Pieterskerk (Saint Peter Church), Leiden

Pieterskerk (Saint Peter Church), Leiden (must see)

The Dutch word for "images storm" refers not to the weather, but to the inundations of violent iconoclasts that accompanied the Calvinist Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th century. All Catholic art and images were stripped and looted from the churches. Stained glass windows were boarded up.

The pre-Reformation Saint Peter Church dated from about 1100 when the counts of Holland built a chapel on the site. The chapel was rebuilt in 1121. The current Church was completed in 1570, after 180 years of building. It opened for its first Protestant service in 1572.

Famed Dutch painter Rembrandt grew up and lived in the neighborhood of Saint Peter Church. His parents were married in the church in 1589. They are buried in front of the pulpit. Rembrandt frequented the church throughout his life. He was buried in Westerkerk in Amsterdam, in 1669.

In 1807 a devastating gunpowder explosion obliterated what was left of the stained glass windows. A major restoration was undertaken in 1880. The Saint Peter's Church was deconsecrated in 1971. With Government assistance, a long-term restoration was completed in 2010. Many artifacts, including a mummy, were unearthed.

John Robinson, the pastor of the "Pilgrim Fathers" of America, was buried in Saint Peter's Church. On October 3rd, each year, the people of Leiden offer thanks to God for saving the city in the Spanish siege of 1573. The proceedings are followed by eating herring and white bread with lots of beer.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Leiden. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Pieterskerk (Saint Peter Church) on Map

Sight Name: Pieterskerk (Saint Peter Church)
Sight Location: Leiden, Netherlands (See walking tours in Leiden)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Leiden, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Leiden

Create Your Own Walk in Leiden

Creating your own self-guided walk in Leiden is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
In the Footsteps of Young Rembrandt

In the Footsteps of Young Rembrandt

Once a thriving hub for trade and textile manufacturing, and a home to Holland's oldest university, Leiden also made history as the birthplace of Rembrandt van Rijn, one of the greatest visual artists of the mankind, renowned for his ingenious use of light and shadow, and life-like portraits. The Golden Age of the Netherlands can still be felt in Leiden, especially if you follow in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
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Leiden Introduction Walking Tour

In the year 860, at the confluence of the Old Rhine and the New Rhine, there was a settlement called "Leithon." This word referred to a canalized river. The name is appropriate. Leiden from its beginnings was a city of canals.

In 1060 Alewin I, landlord of Leiden, built his fortified keep, the "Burcht" ("Fort"). The village of Leiden huddled around the fortified...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles