Leiden has a beautiful 17th-century historic centre. Leiden can boast a rich history. Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden and learnt his craft with a Leiden painter. Once it was the second largest city of the Republic after Amsterdam. After the Spanish war Leiden received as reward for choosing the right position the first university of the new state of the Netherlands. Leiden is famous for the stately mansions on the Rapenburg and its beautiful canals. You might to take a boattour or visit the botanical gardens of the university, which are over 400 years old. Leiden also houses a great number of internationally renowned museums, all worth a visit.