To the east of Leiden, you will find the lush green meadows, forests and villages of the Groene Hart (Green Heart) of the Netherlands. Here you can find windmills, dykes and Dutch cows. Due to its varied and predominantly rural nature, this area serves as a natural counterpart for the urban areas surrounding it. Agriculture, nature and recreation are the primary functions of the Groene Hart. Residents and visitors seek it out for its peace and quiet, the wide-open spaces and gorgeous nature. There are lovely hiking and biking paths. There is a special route which will take you along the road the Geuzen (Calvinist Dutch rebels) took in 1574 to evict the Spanish troops and liberate the city of Leiden.