Leiden University. History and modernity

Table of contents:

Leiden University. History and modernity
Leiden University. History and modernity

From its founding (1575) Leiden University has been one of the largest centers of Calvinistic education in Europe. This educational institution was founded on the personal order of Prince William of Orange, who received the nickname Silent. Since then, a strong relationship has been established between the Royal House of the Netherlands and the university, which is maintained to this day.

Many members of the royal family were students at Leiden University. Queen Beatrix received an honorary degree from this institution. The exact postal address of Leiden University is: Leiden University PO Box 95002300 RA Leiden. For personal visits, a separate address is provided: Rapenburg 70 2311 EZ LeidenThe Netherlands.

banner of leiden university

Founding the University

Leiden first appears on the pages of European chronicles in 922 as the possession of the Bishop of Utrecht. During the Eighty Years' War in the 15th century, the inhabitants of the city showed extraordinary courage in the fight against the Spaniards. To repel the onslaught of the enemy, the townspeople opened the floodgates in the dams and flooded the surroundings,thanks to which the ships were able to come close to the walls and repel the attackers.

As a reward for the courage shown, William of Orange granted the right to open a university of Protestant education in the city. After that, the institution gained pan-European fame and earned a good reputation. The difficulty, however, was that the Spanish king was still the formal owner of the Netherlands.

canals in Leiden

First years of existence

At first, after opening, the university was located in the monastery of St. Barbara, but in 1577 it moved to the city church, where the university museum is now located.

Professors quickly established themselves as cutting-edge researchers. Among the prominent specialists who worked in the educational institution are Jacob Arminius, Hugo Grotius, Justus Lipsius. It is reliably known that the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who lived nearby at that time, maintained contact with university professors.

It is worth noting that the oldest university in the Netherlands is often called the Leiden Academy as a sign of respect. This status allows the university to be included in the most prestigious university associations and international research groups.

University structure

Contrary to expectations, the university does not have a central campus, and all its buildings are scattered around the city. Among the premises belonging to the educational institution, there is both the ancient building of the Academy and modern comfortable buildings equipped with the latest equipment.

Works at the universityan old library with a collection of more than 5,000,000 books and 50,000 magazines. The library also holds rare collections of both Western and Eastern manuscripts, old printed books, engravings and drawings. Collections of atlases and maps are considered especially valuable.

The botanical garden of the university, which is the oldest in the Netherlands, is widely known. It is one of the oldest in the world. The garden's collection includes carefully selected specimens of plants from around the world. Some of the greenhouse trees are over two hundred years old today.

Special mention deserves the Center for the Study of Southeast Asia and Africa. This research institution was established some 70 years ago to study the cultures with which Holland had intensive interaction over the centuries as a major colonial power.

Leiden University Media Library

University The Hague Campus

The decision to open a branch in The Hague was made in 1997. Since then, the Hague campus has housed six of the seven faculties. In The Hague, you can study at the medical, legal, political science and public administration faculties. The Center for International Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also operate in The Hague.

Leiden University Medical Center has been based in this city since 2017. Both educational and basic scientific activities are carried out on the city campus.

Leiden University campus

What do they study at university

The university has archaeological, humanitarian, legal, medical, natural science and social faculties. In 2011, a new Faculty of International Relations and Global Issues was established. In total, 50 undergraduate programs and more than 100 graduate programs are available in all faculties.

Of course, at the university you can successfully engage in scientific activities. Leiden actively cooperates with universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, as well as with Ivy League universities from the USA. Almost every department of the institution has the right to award a doctoral degree.

As part of international cooperation, scholarships are offered to foreign students for postgraduate and doctoral studies. Leiden University in the Netherlands is very popular with international students due to the unique combination of a rich research tradition and the commitment of the university leadership to the future.

Popular topic