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The Zijlpoort

Leiden had eight city gates in the Middle Ages. Only the Morspoort and Zijlpoort survived the centuries. The Zijlpoort is located on the eastern border of the city. It was a gate built to impress visitors. Even today, the Zijlpoort fulfils that purpose.

  • See one of Leiden's last remaining city gates.
  • Spot the mythological figures on the port.
  • Rest up at the Zijlpoort for a drink and snack.
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Triumphal arch

Its structure has much in common with the Roman triumphal arches. It has two lions flanking Leiden’s coat of arms, for instance. You will also find the mythical figures of Mars and Medusa and countless other shields and objects from the city guard. It was clearly a 17th century project aimed to enhance the city’s prestige.

Watching the boats sail by

These days the Zijlpoort also houses a brasserie. Here, you can have lunch or dinner throughout the year. Its location on the water makes it a popular destination for cocktails in summer. Enjoy a drink and a bite while watching the dozens of boats sail by.

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