Category: Streets & Squares

Begijnhof – Amsterdam Beguinage

Founded sometime in the 14th century for the Beguines, members of a lay Catholic sisterhood, the Begijnhof is one of Amsterdam’s oldest inner courtyards — and one of the city’s best known landmarks.

Even taking into account the effects of mass tourism, the Begijnhof remains for the most part a haven of peace and tranquility in the busy center of medieval Amsterdam.

Damrak – The Red Carpet into Amsterdam

Damrak is the main street that leads from Amsterdam Central Station, where most tourists arrive, to Dam square in the center of the medieval town.

This lively street, lined with centuries-old monuments, so-so bars, and gaudy souvenir shops, Damrak — which is in the middle of a makeover — offer a preview of what Amsterdam has to offer.

Muntplein

Muntplein and Munt Tower in Amsterdam De Munt is not the type of square where you sit down at a terrace and enjoy the scenery. It is a busy junction sporting a never-ending jumble of cars, trams, bikes and people.

It is a good place from which to explore the Flower Market, nearby Rembrandtplein, or the Kalverstraat shopping district.

Was Amsterdam named after a dam in the river Amstel?

Dam in the river Amstel Most tourist guides say that Amsterdam developed around a dam built in the river Amstel around 1270 AD, and that this dam which was located at present-day Dam Square — gave the city its name.

But historians say that decades earlier the small settlement in the Amstel delta was already known as ‘Aemsterdam’ or, alternatively, ‘Amstelredam.’