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You will almost certainly visit (or perhaps just pass by) the Oude Kerk, set in the middle of the Red Light district.
But you may not take the opportunity to look carefully at the Medieval (late 1400s) misericords inside (especially if you have only visited to see the tomb of Rembrandt's first wife).
Misericords are little shelves on the choir-seats, placed there for weary monks to rest themselves during long or night-time services.
In many Medieval churches they have fascinating carvings underneath and Ooude Kerk is no expception, although its misericords are more rustic simplicity than master-carvings. Luckily, they were not damaged during the 1566 iconoclasm in the church.
Many of the misericords in Oude Kerk represent homely sayings: don't pull too hard on a weak rope, money doesn't fall out of my arse, banging your head against a brick wall.....more photos in my travelogue.
I am dubious about one or two of them: the clothes are simply not right for the 1480s, and I suspect they were replaced in the early/mid 20th century.
Well worth seeking out.
Updated Nov 27, 2012
People keep going on and on about what a lively theater scene there is in Amsterdam, which I don't doubt but since it is mainly in Dutch it is unfortunately Off the Beaten Path for those of us who don't understand that language very well.
The first photo shows the Stadsschouwburg (which in German looks like it should mean City Show Castle) at Leidseplein 26. This is a large theater with a monumental Large Hall (Grote Zaal) which dates from 1894.
Second photo: Three years later, in 1897, the Carré Theater at Amstel 115 was built. Originally it was intended as a circus venue, but is now used for mainly for musicals (like one about Rembrandt) and variety shows.
Written Jul 31, 2006
I'm sure there must be a proper word for these rather lovely carvings, but I don't know what it is.
When most people could not read, these carvings were placed on the front of buildings so they could more easily be found.
I've seen them in other part of Europe too although, weirdly, we don't have them in the UK.
Amsterdam was full of them. all types, and many from the early-mid 1600s. Well worth keeping our eyes open and looking up as you wander the canalsides.
I saw so many I've had to make two separate travelogues about them!
Written Feb 20, 2010
I went to this museum because I had bought one of those Amsterdam Passes and it's entry was included. I walked there and it was almost like leaving Amsterdam as that neighborhood seemed so different to the city center.
This museum is different but interesting, nonetheless. It displays artifacts from not just Tropical countries but all warm-weather places, like the Middle East. Not exactly what one travels to The Netherlands for, but hey, it was interesting!
What I remember most about it is the display of Persian rugs made during the first Gulf War. Check this picture out in close-up to see what it's pattern consists of.
Updated Oct 22, 2005
I (and you) may refresh our memory about Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum even without leaving Moscow. We should go to the Main Building of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and see “Portrait of an Old Man”, “Portrait of an Old Woman”, “Ahasuerus and Esther”, “Incredulity of St Thomas”, "Christ Clearing the Temple”/
Every time I visited this museum since my childhood I admired by these masterpieces… Never knew that I would be able to watch Rembrandt in Amsterdam…
12 Volkhonka St., Moscow
(tel.: +7 495 609-95-20, +7 495 697-95-78, +7 495 697-74-12),
Metro station: "Kropotkinskaya".
Ticket price for foreign visitors 400 rubles (10 euro) for adults,
200 rubles for schoolchildren, students and pensioners.
Attention! Ticket prices for exhibitions might differ from those for permanent collections.
Visitors are offered audio guides in Russian, English, German, French and Italian.
Many exciting tours are on offer!
Open daily from 10 am to 7 pm
Thursdays from 10 am to 9 pm
+7 (495) 609-95-20,
+7 (495) 697-95-78
Written Mar 18, 2012
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Feb 26, 2009
Phone: +31 20 644 42 16
I have a feeling that many people do not realise that it was not only Jews who were persecuted and sent to concentration camps by the Nazi regime: gypsies, the mentally and physically handicapped and homosexuals also suffered the same fate.
To the rear of the Westerkerk you will find Amsterdam's monument to the homosexuals who suffered and died during the Occupation. It is the world's first, and comprises three pink granite triangles (homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles on their clothes).
The artist is Karin Daan, and the inscription reads 'Such an infinite desire for friendship' (Jacob Israel de Haan, a Dutch writer).
Worth seeking out on your way to or from the Anne Frank Huis, which is also to the rear of the Westerkerk.
Updated Feb 24, 2010
Old Amsterdam is full of lovely architecture, which makes wandering along its canals sheer joy.
I especially liked this building, which is tucked away in the Jordaan district and not so easy to find by chance.
It dates from 1642, with three crow-stepped gables, tiny (old) leaded window panes and lovely painted shutters.
Most interesting of all, its three namestones represent a steeman (someone who lived in a city/town), a landman (farmer) and a seeman (sailor).
I wonder why?
Worth seeking out. Bloemgracht is a pretty canal street anyway, and the buildings next door to 87-91 are lovely examples of a slightly later architectural style (bottleneck gables).
Updated Feb 28, 2010
When you are tired on the busy tourist streets, then take a short trip into some of the many narrow alleys in the city centre. You don't have to go far to get a much more quiet atmosphere - and maybe even get to see a cat on the windowsill, sitting there and watching you.
Written Jan 13, 2004
Every day from early am to about 2pm Monday to Friday, about 45 mins through the traffic by bus, out on the outskirts is the horticultural growing area of Aalsmeer where also you will find the enormous complex that is the worlds largest flower auctions involving about 60,000 transactions daily are held supplying markets all over Europe and the world.
The 171 bus, and the 172 bus returning, leave about half hourly through the day from Centraal Station with another notable landmark stop along the way being out at Leidesplein.
Dont worry about not knowing where to get off - you cant miss the huge symbol of the flower auctions out at the complex and the bus drivers have always been extremely helpful as to where to go off.
This is a well worth morning spent seeing all sorts of beautiful flowers but it is earlier the better but dont worry too much about if you have a copy of the Lonely Planet guide that says you must be out there really early and that it packs up by 10am - the woman greeting on arrival was adamant that there is activity to watch until mid afternoon.
Tickets were about 7 euro to get in. There is a shop with a wide range of souvenir for sales and a well stocked coffee shop.
Updated Nov 16, 2007
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