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Holiday Travel Guide
Pieterskerk which includes interior views and heritage architecture

The history of this Gothic medieval church is intertwined with that of the pilgrims who lived and worked in Leiden for many years before migrating to America.  

Take in the beautiful architecture and pilgrim history of the gothic Pieterskerk. There has been a church on this site since the 12th century; however, each time its community outgrew it and the church was replaced with a larger structure. The building you see today was constructed between the 14th and 16th centuries.

The Pieterskerk was an important part of life for the Protestant group known as the pilgrims, who had migrated to Leiden from England in fear of religious persecution from King James I. One of the pilgrim leaders, Pastor John Robinson, is buried in the church. The pilgrims later migrated to Plymouth in America. Their Thanksgiving feast tradition is thought to be related to the celebration on October 3 of Leiden’s Liberation from the Spanish siege in 1574.

Look up to see the stained-glass windows. These are not the originals, but were made in the 19th century after the explosion of a ship transporting gunpowder destroyed the older ones. The pipes on the Van Hagerbeer organ are originals, of 1448 vintage.

On the floor of the Pieterskerk you’ll notice many tombstones, from a time in the Middle Ages when it was traditional to bury the rich and powerful in the church. You’ll see tombstones for local intelligentsia such as mathematician Ludolf van Keulen, physician Herman Boerhaave, and Golden Age painter Jan Steen.

The church has been deconsecrated and is now used as a venue for events. Many informative signs around the church will give you an insight into its history. There’s a small entry fee, which also gives you a discount at the church’s café. The church is open daily.

After your trip to Pieterskerk, take some time to wander through the surrounding streets to see the historic homes, some of which were used by the pilgrims. On Wednesdays and Saturdays visit the farmers market nearby where you can try the local cheese and Dutch herring.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Pieterskerk

Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
4 out of 5
Willem Einthovenstraat 3, Oegstgeest
The price is £76 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Corpus and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Leiden Bio Science Park and Hortus Botanicus are also ...
4.3/5Excellent! (990 reviews)
Perfect for our trip
"Hotel staff were fantastic. Food was excellent. Room was clean. Carpets were not spotless on arrival other than that all OK. Lots of things to do within half an hours car ride"

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2020

Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
Steenhof Suites
Steenhof Suites
3.5 out of 5
Steenschuur 11, Leiden
The price is £101 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Located in the heart of Leiden, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Leiden University and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Mauritshuis and Keukenhof Gardens are ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (83 reviews)
"Exceptional experience on all levels. 1. Accommodating staff and noteworthy hospitality. The hostess was very accommodating when she found out we had a lot of luggage. She adjusted our stay to a lower level. We were so grateful for this accommodation. NOTE: there are no lifts. 2. Room accommodations ..."

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020

Steenhof Suites
CTY Books
CTY Books
3 out of 5
Nieuwe Rijn 2, Leiden
The price is £112 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Located in the heart of Leiden, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Waag and Leiden University. Wall Poems of Leiden and Stadhuis are also within 5 minutes. ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Fantastic hotel, very stylish A++
"Fantastic hotel in the perfect location to explore the beautiful town of Leiden"

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2019

CTY Books
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
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The price is £74 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
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The price is £76 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
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The price is £101 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
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Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.