With a museum called Museum De Lakenhal much of its history is given away in its name. ‘Lakenhal’ is the Dutch word for ‘cloth hall’; a guild hall for clothing merchants that were built between the 15th and 17th century, usually built in the centre of a city. Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden is no exception. Built in 1640, it is not only a museum, but a work of art itself, having undergone transitions from a clothing hall to a hospital and a museum since 1869. Ever growing, the museum, with its large collection of Leidse painters like Lucas van Leyden and Rembrandt, is now closed for a large-scale renovation and expansion of the building itself. It will reopen in late 2019 with an exhibition centred around Rembrandt’s younger years.

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