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Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, Leiden

4.1
#9 of 14 in Museums in Leiden
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Leiden American Pilgrim Museum is a small museum in the Dutch city of Leiden dedicated to the Pilgrim Fathers (or simply Pilgrims). These Separatists or English Dissenters were religious refugees who had fled England to Amsterdam in 1608 and moved to Leiden the next year. They lived and worked in that city for about 12 to 20 years. In 1620, their emigration began. They left Leiden by canal, going to Delfshaven where they embarked on the Speedwell, which took them to Southampton. But the Speedwell proved leaky and had to be sold, so they transferred to the Mayflower. The Mayflower undertook the famous voyage to New England in 1620 alone. In the 19th century the colonists' first harvest festival after their arrival at Plymouth Colony was identified as the origin of the annual Thanksgiving celebration in the United States.
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Leiden American Pilgrim Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
95 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This was a very nice experience, walking straight into the early 17th century. It was as if we'd visit William Bradford himself in his humble home. It's tiny, but the collection and the explanation.....  more
    This was a very nice experience, walking straight into the early 17th century. It was as if we'd visit William Bradford himself in his humble home. It's tiny, but the collection and the explanation.....  more »
  • Great little museum, absolute gem for people interested in history. The lady who gave us the tour knew everything! Whatever question I asked she knew the answer and could tell a wonderful story about....  more
    Great little museum, absolute gem for people interested in history. The lady who gave us the tour knew everything! Whatever question I asked she knew the answer and could tell a wonderful story about....  more »
Google
  • This will be one of the smallest museums you will ever visit. Still, for those with any interest in 15-17c European urban life it's worth your time and modest admission fee (which is not included in the Leiden museum pass). If you have Pilgrim ancestry, it's a must see. (Not all Pilgrims sailed to America. Many stayed in the Netherlands and some returned to England.) The first small room contains artifacts from the Pilgrim period. Many can be touched and handled. The second room contains 15-16c artifacts. They are not as conducive to being touched, although a 14c chair is still sturdy enough to sit in! The docent was knowledgeable and patient. Clearly she had a passion for this historical period. She spoke English, French, and Dutch.
  • The history of the Mayflower pilgrims and there time in Leiden is certainly very interesting. So I was eager to see this museum which turned out quite differently from what I expected: it is hard not to miss the entrance even with Google maps since there is only a small sign at the door. The elder gentleman who seems to run the museum seemed rather surprised that I wanted to see it. I entered the first room and paid the 9.50E ticket he started telling me slowly about the house: it seems the oldest preserved house in Leiden and it is not connected to the pilgrims who’s houses have all disappeared. When I asked him if I could see the other rooms he said there was only one other space in the neighboring house for which we had to go outside since at some point the door had been closed by bricks. So what you get is two small ancient rooms with no connection to the pilgrims with information about their history and books and household items from the period. The gentleman is certainly knowledgeable and you are likely to have everything to yourself. So it is very recommendable for enthusiasts. For normal visitors it might be disappointingly small and relatively expensive.

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