Amsterdam, with currently about 800 thousand inhabitants, and the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. Amsterdam became called Mokum by the Jews, since in every ten inhabitants of Amsterdam, one was Jewish. It is located at the meeting of the Amstel River with the Ij, channel of the sea of the north. Its name originates from its geographical position, near the dam of the river Amstel
It grew, from 1300, becoming in century XVII the city of greater commerce of the world. The canals of Amsterdam also emerged in this period, and are now, patrimony of humanity by Unesco. Amsterdam is often visited by its museums such as the Van Gogh, the National Museum (Rijksmuseum) Anne Frank’s house, the Red Zone and the coffee shops.
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Some of the main attractions of the city
DAM SQUARE – is a square located in the historical center of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Its famous buildings and frequent events make it one of the most important and known places of the city
Anne Frank House – is a museum founded in the 60’s in memory of Anne Frank, in the building where she and her family and four other Jewish people remained hidden in the years of Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. On May 3, 1957 a group of people, including Otto Frank, established the Anne Frank Institute for the purpose of saving the building from demolition, and making it accessible to the public. Otto Frank insisted that the purpose of the institute would be to strengthen contact and communication among young people of different cultures, religions and races, as opposed to racial intolerance and discrimination. After Anne Frank’s diary had been translated into other languages and she became internationally known her old hideout began to attract many visitors.
Bijenkorf Store – One of the most luxurious shops in Amsterdam
Royal Palace of Amsterdam – It is considered as the most important historical and cultural structure of the Golden Age of the Netherlands and in its construction was involved the largest amount spent for a non-religious building, the gigantic sum of 8.5 million guilders. Initially they lived here not Reis, but burgemeester (burgomasters – mayors); the building was built as the headquarters of magistrates (top collective body in the management of the municipality) and the city court. The poet Constantijn Huygens praises the palace as “the eighth wonder of the world, erected with so much stone, and with so much wood included,” as a reference to the fact that the building stands on 13,659 wooden stakes. The silver spatula used to lay the first stone still stands today as a souvenir.
Madame Tussaud in Amsterdam – Wax museum with personalities, politicians, artists made in real size wax.
New Church – Church of the XV century.
Magna Plaza Shopping – Small Shopping Center in Amsterdam with rich architecture.
SPUI – The SPUI square was originally a narrow water that formed the southern boundary of the city until around 1420, when the Singel canal was excavated around the city. In 1882 the SPUI was grounded and came to be the square we know today. In 1996 the plaza was renovated and today is one of the favorite destinations in the city for book lovers, with its book market on Fridays, as well as the wide variety of bookstores and the arts market every Sunday.
Museum of Amsterdam History – The Rijksmuseum is dedicated to arts and history. It has a wide collection of paintings from the Dutch golden age and a substantial collection of Asian art. The museum was founded in 1800 in the city of The Hague to display the collection of the Prime Minister. It was inspired by the French example. For the Dutch was known as Art Gallery. In 1808 the museum moved to Amsterdam under the orders of King Louis Napoleon, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. The paintings of that town, like Rembrandt’s Night Round, became part of the collection. In 1885 the museum moved to its current location, built by the Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. He combined Gothic and Renaissance elements. The building is richly decorated with references from the history of Dutch art. The Rembrandt Night Tour has had its own corridor in the museum since 1906. Since 2003 the museum has undergone restorations, but masterpieces are constantly present to the public. The collection of paintings includes works by artists such as Jacob van Ruysdael, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt and Rembrandt students.
Begijnhof – is one of the oldest courtyards in the city of Amsterdam. A group of historic buildings, mostly private homes, as the name suggests is already Beguina and today is also home to the English Reformed Church.
Restaurant Haesje Claes – is a restaurant located in the historic center of Amsterdam and occupies six epic buildings, in which remains architectural features such as small staircases, corridors that have been preserved. However, the exterior of the building is a fine example of traditional Dutch architecture. All halls breathe history, perfectly suited for a comfortable lunch or dinner.
Café Luxemburg – One of the most famous cafés in Amsterdam for more than 25 years.
Café Hoppe – Cafe with architectural wealth in Amsterdam.
Jordaan Quarter (Canals) – Perhaps the most well-known photograph of the Netherlands is the Jordaan Quarter and its canals. Initially a district for the poor, today it is a favorite place for students, artists and young professionals.
FLOWER MARKET – The floating flower market began in 1862. Since then it has become the best-known flower market in Holland. You will probably find your favorite flower here, no matter what. The products range from traditional tulips and Dutch geraniums to cypresses and plants for indoor use.
Delft porcelain – Between 1600 and 1800, Delft was one of the most important ceramic producers in Europe. Delft porcelain was very popular and was collected by wealthy families from around the world. But to bad luck for many potters, Delft porcelain also went out of style, and they had to close the doors one by one. The only ones that continued in operation since 1653 were the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, known as Royal Dutch, a company that continues to produce Delft porcelain according to traditional methods. Tourists can also see pottery in other locations in and around Delft, such as De Delftse Pauw and in various souvenir shops around the central market square (Grote Markt) in Delft.
Munt Tower – It is a tower originally from the medieval period located in Muntplein square, where the Amstel River and the Singel canal meet.
Cinema / Theater Tuchinski – Started to be explored by businessman Abraham Icek Tuschinski, who paid for its construction a cost of 4 million guilders. Designed by Louis Hijman Theater combines several artistic styles: Art Deco, Art Nouveau and the Amsterdam School. Currently, it is often used for movie premieres. The façade has an art deco style with oriental influences so visitors have the feeling that they are entering an illusion. The main auditorium was designed for the theater and still has a body and a stage where the pieces are still offered. The theater had a very innovative electrical system for the time, which kept the entire theater ventilated and with a constant temperature. During World War II (1940-1945) was given the non-Jewish name “Tivoli”, and from 1998-2002, it was rebuilt and three new auditoriums were attached.
REMBRANDT SQUARE – It is a square that gathers around you an important number of bars, pubs, restaurants, discos, cinemas and other places of entertainment. This zone is always active, but at nightfall it always becomes more agitated. Visit our Gay Lesbian Entertainment and Sphere sections for more information. Rembrandt Square is named in honour of the painter, who is remembered through a large bronze statue that is built in the center of it. You reach this destination via tram 4,9,14 and 20, leaving at the Rembrandtplein station.
House Willet Holthuysen – Currently a museum, the former 17th century residence which belonged to a famous doctor in the city, houses antiquity objects from the personal collection of Abraham-Willet, then husband of the daughter of its former owner, Louisa Holthuysen, who left in his will to the house for the government, requesting only that it be well maintained and open as a museum.
Museum of the Handbag – The Museum of Amsterdam Handbags and Wallets displays the history of women’s handbags from the West, from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection demonstrates that there are purses in a wide variety of shapes, functions, materials and decorations.
WATERLOO SQUARE – Behind Stopera (a mix of opera house and Amsterdam prefecture), lies Waterlooplein (Waterloo Square). The square has a flea market where you can find anything. The market is open every day of the week except Sundays and national holidays.
Rembrandt House – is a residence where Rembrandt lived and painted between 1636 and 1658. In 1911 it was converted into the House Museum of Rembrandt and retains the main features of the original dwelling of the painter.
Amsterdam prefecture – It was erected between 1648 and 1665 – during the Golden Century of the Netherlands, when Amsterdam was at the height of its power – according to a project of the architect and artist Jacob van Campen. The building, designed in classic Dutch style, was built to welcome the Stadhuis (“City Hall”). The sculptures came from Artus Quellijn’s workshop. It was inaugurated on July 20, 1655 by city leaders. The interiors, centered on the power and prestige of Amsterdam, were later completed, mainly by Rembrandt and Ferdinand Bol. From 1808, the building ceased to be considered as the seat of the municipality, gaining the status of royal palace. Since 1939 it is used by the royal family of the House of Orange-Nassau, not as its residence 1, but with functions of representation and as guest house for state visits. Due to restoration works, the palace was closed to the public between September 2005 and summer 2008. Since 1856, it stands directly in front of the palace where the old Gothic town hall stood, the memorial De Eendracht ( “The Harmony”), executed by Louis Royer, who, in 1914, had to be removed and installed further away due to the newly placed tram lines. Ponte azul sob o rio Amstel
Hermitage Museum – is a branch of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia (art), located on the banks of the Amstel River. The museum is housed in a classical building from 1681. The outbuildings showed small exhibits of the adjacent Neerlandia Building from 24 February 2004 until its main part opened on 19 June 2009.
NIEUWMARKT – The square is located in Amsterdam’s Chinatown, next to the De Wallen (Red Light District). There are over 20 cafés and coffeeshops facing the square. There is a daily market in the square as well as an organic food market on Saturdays and an antique market and books on Sundays in the summer months. The Nieuwmarkt is dominated by a building known as the Waag, originally a gate in the medieval walls but converted into a weighing house after the walls were demolished in the 17th century. The square was created when the canals around the Waag were completed in 1614, and was used as a market (hence the name). In World War II, the square was used by the Nazis as a collection point for Jews who had been rounded off to be sent to the concentration camps. In the 1970s many buildings in and around the square were overturned to give way to a planned underground and the highway passing through Nieuwmarkt district. This led to heavy riots (the Nieuwmarktrellen) in 1975 and, ultimately, the abandonment of highway plans. The subway, however, was built, and Nieuwmarkt is now a subway station.
Port of Amsterdam
Old Church – It is estimated that the construction of this centenary church began in the middle of the century. XIII and finished in the century. XV. Originally, the church was built in honor of St. Nicholas, the patron and protector of Amsterdam. The Oude Kerk is the oldest building in the city. Curiously, this church is situated in the center of De Wallen, the well-known “red-light district”, where today are the famous shop windows of Amsterdam prostitutes and sex shops that sell everything related to sex. In addition, the church is often used for concerts.
Red Light District
Church in the Attic – This museum (also known as Our Lord in the Attic Chapel) is housed in a charming canal house. With rooms of the seventeenth century, and, to the surprise of many visitors, a clandestine church in the attic, which was used by Roman Catholics who were not allowed to public worship after 1578.
Van Gogh museum – A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a unique experience. The museum contains the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings in the world. It offers the opportunity to follow the evolution of the artist, or compare his paintings to the works of other artists of the 19th century in the collection. The museum also offers a wide range of exhibits on various 19th century subjects and art history. The permanent museum collection includes more than 200 Van Gogh paintings and many drawings and letters.
Rijksmuseum – is a national museum of the Netherlands. The Rijksmuseum is dedicated to the arts and history. It has a wide collection of paintings from the Dutch golden age and a substantial collection of Asian art. The museum was founded in 1800 in the city of The Hague to display the collection of the Prime Minister. It was inspired by the French example. For the Dutch was known as Art Gallery. In 1808 the museum moved to Amsterdam under the orders of King Louis Napoleon, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. The paintings of that town, like Rembrandt’s Night Round, became part of the collection. In 1885 the museum moved to its current location, built by the Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. He combined Gothic and Renaissance elements. The museum has a prominent position in Museum Square, next to the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. The building is richly decorated with references from the history of Dutch art. The Rembrandt Night Tour has had its own corridor in the museum since 1906. Since 2003 the museum has undergone restorations, but masterpieces are constantly present to the public. The collection of paintings includes works by artists such as Jacob van Ruysdael, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt and Rembrandt students. In 2005, 95% of the museum is closed for renovation, but the permanent collection’s paintings are still on show at a special exhibit called The Masterpieces.
Stedelijk – is a modern art museum in Amsterdam. The museum is located on Museum Square (Museumplein), near the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Its collection includes a space painted by Karel Appel and a large collection of paintings by Kazimir Malevich. The Stedelijk Museum was temporarily moved from its former location in the Museumplein to the Oosterdokskade 3-5, west of Centraal Station. This building, formerly a post office, also houses a number of media and art related companies. The top floor offers one of the best views of the city. It’s a cafeteria / restaurant by day and a nightclub by night.
Concertgebouw – Concertgebouw (in English, “concert hall”) of Amsterdam. In 1988, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands conferred the title of “Real” on the orchestra that is based here. In December 2008, a group of critics, invited by the magazine Gramophone, chose the orchestra as the best symphony in the world. It is one of the orchestras that contribute to the Dutch Opera.
Vondelpark – is a park whose name is a tribute to the writer Joost van den Vondel, who lived in the seventeenth century. The design is the work of the architect Jan David Zocher. It was created in 1864 and the following year it was opened to the public. Its original name was “New Park”, but a statue of the writer caused that the people happened to call it by the present name. Until 1953, he belonged to a company, which donated it to the city when he could no longer afford it. Among the annual events held there are a golf championship and a race. According to the city’s decision, as of September 2008, Vondelpark visitors will be able to have outdoor sex inside it, provided that some pre-established rules are respected. However, the Amsterdam Police announced that it will not tolerate such actions because the law forces them to prevent them.
LEIDSEPLEIN – Leidseplein is one of the city’s busiest nightlife centers. Historically, the square was the end of the Leiden road, and served as a parking lot for horse-drawn traffic. Today, modern traffic travels through the squares and side streets are filled with restaurants and nightclubs. The Stadsschouwburg, a theater, is the most outstanding architectural landmark on the square, and the American Hotel is close by.