Posted by: ourtravelingcircus | July 22, 2012

St. Peterskerk, Leiden

As you may already know, for a number of years, Leiden was the home of the English pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower. This was the main reason we chose to stay here for our last night in the Netherlands. It’s very convenient to the airport, which was another good reason to choose it.

The Pilgrim church was the main thing I wanted to see in Leiden. Pilgrim leader John Robinson is buried there (Jacob Arminius, too) but sadly, the church was closed. Production trucks were parked near the back entrance, which may be the reason it wasn’t open to visitors. What was even more of a downer is that St. Peters isn’t used for worship anymore. It’s apparently a concert hall and a wedding venue.

I’m not sure what I expected before I came, but this building wasn’t it. I don’t really know much about the Pilgrim’s time in Leiden but somehow I assumed they worshipped in a small church in an alley somewhere. This church is massive. It’s so big that it’s impossible to get it all in one shot, since the area around it is so built up. Somehow knowing that they left this magnificent building in a beautiful city for just nothing–to begin with, anyway–makes the story more meaningful to me.

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