The Jordaan is the old working-class neighborhood of Amsterdam that was populated in the 17th century by Flemish, Spanish, Jews, and Huguenots, who were looking for work in the growing city. Overcrowding and misery were characteristic of the neighborhood until the early 1900s, but also inventiveness and creativity. It is no coincidence that the philosopher Cartes, the painter Rembrandt and the poet Vondel also lived here, after which the famous Vondelpark is named. Nowadays the Jordaan is a residential area with beautiful terraced houses and small bridges. The rebirth began in the 1980s when the city council gave the green light to the redevelopment of the area and encouraged artists and creatives to move there.
For the lover of the coffeeshop in Amsterdam, there are also many, less touristy coffeeshops outside the city center. But just as good! The most famous coffee shop in this area is Coffeeshop Amsterdam West. A coffee shop combined with a bar, with a very friendly atmosphere.
Watch out; Even in Amsterdam, you are not allowed to smoke on the street. Ditto the alcohol. Consumption is allowed in bars and clubs, but not on the street. In short, Amsterdam’s tolerance is based on a series of precise rules. Respect for them is essential to the success of the coffee shop visit and your holiday.
You cannot say that you have been in Amsterdam if you did not visit the Anne Frank House. It is not without reason that the visitor numbers of the museum are enormous. More than a million visitors a year, mainly by young people under 25. The sad story of this girl, who was imprisoned for more than two years behind the Westerkerk and eventually deported to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, still creates empathy after 70 years. Obviously, the famous diary that the girl wrote during the two years of forced exile, is also part of the museum route.
The Westerkerk is the largest Protestant church in Amsterdam. Designed in 1620 by city architect Hendrick de Kaiser. It was completed in 1632. The great Rembrandt is buried here, even though no one knows exactly where. In addition to the presence of Rembrandt, the church is known for its bell tower. The 85-meter high Westertoren is often quoted in the diary of Anne Frank, who, by the ringing of the church, was greatly comforted during her condition in exile. When you reach the top of the tower, you can admire one of the most beautiful panoramas of Amsterdam. Outside the church is a memorial statue dedicated to Anne Frank and not far from it the Gay Monument, a memorial consisting of three triangles in pink granite commemorating the gay and lesbian people who were persecuted by the Nazis.