channel of the city, you can find two interesting museums: the Naturalis Museum, reopened this year and which houses an interesting universe of animal biodiversity.

And the Siebold House, which is like bits of Japan collected by Philipp Franz von Siebold, a German medical dilettante in love with the Asian country and Leiden!

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