Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

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Discover the history of Dutch science at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave. Dive into the collection of centuries-old books, microscopes and skeletons, and admire the reproduction of the sixteenth-century Anatomical Theater of Leiden University. Learn all about innovations in medical science, from phlebotomy to the artificial kidney.

  • Read all about the history of medical science, from skeletons to microscopes.
  • Attend a lecture in an 18th-century lecture hall.
  • Great fun for young and old.

Interactive museum

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave is not a museum in which you are not allowed to touch the exhibits. There is something fun to do in every room. Do a range of tests or explore your thoughts about scientific dilemmas. Learn how the human body works and have anatomical sketches projected on your arm to see how the inside works.

Herman Boerhaave

Museum Boerhaave in Leiden was named after Herman Boerhave, a Dutch physician, professor and Rector Magnificus (Chancellor) at Leiden University. In the 18th century Boerhaave was renowned even in China for the way in which he practised and taught medicine. Not only did Herman Boerhaave (1688-1738) discover many new things, he was also an inspiring teacher. He was an advocate of ‘teaching at the bed’ and autopsy and took his students on a journey through the world of medicine. Even Tsar Peter the Great attended one of his lectures.

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Rijksmuseum Boerhaave