Among the many unique shops in the 9 Straatjes (9 Streets) shopping district, in the center of Amsterdam, Pontifex stands out for several reasons.
For one, it has what must be the largest collection — certainly in variety — of candles in all of Amsterdam.
You can get any type of candle you desire — from those long, tiny ones you sometimes see in bouquets, to huge and imposing church candles.
Indeed you can get candles for any purpose — be it a romantic dinner, a Christmas centerpiece, or a spiritual affair.
One day when I shopped here I overheard a lady advise someone on the proper candles — and lighting ritual — to use in order to persuade the neighbors to move… Something to do with midnight and and near the center of the common wall.
But yes, Pontifex has the type of candles uses in various spiritual rituals. Think Santeria, Candomble, Voodoo, and so on. Or you could you use them because they’re pretty.
The store also carries a wide range of essential, ‘spiritual’ aromatic oils, and other religious paraphernalia. If you need an explanation, or advice, just ask.
Something else that makes Pontifex unique is that the store include a hospital — a ‘hospital’ for dolls.
On duty is E. Kramer, a puppet doctor with more than 30 years of experience of gently and expertly nursing old-fashioned dolls and teddy bears back to health.
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