Welcome to Oegstgeest, a picturesque town located in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and friendly atmosphere, Oegstgeest is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by travelers. Let us take you on a journey through this charming town and discover all that it has to offer.
Oegstgeest gets its name from the geest lands, which were excavated in the 17th century to facilitate the expansion of nearby Leiden. The exact origin of the Oegst part of the name is uncertain, but there are several theories. One possibility is that it refers to the geographical location of the village, east of the geest lands. Another theory suggests that it comes from the name Osger, indicating an original resident and owner of the territory.
The history of Oegstgeest dates back to ancient times, with evidence of a Batavian settlement found in the Elgeesterpolder. By the 9th century, there was already a small church in the same location as the current Little Green Church, signifying the presence of a community. Oegstgeest flourished from the 11th to the 14th century, but its progress was halted when Leiden was granted city rights and trade and construction were restricted in the surrounding areas.
Despite its close proximity to Leiden, Oegstgeest managed to maintain its rural character until the early 20th century. The town was made up of several smaller settlements, which gradually grew and merged into a cohesive community. Today, Oegstgeest is a thriving municipality with a mix of old and new neighborhoods, offering a range of architectural styles and a charming blend of urban and rural landscapes.
Nature lovers will be delighted by the scenic beauty that Oegstgeest has to offer. The town is situated just to the north of Leiden and is surrounded by lush greenery, waterways, and open spaces. Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the picturesque canals and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside.
Sports enthusiasts will also find plenty of activities to enjoy in Oegstgeest. The town is home to two football clubs, FC Oegstgeest and ASC, where locals come together to cheer on their favorite teams. Cricket is also played at ASC, adding a touch of international flavor to the sporting scene. LOHC offers opportunities for hockey enthusiasts, while OLTC is the go-to destination for tennis lovers.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the rich cultural heritage of Oegstgeest. The town has produced notable individuals in various fields, including Dutch sinologist Gustaaf Schlegel, composer and conductor Jan van Gilse, and Surinamese politician Johan Ferrier, who served as the first President of Suriname. Visit the local museums and galleries to learn more about the town’s history and artistic achievements.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a taste of Dutch culture, or simply a break from the bustling cities, Oegstgeest has something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the charm of this hidden gem and create unforgettable memories in this idyllic Dutch town.