Countless peaceful oases lie hidden behind closed doors, gates and city walls. With as many as 35 inner courts, Leiden is a true city of courtyards. You need to know where to look for these small monumental houses built around idyllic flower gardens. And when you find them, you will stand amazed that these fairy-tale homes are located right in the middle of a busy city.
- Leiden boasts no less than 35 ‘hofjes’.
- Go for a city walk along the most beautiful hofjes in Leiden.
- In the past, these were inhabited mainly by the underprivileged.
Residences, then and now
The Leiden hofjes were created between the 13th and 19th centuries. They were built by rich citizens who wanted to do something good for the poor and elderly. The names of the inner courts often refer to these benefactors. These days all of the Leiden hofjes are still populated by students and the elderly.
Leiden Hofjes itinerary
The Tourist Office has created a city tour that takes you to twelve of the most beautiful inner courts in Leiden’s city centre. On the way, you will discover countless other special spots as well as plenty of welcoming lunchrooms if you want to take a break.