Introduction - T-rex Trixie, DJ van Buuren, and the Dutch Royal Family in Leiden

After the war, the Netherlands, supported by the Marshall Plan, started rebuilding the many houses, buildings, factories, and other infrastructure damaged or completely wiped out by bombardments and other acts of war. It was a difficult time characterised by famine, housing shortage, and unemployment, but after a couple of years, the country was rebuilt and the economy started to grow again.

A few months after liberation, Leiden University reopened its doors. For four days, from the 15th until the 18th of September, there were celebrations on campus and in the Hortus Botanicus. Even Queen Wilhelmina was present given that she had studied at the university.

Princess Juliana would later follow in her mother’s footsteps, and so would her daughter, Beatrix. It seems to have become a tradition for Dutch Royals to spend their student years in the city, since Willem-Alexander, current King of the Netherlands, did so as well.  

The second half of the 20th century in Leiden saw too many developments to cover in this short introduction, however, the following chapter covers some of the key moments in the city’s recent history.

Jan Hendrik Wolkers

Jan Hendrik Wolkers, born in Oegstgeest (1925 - 2007), was a Dutch writer, sculptor, and painter.

Wolkers is considered one of the best authors in post-war Dutch literature, with his most famous novels being "Back to Oegstgeest" and "Turkish Delight".

Jan Hendrik Oort

Jan Hendrik Oort (1900-1992) was a world-renowned Dutch astronomer. He was an important pioneer and promoter of radio astronomy. The famous ''Oort Cloud'' is named after him.

Dutch mathematician, Willem de Sitter, brought the promising astronomer J.H. Oort to the Leiden Observatory, where he found dark matter and proved in 1927 that the Milky Way rotates. 


Beatrix was the queen of the Netherlands from 1980 to 2013.

During her studies, Beatrix lived at Rapenburg 45 and studied at Leiden University, where her education was focused on her future duties as head of state.

In the summer of 1959, Princess Beatrix obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Law.

Boudewijn Büch

Boudewijn Büch (1948 - 2002) was a Dutch poet, writer, and television presenter.

During his student years, Büch wrote book reviews for the Leidsch Dagblad. Later on, "De kleine blonde dood" (The Little Blonde Death) became one of his best works and was even turned into a film in 1993.

Büch had a passion for Leiden and studied Dutch, among other subjects, at Leiden University. 


Willem-Alexander was born in 1967 as the eldest son of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus.

He received his education at the Atlantic College in Wales, and the Dutch Navy, but also studied history at Leiden University while he lived at Rapenburg 116.

Willem-Alexander has been the King of the Netherlands since April 30, 2013.

Armin van Buuren

Armin van Buuren lives in Leiden and is a DJ and producer.

Van Buuren is considered the most prominent DJ of the moment and has been named the best DJ in the world on five separate occasions.

Interestingly, he found his first job as a DJ at the nightclub ‘’Nexus’’ in Leiden, during his third year of law studies at Leiden University.

Leiden Continuum

Leiden, Key to Discovery, where the sum of science, culture, and freedom of thought equates to the rise and success of icons. From Rembrandt van Rijn to Armin van Buuren, from the Pilgrim Fathers to the T.rex, and from the tulip to Leiden Bio Science Park.

These figures, inventions, discoveries, and events, form part of Leiden's underlying DNA, which can be explored through the Leiden Continuum (Het Leids Continuüm). 

  • Continuüm