Michiel 2005

Michiel 2005

Posted on 03/11/2007

Photo taken on March  5, 2007

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bibliotheca thysiana

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Canals of Leiden: the Rapenburg

Canals of Leiden: the Rapenburg
The Rapenburg was the canal were the rich people of Leiden showed off their wealth.

The little yellow building on the corner is the Bibliotheca Thysiana or the Library of Thysius. Johannes Thysius was a rich student who died young. He stipulated in his will that a library was to be built for the purpose of study. It is the only purpose-built library from the 17th century in the Netherlands (and probably the world). It still is a library with a very valuable collection of old books. The collection is accessible through the University Library.

Up to the 1960s Leiden was based on transport by water, that meant that every time a ship passed through Leiden, road transport had to wait. In the 1960s the City Council decided to give priority to the road, so they filled up several canals and diverted the ships around Leiden. Luckily they didn't fill up all the canals.