Welcome to Leerdam, a picturesque city located in the western Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. This charming city is known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and world-renowned glass industry. Let’s explore what makes Leerdam a must-visit destination for any traveler.
Leerdam received city rights in 1407 and has a rich history that can be seen in its well-preserved historic buildings such as the Grote Kerk (Great Church), the Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden (Mrs. Aerden Almshouses, now a museum), the remaining and restored city walls on the Zuidwal, and the Oude Raadhuis (Old City Hall). The city was once part of the Vijfheerenlanden domain before it was raised to the level of County in 1498. In 1551, Leerdam, together with Acquoy, became property of the House of Orange and part of the County of Holland.
One of the most famous landmarks in Leerdam is the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa. The fort was built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679, and one of its corners was named Leerdam in honor of William of Orange-Nassau, as Leerdam was part of the House of Orange-Nassau.
Leerdam is also known for its glass industry, which has strongly influenced the town’s culture since the 18th century. The glass currently manufactured in Leerdam is internationally known as Royal Leerdam or, particularly in respect of designer glass and glass art, as Royal Leerdam Crystal. The National Glass Museum, the Glass Centre (with its glassblowing and demonstration activities), and several art galleries make Leerdam a major tourist attraction in the Netherlands. Visitors can watch glassblowers at work in the Glass Centre, which is open to the public.
The small river Linge, bordered by beautiful water meadows, defines the atmosphere and tone of the landscape. Leerdam is situated almost exactly in the middle of the three highways A2, A15, and A27, making it easily accessible by car. The Leerdam railway station is situated on the Elst–Dordrecht railway, providing easy access to the city by train.
Leerdam has also produced some notable figures, including Cornelis Pieter van den Hoek, a resistance fighter during World War II, Jan van Houwelingen, a politician, and Manon van Rooijen, a freestyle swimmer.
Come and experience the beauty and history of Leerdam for yourself. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, admiring the stunning landscapes, or learning about the world-renowned glass industry, Leerdam has something for everyone. Book your trip today and discover why Leerdam is one of the Netherlands’ hidden gems.