Amsterdam is one of the most controversial cities in the world. Here, next to each other, there are ancient temples and brothels, and in museums you can see not only ancient artifacts, paintings by famous artists, but also exhibitions devoted to tattoos, sex, drugs. Amsterdam was built on a dam, so it is all permeated with a network of water channels formed by the Amstel River. This is why many of the city's top attractions are located at the water's edge.
City `s history
At the end of the XIII century. a fishing village in Amsterdam (translated as “dam on the Amstel river”) received the status of a city, since by that time it was the center of maritime trade. Then it was annexed to the county of Holland (Graafschap Holland), after which the active development and growth of Amsterdam began.
Now the capital of the Netherlands covers an area of 220 km2, and is home to 825 thousand people, which means that almost 4.5 thousand inhabitants live on a square kilometer. Parks and nature reserves occupy 12% of the city's territory.
The historical part of the city is a small area, in the north-east of which there is a harbor and a railway station. In the west is the Singel Canal, which until the 16th century. was the moat surrounding the city. Now it starts near the railway station and flows into the Amstel River. In the south and southeast is the Nieuwe Herengracht Canal.
The old center is divided into two parts:
- A newer one is located in the west - this is the area between the Singel Canal and Rokin and Domrak Streets. Adjacent to it is the Jordaan quarter, where the workers used to live, now the rich and famous. Here is the house of a Jewish girl Anne Frankthat died during the war, as well as the Western Church, within the walls of which Rembrandt was buried, who lived in this area.
- The rest of the historic center is more ancient. Here, on an area not exceeding 1 km2, the main attractions are located. Including the famous Red light district (De Wallen), the oldest part of Amsterdam.
Dam Square, also called Dam square (Dam Square) - the main in the capital of the Netherlands. The most important events in the city take place here, and life never stops day or night. The square owes its name to the dam, which in the XIII century. built on the Amstel River. The dam was gradually strengthened, expanded, and eventually reached such dimensions that it was possible to build two small areas on it, which were combined into one. Then houses appeared along it.
Thus, the Dam Square is located in the very center of the city, 750 m from the railway station. It is characterized by a rectangular shape: its length is 100 m from north to south, 200 m from east to west. Many important buildings are located here.
First of all, it is the Royal Palace (Paleis op de Dam) in the western part of the square. At first it served as a town hall, and only a century and a half later it became the residence of the kings. On the side of it is the Nieuwe Kerk Calvinist Church, built in the 15th century. (its main entrance is located on the adjacent Gravenstraat, 17). In addition, Dam Square houses a branch of Madame Tussauds Amsterdam, London.
In the east of the square there is a white stele, the height of which exceeds twenty-two meters. It was erected in memory of those killed in World War II. Behind it is the Hotel Krasnapolsky.
The Royal Palace (Paleis op de Dam) was built on swampy soil. To prevent the structure from sinking into the ground and lurching over time, creating the foundation, the craftsmen drove almost 14 thousand piles into the soil, the length of which was 12 m. A platform was installed on the piles, after which they began to build the building.
Construction dragged on for seventeen years, and was completed in 1665.
At first, it was assumed that the town hall would be located here. Indeed, the city administration has been within its walls for one and a half hundred years. Then, in 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Louis (Lodewijk Napoleon) became the ruler of the Netherlands. He decided to make the town hall his residence, after which it became known as the Royal Palace. Louis Bonaparte commissioned a collection of furniture in the Empire style for the palace, lamps, tapestries that have survived to this day.
After the overthrow of Napoleon, Prince William (Willem I) came to power, who returned the building to the city in 1813. But very soon the city council saw that it would cost him too much, while William, after the coronation, realized that he needed a residence. That is why in 1814 the city gave the town hall for its use.
In the 30s. last century, the city authorities sold the building to the royal family for 10 million guilders. After that, the palace was restored several times. Now representatives of the royal family hardly live here, preferring a palace in The Hague. Therefore, Paleis op de Dam is used for receptions, visits, awards. Also here kings abdicate the throne. On such days, the entrance for tourists to the palace is closed. The opening hours can be found on the website www.paleisamsterdam.nl.
On the ground floor, you can visit the art gallery, where paintings by Rembrandt, Govert Teuniszoon Flinck, Ferdinand Bol are exhibited. Various exhibitions are held here in summer and autumn. The hall, the halls of the Council, the Court of Magistrates, the Council of the City Chamber are open for visiting.
The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) is located near the Royal Palace. The main entrance is at 17 Gravenstraat, but you can also get inside the building from Dam Square. This is the second largest temple in the Netherlands: its height together with the spire is 108.76 m.
Despite the name, Nieuwe Kerk is one of the oldest temples in the city. Its construction began in 1380 when it became apparent that the main church in Amsterdam, St. Nicholas (Oude Kerk), is not able to accommodate all the laity. The banker Willem Eggert donated his garden for the construction of the church, who was later buried in the chapel.
In 1409 the temple was consecrated, but after twelve years it was destroyed by fire. Although the landmark was quickly restored, a fire in 1452 left the temple in ruins. The third serious fire happened in 1645. After that, the temple was built in the Gothic style. In the late XIX - early XX centuries. the building was reconstructed with the addition of neoclassical elements.
At the end of the XX century. another reconstruction was needed, but the Netherlands Reformed Church said that there was no money for this, and therefore the temple would be closed. Then it was transferred to a secular foundation, with the money of which the landmark was restored. Now the building is used for organ concerts, exhibitions, antique fairs (details here: www.nieuwekerk). Also representatives of the royal family get married here, coronations take place.
This temple is generally very important for kings: since 1584, many representatives of the royal dynasty were buried within its walls. In addition to them, many prominent figures of Amsterdam found their last rest here. It should be noted, however, that such a neighborhood inside the former church does not bother organizers of exhibitions and parties.
Madame Tussauds museum
Madame Tussauds museum (Madame Tussauds Amsterdam) in Amsterdam is located at Dam Square, 20. It is the first branch of the famous London Museum. An exposition was opened here in 1971 at Kalverstraat. Twenty years later, the exhibits were moved to their present location.
Part of the exhibition tells about the history of the Netherlands, as well as various geographical discoveries. It houses pirates, peasants in national clothes, wealthy townspeople.
Also here you can see superbly executed wax figures of historical figures, famous rulers, artists, athletes. Among them are Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Gorbachev, Lenin, the Pope and even Madame Tussauds herself, who founded a museum in London at the end of the 18th century. Of course, there was a place here for Michael Jackson, Madonna, Charlie Chaplin. Various special effects, moving figures add a special effect of reality. The exposition is constantly updated.
To get to this museum, you have to stand in a huge queue for tickets. Therefore, it is better to purchase them via the Internet: it is easier, cheaper and saves a lot of time. More about the museum here: www.madametussauds.com.
The National Monument (Nationaal Monument) appeared on Dam Square in 1956. Dodenherdenking takes place here every year on May 4th. This is the name of the commemoration of people who died in World War II and other hostilities.
The composition is based on a column made of concrete, the height of which is 22 m. All of it is faced with white travertine (this is the name of lime tuff). On the front of the stele is a bas-relief of four naked men, who are shackled. They talk about pain and suffering. Near them are two nude statues of men who represent the Resistance. The figure to the left of the stele represents the intelligentsia, to the right the working class. Dogs sit at their feet - this is suffering and loyalty.
Above the bas-relief of the suffering is a statue of a half-naked woman holding a child with one hand, leaning her feet on her thigh, above her is a dove. This composition speaks of victory, peace, new life. Doves taking off from the back of the monument are liberation.
In front of the stele on the pedestals there are two lions, the symbol of the Netherlands. Eleven urns with earth are attached to the white semicircular wall behind the stele. She was taken from places of death and war graves in all regions of the country. Each urn bears the coat of arms of the region from which the soil was taken.
Most of the churches in Amsterdam belong to the Protestant movement in Christianity. That is why you will not see the interior richly decorated with icons and statues inside these temples: this teaching rejects the worship of icons and images, since God must be dealt with directly, and not through an intermediary.
For this reason, at one time the interior of the temples, which previously belonged to the Catholic Church and were transferred to Protestants, underwent a significant transformation: everything inside is strict and ascetic. This also applies to the oldest church in the city, Oude Kerk. However, it cannot be said that Catholic churches are completely absent in the capital of the Netherlands. They are, and the most important basilica of the city is the Church of St. Nicholas in the Walls.
Church of st. Nicholas, also known as Oude Kerk, which means "Old Church" - this is the oldest building in the city: its construction began in 1330. The temple is located at 23 Oudekerksplein, in the Red Light District.
A wooden church was built on the site of a small wooden chapel and an old cemetery, so the floor inside the temple is tombstones.
It should be noted here that after the completion of construction for centuries around the temple and inside it, the townspeople were buried: more than ten thousand residents of the city are buried here. Including - the wife of Rembrandt, whose works are exhibited in the temple.
The builders dedicated the basilica to St. Nicholas, who is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, children. Therefore, inside the temple you can see models and images of ships.
Initially, the temple belonged to the Catholic Church, so there were many icons, images of saints. In the second half of the XVI century. Protestantism became popular, as a result of which the period of iconoclasm began. As a result of the painting, the statues of the saints were damaged or destroyed, and the temple was converted for Protestant ministry. Therefore, everything inside looks spacious and ascetic. The roof is of particular interest: it is the largest wooden roof from the Middle Ages.
Today, church services are held in Oude Kerk every Saturday at four o'clock in the afternoon. Since 1450, the city's oldest bell has been calling for services.
Tourists who want to visit the attraction at a different time must buy a ticket. From time to time, concerts, dinner parties, presentations are held here, there is also the possibility of renting the premises of the temple for social events.
Visitors with children should be aware that after five in the evening in the houses around the church "priestesses of love" begin to workwhich can be clearly seen through the shop windows. Therefore, by this time, it is better for the children to leave the quarter.
The Western Church (Westerkerk) is located at Prinsengracht, 281. It is 700 meters from the main square and not far from the Anne Frank house. This is a functioning Protestant church, which is very popular among the townspeople. Moreover, it is interesting that at first the temple was not loved by the common people, since it was chosen by the rich residents of the city. This was the reason that the North Church (Noorderkerk) was built for the poor people of Amsterdam.
The construction of the Westerkerk began in 1620 and lasted eleven years. The Western Church is considered the highest temple in Amsterdam, since its bell tower rises 85 m above the ground. Inside it is a carillon (this is the name of a mechanism from a group of bells performing a melody), which beats off the time. Its hammer weighs 200 kg, and the largest bell weighs 7.5 tons. The observation deck, which is located in the center of the tower, offers one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding area. Climbing, however, is quite difficult: the steps are steep, narrow, you have to go holding on to the rope.
The church is known for the fact that Rembrandt is buried in it. Where exactly, the information has not been preserved. Queen Beatrix (Beatrix der Nederlanden) was also married here in 1966.
The Eastern Church (Oosterkerk) is located at Kleine Wittenburgerstraat, 1. It was built in the 17th century. exactly as a Protestant church in the style of the Dutch Renaissance. The need for a temple arose because the Protestant population in Amsterdam was growing steadily and the existing churches were overflowing.
Construction began in 1669 and was completed two years later. The builders placed the main entrance to the temple from the side of the canal. Like many Protestant churches, the temple looks modest, the interior is ascetic. However, it is very light and cozy inside. On the roof there is a small clock tower, on which the bell chimes the time every half hour. The organ was installed in 1871. Many famous citizens are buried inside the church, including the architect of the temple, Adriaan Dortsman.
During World War II, the priest of the Church of Jacobus Overduin was arrested by the Nazis for praying for the release of Christian school teachers who were languishing in German captivity. After that, the services in the temple stopped for some time. Yakubus spent a long time in concentration camps, survived, returned and started serving.
The church was closed in 1963 due to dilapidation and stood empty for a long time. The reconstruction was carried out only in the eighties. Nowadays, temporary exhibitions and concerts are held here. The hall can accommodate 150 spectators. The schedule can be found on the website: www.oosterkerk-amsterdam.
Round lutheran church
The Round Lutheran Church (Ronde Lutherse Kerk) is located at Singel, 11. It is the main monument of the Dutch Baroque. The temple was built between 1668-1671. Since the Lutherans were considered foreigners, they were not allowed to build temples with towers. Therefore, the church was made round, and a swan was depicted on a small tower installed on a dome, which is a symbol of Lutherans.
In 1822 a fire left only the outer walls of the church. During its restoration, the architects fully adhered to the original appearance and almost did not change it. Only the dome on the tower became taller and was slightly decorated in the Romanesque style. At the same time, a new organ was installed in the temple.
In 1935 the Lutherans left the church. The services ended, and concerts were held here instead. In 1975 the building was rented from Lutherans by the nearby Sonesta Hotel. It was connected to the temple by an underground tunnel, and since then it is possible to get inside the sight only by agreement with the administration.
In 1984, the organ of the temple was restored, and ten years later the dome burned down along with the roof. It took a year and a half to restore it. Now the temple is rented from the Renaissance hotel. To see it from the inside, you need to go through the underground tunnel, accompanied by a guard. Here you can see impressive columns, galleries, organ, pulpit, and attend a concert. A conference room is also provided.
Church of St. Nicholas in the Walls
The Church of St. Nicholas inside the Walls or Basiliek van de Heilige Nicolaas can be found at Prins Hendrikkade 73, opposite the train station. This is one of the few active Catholic churches in Amsterdam.
The temple was erected at the end of the 19th century in the Red Light District, near the city walls. During the development of the project, the architect combined several architectural styles at once. Elements of neo-baroque and neo-Renaissance are especially clearly visible in the facade of the church. Inside, the interior is much richer and more interesting than in the Protestant churches of the capital: the walls are decorated with icons, stained-glass windows, sculptures, gilding, and a carved ceiling.
Houses of famous people
Many famous people lived in Amsterdam. Among them are the artists Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt, the philosopher Spinoza. There is also a house where the family of a Jewish girl Anne Frank hid during the Nazi occupation. From her diary, people learned what it was like to hide for several years, worry, hope ... And die without waiting for a glimmer of hope.
Rembrandt House (Museum Het Rembrandthuis) is located in the former Jewish quarter, at Jodenbreestraat, 4. The artist acquired this premises in 1639, when it was very popular, and lived here until his bankruptcy, which came in 1656. Now there is a museum open in 1911 g.
Visitors shouldn't expect Rembrandt's paintings to be on display, but 260 of his 290 prints can be seen here. Household items and furniture of that time are also exhibited in the house: although the artist's own things were almost not saved, the atmosphere was recreated thanks to the inventory made by lawyers for the sale of Rembrandt's things at auction. Visitors to Museum Het Rembrandthuis can visit the workshop, kitchen, rooms of the great painter, admire the works of Rembrandt's students and teacher. More details about the museum here: www.rembrandthuis.
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank Huis House is located at Prinsengracht, 263-267, 900 meters from Dam Square. This Jewish girl became famous thanks to the diary she wrote during the Nazi occupation.
Anne Frank's family came to Amsterdam from Germany in 1933 after Hitler came to power. Here they lived quietly until in 1940 Germany occupied the Netherlands. Any attempts by the girl's father to obtain visas for the family and leave the country were unsuccessful.
In the summer of 1942, Anna's sister, Margot, received a summons from the Gestapo. The family understood: they must hide. Then they moved to a pre-prepared shelter on Prinsengracht, within the walls of the former factory, which housed the company founded by Anna's father. The family lived here until the summer of 1944, when the traitor, whose name was never established, was betrayed. All this time, Anne Frank kept a diary, describing events, observations, sensations.
After the Frank family fell into the hands of the Gestapo, they were sent to Auschwitz. In February-March, Anna and her sister died of typhus; only her father survived the war. In 1947, the girl's diary was found and published, which became widely known due to the fact that it was able to unite the tragic history of the entire people in the fate of the girl.
The Anne Frank Museum itself is located at number 163. When arranging it, they used diary entries, which made it possible to completely recreate the atmosphere of those times. House # 265 is a youth center. Read more about the museum here: www.annefrank.
Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh Museum (Van Gogh Museum) is located at Museumplein, 6. Although the artist lived in Amsterdam for some time, he did not live in this building: the house was built after his death. But the richest collection of his paintings is kept here, among which - Sunflowers (Zonnebloemen), Bedroom in Arles (Slaapkamer te Arles), Potato Eaters (De Aardappeleters). There is also a collection of prints by Japanese masters collected by van Gogh, a huge library.
The museum complex consists of two buildings. The main house was built in 1973. It is a four-storey rectangular structure made of concrete and glass. The permanent exhibition occupies the top three tiers. Van Gogh's works are located on the second floor, on the fourth - canvases by famous artists related to his work. Among them are paintings by Claude Monet. Also in the museum you can see letters from van Gogh, most of which he wrote to his younger brother Theo.
The second building was made for temporary exhibitions. The first exhibition within its walls was dedicated to Theo van Gogh, thanks to whom the collection of the elder brother was preserved. The paintings were inherited by van Gogh's son, who handed them over to the state in 1962.
It is better to buy tickets to the museum on the website in the morning, in order to calmly consider everything (it is better to use an audio guide): there are a lot of people here during the day. More details about the museum here: www.vangoghmuseum.
After the rapid development and growth of Amsterdam began, new defensive walls were erected each time around the new borders of the city. They have survived to this day mainly in the form of several towers.
The Mint Tower (Munttoren) is located at Muntplein, 12/14, at the confluence of the Singel Canal and the Amstel River, 700 meters from the Dam Square. It was once part of the city gate Regulierspoort, through which residents and visitors of medieval Amsterdam entered the city.
Regulirspourt was built at the end of the 15th century. The gate consisted of one guardhouse and two towers. But after a century and a half, a fire seriously damaged the Regulierspoort, leaving only the guardhouse and part of the western tower. A year later, the gate was restored in the Renaissance style. The upper part of the tower became octagonal, decorated with a clock, a spire, and a statuette of a bull (in the 15th century, there was a stockyard near Regulierspoort).
A carillon was installed at the top of the tower. Currently, there are thirty-eight bells playing a melody every fifteen minutes. This is two more than originally.
The tower received its modern name in 1672. After the troops of Great Britain and France occupied a significant part of the Netherlands, it became problematic to deliver precious metals to the cities where coins were minted. The problem was solved by re-equipping the house for the guards for minting coins. Unfortunately, this part of the gate has not survived: the house of the guards was demolished in the 19th century, replacing it with a building in the neo-Renaissance style.
The Montelbaanstoren Tower is located at Oudeschans, 2, one kilometer from the city's main square. It is a tall structure at the edge of the canal. Rembrandt lived not far from it. In 1644 he painted a building in one of the paintings.
The tower was built at the beginning of the 16th century. after the expansion of Amsterdam, the emergence of a new district and fortress walls, of which Montelbanstoren was part. In addition to the official name, the building was named Malle Jaap, which means "stupid Yap". The reason - there was a period when the bells of the tower rang out of place.
Over time, the city expanded even more, and Montelbaanstoren lost its defensive significance. After that, it was decorated with a roof in the style of the Renaissance, and it itself was increased to 48 m, thanks to which the bells were better heard in the surrounding area.
Montelbanstoren was built on unstable ground, so at the beginning of the 17th century. it collapsed. But it was soon restored. From 1878 to 2006 Within the walls of Montelbaanstoren there was a water management authority, whose task was to monitor the water level of local canals. From 2010 to 2013, the office of the Stichting Secret Garden Foundation, dedicated to the protection of the rights of sexual minorities, was located here. Now this is the office of a private boat station.
The Wailing Tower (Schreierstoren) is located at Prins Hendrikkade, 94-95, near the train station. It was built in 1487 and then it bore a different name - Schrayershoucktoren, which means a pointed tower: here the fortress wall turned at an acute angle. The Schreierstoren was part of the gate through which people left or entered the city. Over time, the sound of the word changed and transformed into "crying". According to legend, from here the wives of the sailors accompanied their husbands to sea voyages, sobbing at the top of the structure.
Interestingly, in 1609, Henry Hudson set out from Schreierstoren in search of the western road to India. As a result, he discovered Manhattan Island, the Hudson River, and the North American coast from New York to Newfoundland.
In the second half of the XX century. the tower was restored, a cafe was opened, where you can feel the atmosphere of medieval Amsterdam. According to tourists, the best time to photograph the tower is at dawn, when the sun beautifully illuminates the eastern side of the tower.
The Weighing Chamber (De Waag) is located at Nieuwmarkt, 4. This is the oldest secular building in the city: historians believe that it was built in 1425, then after fifty years it was expanded during the construction of the city walls. Until the end of the XVI century. De Waag was part of the city gate of St. Anthony (de Sint Antoniespoort geheten). Then the city grew and the need for them disappeared.
In the XVII century. within the walls of the tower there was a weighing service that weighed goods for the markets. At the top of the building were the guilds of artists, merchants, masons. Their emblems still adorn the building. There was also a guild of doctors, under which an anatomical theater operated, where students studied the structure of the internal organs of human corpses. Rembrandt also attended these lessons, which resulted in the painting "Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp" (De anatomische les van Dr. Nicolaes Tulp). It was an order for a group portrait of the surgeons who were present at the autopsy.
In the XIX century. The weighing chamber has closed. After that, a furniture workshop, a fire station, and an archive were located here at different times. In the last century, the walls of the building housed the Museum of History and the Jewish Historical Museum. When they left the building, it stood empty for several years. Now there is a restaurant in De Waag. Soon, the building will most likely be closed for restoration, as it sags heavily on the swampy soil.
City Museum (Stedelijk Museum) is located at Museumplein, 10. Its new wing resembles a huge bathtub made of 217 panels.
The Stedelijk Museum was founded in 1895 with the aim of educating the townspeople about the history of Amsterdam's development. Among the exhibits were coins, silver crafts, furniture, jewelry. Also here you could see weapons, and how the pharmacy of the Middle Ages looked like.
At the beginning of the XX century. most of the exposition was transferred to other museums, and here the works of modern Dutch and French painters were placed. Until 1972, among the exhibits of the museum were works by van Gogh. In the 70s, the last exhibits from the historical collection were removed from the Stedelijk Museum, after which it became a full-fledged museum of modern art.
Guests of the Stedelijk Museum can see here paintings by Picasso, Claude Monet, Renoir. The works of Malevich (Malevitsj) are represented by 29 works.
State Museum Rijksmuseum (Rijksmuseum) is located at Museum Square, 1 (Museumstraat, 1). It is one of the most visited art museums in the world.
The Rijksmuseum was founded in 1808 by Louis Bonaparte, and not in Amsterdam, but in The Hague (Den Haag). But in the same year, the exhibits moved to the capital of the Netherlands and housed in the Royal Palace. In 1885, they were transferred to a specially erected building on the Museum Square, after which the museum was opened to visitors. Over the course of one and a half hundred years, this structure has been repeatedly rebuilt, expanded, and repaired. A historical collection was housed in the east wing.
Among the exhibits of the Rijksmuseum you can see sculptures, paintings by Asian and European masters, a historical collection, and engravings. Interesting models of doll houses, which are a visualization of the houses of wealthy citizens of Amsterdam. There are a lot of works by Dutch masters of the 15th-19th centuries. Among them are the canvases of Vermeer, Hals, de Hooch. On the second floor there is a painting by Rembrandt "Night watch" (Nachtwacht).
Allard Pearson Archaeological Museum (Allard Pierson Museum) is located at Oude Turfmarkt, 127. It was named after Professor Allard Pearson, who lived in the second half of the XIX century, taught archeology at the local university. His activities were not limited to this: the professor often participated in expeditions, from which he brought interesting artifacts. They became the basis of the archaeological museum, opened thirty years after the death of the archaeologist at the initiative of his son.
At first, the museum occupied the top floor of one of the buildings on the Weesperzijde. As the fund was replenished, the question arose about the need for more spacious premises. As a result, the museum moved to Sarphatistraat, and in 1934 it was officially opened. In 1967, the Dutch central bank vacated the building on the Oude Turfmarkt. Therefore, the city authorities offered the museum to move there, which was done.
Now among its exhibits you can see the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan collections. Here are sarcophagi, mummies, ceramics, antique art objects. In addition to permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions dedicated to certain countries and times are organized here.
Museum of Technology and Industry (NEMO Science Museum) is located at Oosterdok, 2, one and a half kilometers from the main square of the city. This is a very interesting place for both children and adults. Here you can assemble and disassemble a computer with your own hands, learn everything about DNA, drugs, various natural phenomena that people encounter in everyday life.
The museum was founded in 1923 in a house located on Rozengracht. It was then called the Museum of Labor. In 1997, the exposition was moved to a five-storey building specially constructed for it. The museum received its modern name in 2000. In addition to the fact that it houses a large number of scientific expositions, a large scientific center is located within the walls of the NEMO scientific center. Another advantage of the museum is the observation deck on the top floor, which offers a magnificent view of the old part of the city.
Two or three hours are enough for an adult to explore the museum; children will be interested in the whole day.
Unfortunately, almost all the information here is only in Dutch or English, there is almost no data in Russian. The ticket is valid all day long, and you can use it to enter and exit the museum without any problems.
The water channels that run through Amsterdam far and wide are one of the most famous landmarks in the capital of the Netherlands. Not surprisingly, in 2001, the Het Grachtenhuis museum dedicated to them was opened at Herengracht, 386.
Here you can see many interesting exhibits related to the history of the canals, starting from the day the first of them appeared. For example, it will be interesting to know that at one time they were part of the city's defensive line, since they defended against attacks from external enemies, playing the role of a moat in front of the fortress walls.
You can explore the museum on your own, but the excursion will be much more interesting. It is also possible to take an audio guide in English, German, French, Italian or Spanish. After visiting the museum, the journey through the canals of Amsterdam will be much more interesting.
Red light district
The Red Light District (De Wallen) is the oldest part of Amsterdam. It is located fifteen minutes walk from the railway station.
Now this place is known as one of the largest areas in the world where sex services are openly traded. And few people know that initially there were a lot of monasteries here. After the reformation in 1578, they were transformed into orphanages, orphanages, and prisons. The oldest church in the city, Oude Kerk, is also located here, where services are sometimes held.
Since De Wallen was located near the harbor, sailors spent their time here during disembarkation. Hence the specific nature of services in this area arose, and the fight against prostitution was not successful: illegal brothels flourished. The impetus for the development of prostitution was the fact that at the end of the XIX century. many houses of the quarter were abandoned, and prostitutes settled here.
The phenomenon known as raamprostitutie (window prostitution) emerged in the 1930s. last century. The girls began to rent small rooms and call clients from the window. In 1994, a prostitution information center was established, which also began organizing tours of the Red Light District.
By the end of the XX century. prostitution in Holland was legalized, but after some time the movement against human trafficking intensified in the country. In 2007, a bronze monument dedicated to prostitutes was erected in De Wallen. It is called "Belle".
There are not only relevant shops in the quarter, but also sex theaters. In 2014, the Museum of Prostitution (about Red Light Secrets - Museum of Prostitution) was opened. It is located in a former brothel at Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 60H. It introduces visitors to the history and present life of prostitutes.
In Amsterdam, there are a lot of theaters of various orientations and genres. Here you can see opera, circus, theatrical performances, listen to jazz, admire the play of mimes.
The main theater of opera and ballet is the Nationale Opera Stopera, which is located at Amstel, 3.
The building is interesting because the city administration and the opera house are located within its walls. The combination of these two words gave the theater its current name - Stopera. The building was built in 1988 - and now it is the leading theater in the country. You can see his performances here: www.operaballet.nl, it is better to buy tickets in advance.
There are many other very interesting theaters in the capital of the Netherlands. The most famous of them are:
- Stadsschouwburg - the first opera house in Amsterdam, appeared in 1774. Now it is located in a building that was built in 1890. Not only classical, but also modern operas, plays, ballets are staged here. For example, here you can see the Chronicles of Narnia. Located Stadsschouwburg at Amstel, 3. stadsschouwburgamsterdam.nl;
- The Concertgebouw is one of the finest concert halls in the Netherlands. Located at Concertgebouwplein, 10. www.concertgebouw.nl;
- Royal Theater Carre (Koninklijk Theater Carre) - specializes in a variety of shows. Here you can see performances of various genres: opera, comedy shows, ballets, musicals, circus, theater festivals. Address: Amstel 115/125. carre.nl;
- Summer open-air theater (Het Vondelpark Openluchttheater) - open from May 5 to September 11, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. The performances are free. These are comedy shows, circus performances, concerts, children's shows, various performances. Located in the center of the Vondelpark. www.openluchttheater.nl;
- Bimhuis - Jazz and improvised music theater can be found at Piet Heinkade, 3. bimhuis.com;
- The Het Veem pantomime theater is the only theater of its kind in the Netherlands. The best mimes in the world perform here, and you can see a mixture of pantomime with ballet, clowning, and traditional performances. The pantomime theater is located at Van Diemenstraat, 408-410 veem.house.
Main entrance to zoo Artis (Artis Zoo) is located at Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, one and a half kilometers from the main square. It was founded in 1838. Then a garden was laid out on a site outside the city and the construction of new structures began.
The first inhabitants of the zoo were deer, monkeys, parrots. Then a hyena, an elephant, a boa constrictor appeared. When Artis Zoo turned one hundred years old, due to the difficult financial situation, it was almost closed. During the war, it was badly damaged by bombing. At the end of hostilities, the zoo was restored, and in 1988 a planetarium was opened here.
Currently, the area of Artis Zoo is 14 hectares, where more than 200 types of flora grow, 900 species of birds and animals live from different sides of the earth. Also, there are children's playgrounds, restaurants, cafes. Various cultural events are held periodically.