Oxford has been twinned with Leiden, this pretty and characteristic Dutch town with its network of canals, bridges and merchants' houses, since 1946.
Two official exchanges are held every year - in May, a party from Oxford visits Leiden to remember the victims of war on the Dutch Remembrance Day, and in November, a party from Leiden visits Oxford for our Remembrance Day.
Cultural and sporting groups exchange during the rest of the year, at times to suit themselves.
A party from Oxford often visits Leiden on October 3rd when, every year, the citizens of Leiden celebrate the end of the city's siege by the Spaniards in 1574. The traditional 'hutspot' meal is eaten and herrings and bread are distributed from Leiden Town Hall. The home of the oldest university in The Netherlands, Leiden is full of bookshops, printing works and students on bikes.
See the Leiden website for more information about the city.
Oxford Leiden Link
The Oxford-Leiden Link was established immediately after the Second World War as part of a movement to foster friendship among nations, and has adapted and evolved over the years to reflect changing lifestyles.
It is estimated that about 10,000 people on both sides of the North Sea have been involved in our cultural, sporting and social activities since 1946, giving them a valuable insight into the cultures and customs of our two cities and countries.
One of the most satisfying developments has been the introduction of multi-twinning events, in which young people from all Oxford's twinning links have come together to perform in concerts, festivals and stage productions, widening participants' experience and giving twinning a higher profile in the community.
For more information and how to become a member please visit the Oxford Leiden Association website.