The Netherlands 

chapel of the
monastery of Jerusalem.


A brief description.


Leiden, like many other cities, had a Jerusalem Chapel, maintained by citizens who had returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The Dominican nuns received this chapel Jerusalem on the Rapenburg at Leiden in 1450. In that year, on 28 June1450, the Dominican Jacobus de Ridder, bishop of Hierapolis and suffragan of Utrecht, consecrated the altar, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalen and Elisabeth von Thüringen. The chapel was rebuilt in 1516. In the evening of Monday 26 August 1526 the iconoclasts demolished three altars, the statue of the Holy Virgin and paintings, among them of the artist Lucas van Leyden. On  29 September 1572 soldiers of the Prince of Orange assaulted the monastery and the sisters ran away. 


In 1574 Prince William of Orange took the first steps towards establishing the university, when he wrote a letter to the States of Holland. In this letter he proposed that as a reward for the town’s brave resistance against the Spanish invaders a university be founded which would serve as ‘a staunch support and maintenance of the freedom and good lawful government of the country’.
The University of Leiden was founded 8 February 1575, as an unexpected gift to the city. Later it was granted the motto Praesidium Libertatis, or Bastion of Liberty.
During the first three years of its history, the university was housed first at the Barbara cloister and subsequently from 1577 to 1581 at the Faliede Bagijnhof, the very place where one will nowadays again find the Board of the University at Rapenburg 70.
In 1581 the University then moved to the other side of the canal called the Rapenburg, and found permanent residence in the old chapel of the monastery of the Dominican sisters.

After the departure of the Dominican sisters, September 1572, the garden of the monastery falls back into savagery, till Carolus Clusius (19.02.1526 - 04.04.1609)founded there the Botanic Garden of the University in 1590.

The Garden was to play an important role in botanical research and teaching, and was also instrumental in the introduction of many ornamental plants from the Mediterranean and the Far East to the Netherlands.
In 1988 it was united with the Rijksherbarium to form the first 'Research Institute' within the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Leiden.





The chapel Jerusalem at Leiden of the Dominican
(1450),  rebuilt in 1516. Since 1581 the Board Building
of the State University of Leiden.

The wooden tower is constructed after the plan
of W. van der Helm, 1670.


Netherlands 1937. Postcard, series III, nr.6.





Chapel (1516) of the Dominican monastery at Rapenburg, Leiden.

375th Anniversary of the Board Building of the University of Leiden.


The Netherlands 1950, Mi 563-564, Sc 328-329, FDC





On the postmark the Board Building

of the State University of Leiden at the Rapenburg.


The Netherlands 1966. Postmark Leiden 03.06.1966.




The monastery's garden is since 1590 the Botanical Garden of the University.
4th Centenary of the Botanical Garden,1590-1990.

The Netherlands 1990, Mi 1375, Sc 752.



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