Claimed to be the narrowest house in the world, it is most certain the thinnest in all of Amsterdam is located at Singel 7. It is just a meter wide (3 1/2 feet), barely wider than the front door. Its a false illusion though, only the front facade is so narrow as behind that it broadens out to more normal proportions. The real narrowest house is at Oude Hoogstraat 22 between the Dam and Nieuwmarkt. It possesses the typical Amsterdam bell gable and is 2 meters (6 1/2 ft) wide and 6 meters (20 feet) deep. Its closest rival is 2.4 meters wide (7 3/4 feet) wide which is nearby at Kloveniersburgwal 26; this is the cornice-gabled Klein Trippenhuis, also known as Mr. Trip's Coachman's House which faces the elegant Trippenhuis at no. 29, which, at 22m (72 ft.), is the widest Old Amsterdam house. This was done in all of these cases to escape high taxes which the Dutch imposed based on the width of the house facade. A common evasion tactic still made life difficult.
Amsterdams Historisch Museum Exhibition: Old Masters of Amsterdam 6 March–9 August 2009 Amsterdams Historisch Museum (AHM) (Amsterdam Historical Museum).
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 359 * 1012 RM AMSTERDAM
This special exhibit tells the fascinating stories about the formation and growth of the rich collection of paintings owned by the city of Amsterdam. With over a thousand works painted before 1800, the city of Amsterdam has one of the world’s finest collections of Old Masters. It includes some of the best works by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Ferdinand Bol, Jacob van Ruisdael and Govert Flinck. This exhibition tells the story of the different ways in which the city acquired these paintings. These paintings exemplify Dutch Golden Age artistry. During the Dutch Golden Age the painters received monetary compensation for painting their subjects. Where the subject would appear was based on how much they paid. If someone paid a high price, they would be "front and center" in the painting, and often depicted in a favorable pose and in high-status clothing. If they didn't pay enough they would be in the background, hidden, or only a half face or with a silly grin drinking a pint of beer. The exhibit was fabulous. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Many of the buildings along the canals are "leaning"Because the buildings have "winches" atop them and for years, this is how residents move their furniture in and out of the upper floors, the buildings have been pulled forward to support the weight, and actually are "leaning". This was done so hoisted items don't hit the walls. Some say the City is taking steps to remove "winching". Some say they are built that way to let the rain run off of them. Because you were "taxed" based on the width of your house, many houses were built "thin" and therefore had small doorways and stairwells going to the upper floors. Winches installed to move up larger furniture. Some of the buildings lean of "old age" and settling on sandy soil, lacking proper pillars, or rotting columns/supports.
Due to an unfortunate combination of the very high tide, the low atmospheric pressure and the strong storm a big part of Southwest-Netherland got under water on 1st of February 1953. This disaster, in which many hundred people lost their life, made it necessary to close the Southwestern sea spurs as fast as possible.
The Delta Works, the biggest sluice valves of the world is a massive system of dikes, sluice gates, and storm-surge barriers that can be open and closed, to keep the sea apart from the river water flowing from the mainland and to prevent large sea waves from reaching the shores. Delta works is considered to be "the eight's world wonder".
However, many scientists think that the construction of Delta Project due to climate change and sea-level rise is in no way the final siege in the battle against the sea.
You can visit to the Haringvlietdam and the Oosterscheldam and see the seawater swirling beneath you. Near the last dam, there is an interesting place called the Delta Expo, where it is introduced, how Dutch people overcame the North Sea.
You can relive history of the flood disaster, of the building of the dams, and of the conquering of the sea areas. The nearby Water Park is a big fun for kids.
It is an experience you will never forget and highly recommended you go there.
Opening hours from April to Oct daily 10am-5.30pm; €18.50;
from Nov-March Wed-Sat 10am-5pm; €12.50
Website Water Park: http://www.neeltjejans.nl/index.php/en/home
Address: Neeltje Jans island, Burgh-Haamstede
Directions: Zeeland, about one hour and a half driving from Amsterdam on N57.
The Amstelpark is a big park in the south of Amsterdam, enclosed by the Europaboulevard, the highway A10 and the river Amstel.
The Amstelpark offers a broad diversity of things to do, for adults but also for children. A wide variety of trees and and flowers can be found here, as well as several kinds of animals like squirrels.
Things to do and see in the Amstelpark:
- Playground and farm for kids (http://www.speeltuin-amstelpark.nl/)
- Midget golf (http://www.midgetgolf-amstelpark.nl/)
- Pony rides for kids
- Tour by small train, April-October daily from 10.00-18.00, in the winter on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00-18.00)
- Mill (Riekermolen).
- Glass house (Glazen Huis) with exhibitions
- Gallery Papillon
- Rhododendron Valley with 8000 rhododendrons of 139 species
- Garden with endangered local plants (Heemtuin)
- Butterfly Garden
- Rose Garden (Rosarium) with 160 different species of roses
- Dahliarama with different kinds of dahlias and other plants
- Japanese Garden
- Conifer Garden
- Orangerie with exotic plants.
- Cafe De Hop
- Restaurant Rosarium (http://www.rosarium.net/).
The main entrance is at the Europaboulevard, opposite to the A.J. Ernststraat. The park can be reached with busses 69, 169 and 148, or by train/metro/tram to RAI station. For info about the Amstelpark: email@example.com
Note: Staalplaat at Staalkade 6 is out of business.
From the Waterlooplein market go East along the Zwanenburgwal and take a left into the SINT ANTONIESBREESTRAAT (direction Nieuwmarkt).
One more records shop to conclude is RECORD FRIEND Grammofoonplaten at the Sint Antoniesbreestraat 64. It's in a hidden basement, but with a nice collection of records and grammophone gear and maintenace equipment.
Maybe a visit to MUZIKAT at the SINT ANTONIESBREESTRAAT 3 is a good finish of this trip, but it really is up to you. There are more record shops in Amsterdam outside the the center. I leave it up to you to find them. I'm sure you have spent already too much.
Maybe it's just because my name is Chet - and also because I love his melancholy trumpeting and singing - but I couldn't come to Amsterdam without seeing the hotel where Chet Baker's life ended in 1988. He was staying in this rather shabby hotel on the quayside in 1988 when he fell out of his second floor room onto the pavement below.
An autopsy showed both cocaine and heroin in his bloodstream. Chet battled drug use for decades - like many jazz musicians.
The Prins Hendrik Hotel is at 52-57 Prins Hendrikade.
To the Red light district?-get you mind out of the gutter! To a coffee house?-nope! How bout the smart shop? No my friends- you go to Aborigininal art & Instruments ! because a didgeridoo is a musical instrument!
I doubt I could ever find this place again as I found it by accident.I stopped in an open doorway to get out of the rain and change a memory card in the camera.Looked over my shoulder and here there is this wall filled with dozens of didgeridoos.Watched some guys practice for a while and met the owners -very nice folks.
1012 ZL amsterdam
tel 31 (0) 20 4231333
Hotel de Goudfazant is a restaurant (and not a hotel) located at the IJ in Amsterdam Noord. It's big and industrial but cosy at the same time. The staff is friendly and the wine/ food is very good and not expensive. The seats at the window provide a spectacular view of the IJ . During the summer there is a big terrace at the water.
Take the free ferry behind the Central station, direction Meeuwenlaan-IJplein.
Aambeeldstraat 10 H
1021 KB Amsterdam (Noord)
The windmills are not used as much as in the past, but still do serve some for water flow and control. Used in milling and crushing grain, more modern methods are used, you think?
The tour of a windmill is really fun, however.
The real sights to see are in the country, and away from the city environment. There is some very lovely flowing planes of grass and cows graze continually. The locks and dams keep the water at a certain level and holds out the sea, so this land can be utilized. The typical thngs a tourist should tour is a wooden shoe factory, windmill in the works and cheese processing. We were on a bus tour, and got a showing for all of these. They are fun to look, listen and learn. They do want you to also make purchases, however, of their wares.
Most people do not even pay attention to these statues, that are beautiful lions, just in front of the Palace on the Dam Square.
Have you noticed these creatures has the lower part of the body in the form of a snake? And because of their wings they look a bit like the mythic though monstruous creature named Chimaera. That is an anient creature out of the Greek myths, maybe originated out of Asia Minor, or even the Far East.
I do love mythic statues. I could not find some details about these lions (artists, name etc. ) and will post a next time about ...
On the spur of the moment (after talking about it for 3 weeks :-p) Jasmine popped into a tattoo parlour and got herself a Tiger tattoed on her arm. It cost a fortune (140 Euros) but was done very professionally. There are a multitude of tattoo parlours in and around the red light district, you just gotta keep your eyes open and make sure you don't get ripped off. Jasmine went to DermaDonna, at Kloveniersburgwal 34.
The Dutch used to flood their land against enemy attacks.
The fortresses that came with this technique are called the Dutch Waterline, you can read all about it in English here: http://www.hollandsewaterlinie.nl/ and here http://www.noord-holland.com/ (things to do).
Walking routes around Amsterdam that visit the fortresses can be found under "wandelroutes" at http://www.noord-holland.com/stellingvanamsterdam/.
See my Netherlands page for some English/Dutch keywords to understand these search engines for walks in the Netherlands.
A similar defense line with fortresses was build around Amsterdam, see my Amsterdam Things to Do tip about the Stelling van Amsterdam (Defense Line of Amsterdam).
Kloveniersburgwal 58, a five minute walk from the Dam - this was the best second-hand book shop I have been to. We entered for a moment, to look around and to escape the lousy weather outside. We stayed for a few hours and left with some real treasures.
I liked the bookmark we got, Dutch style, simple but elegant, no embellishments, just practical information about the shop and a quote from A. Bierce's 'The Devil's Dictionary'. It read: 'Dice: n., Small polka dotted cubes of ivory, constructed like a lawyer to lie on any side'. Though why they chose this particular definition to put on a bookmark, I've no idea.
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