As a reward of their brave restistance against the Spanish, Willem van Oranje gave the city the right to have a university in 1575. The motto of the university was: Praesidium Libertatis, “bastion of freedom”. The university was financed with the money of the Catholic abbey of Egmond, that together with the castle of Egmond was destroyed in 1573 by the Geuzen at the order of Willem van Oranje. The university of Leiden had to became a protestant counterpart of the Catholic university of Leuven (now in Belgium).

The university was first housed in the Sinte Barbara monastery (also a catholic organisation banned form here), and moved in 1577 to the Faliede Beguinage at the Rapenburg, and eventually in 1581 choose the confiscated monastery of the White Nuns at the other side of the canal. Today the building is still in use by the university.

1910. Leiden, Academic building.

2016. Leiden, Academic building.

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