Amsterdam what to see: Amsterdam xxx

Amsterdam what to see: Leaving the Keukenhof Botanical Garden, our trip took us to Amsterdam, the capital of Holland, known and coveted especially by the young and “differently young”-those of my generation-for its libertine characteristics.

Amsterdam what to see
Amsterdam xxx what to see

A buzz only for tourists who come to visit Holland to transgress a bit, as the Dutch experience the fact of legalization of soft drugs and prostitution with much detachment.

I, too, fell for it at first thinking that everything was about excess-perhaps that was the biggest bias to visiting Holland-but in fact if we take away from this magnificent city the stretch of road from the central station to Dam Square and the two parallel streets where youth tourism runs rampant, we are confronted with a unique spectacle and a city without equal.

Amsterdam XXX The Meaning

In fact, on each side I could see written, printed, drawn three X’s, thinking they were linked and demarcated the red light area and the coffe shop area: Amsterdam XXX
The significance of XXX
is instead absolutely different and more noble: Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig (Valiant, Determined, Merciful), this is one of the meanings and the three founding values of the city represented by the three crosses of St. Andrew on the flag of Amsterdam. The other meaning is related to a folk tradition that links them to the three dangers that Amsterdam has faced in the past: Water, Fire, and Pestilence.

Flag Amsterdam

Flag Amsterdam
Flag Amsterdam

The three Xs are also represented in the flag of Amsterdam, which consists of three horizontal bands of the same size, two red with a black band in the center representing the Amstel River. The colors of the flag derive, it is thought, from those of the heraldic coat of arms of one of the city’s oldest families. Within the black band are represented the three

Amsterdam where to sleep

We arrived in Amsterdam at 5 p.m., and our accommodation was right centrally located in front of the Station. I had found a great offer always on booking for the Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdama only 70 euros per night for a double room.

After leaving our bags in the room, we went out immediately to explore the city, but the first thing we realized is how good the Dutch are at managing their free time unlike us Italians:the stores were already closed. They are in fact only open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., then everyone goes about their own lives!

I must say that I was not thrilled with the libertine part of the city, while coming out of the red light district and coffee shop area I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the city.

intelligent man does not urinate against the wind
The intelligent man does not urinate against the wind

Amsterdam by Boat

The first thing, as soon as we got out and about the next morning, was to book a boat ride on the canal circle. I must say it was very interesting and allowed us to taste the essence of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam what to see indie company
Indie company headquarters – ph. © Paolo Salvetti

Passing by the historic headquarters of the East India Company reminded us how important Holland was in the 16th century in the international chessboard and how the Dutch were a merchant people, making ancient feelings surface in me.

What to see in Amsterdam – its peculiar dwellings

Amsterdam what to see: Around the canal belt, the guide on the boat points out how the houses have three recurring feat
They have a finely decorated gable, are slanted toward the center of the street, and above all are very narrow.

The houses of amsterdam
Photo on Visual Hunt

The narrow houses of Amsterdam

During the 1600s, the so-called Golden Age. Dutch, especially because of the scarcity of buildable land, the city government calculated the building fee according to the width of the facade: the wider the house, the more you paid, so that some of the oldest houses in the city do not even reach 2 meters in width.

The narrowest house in Amsterdam is just over a meter wide

The result is a row of small houses that were spread out in height inside which living must have been very uncomfortable indeed. The narrowest house on record is located at Singel 7 and is just over a meter wide.

Another feature is that they are inclined outward, and the reason for this is quite intuitable: if furniture had to be taken to the upper floors, the only way to do it was from the outside, so on the top of the houses there was always a pulley to get the furniture up, and the inclination toward the center of the street prevented them from slamming into the facade.

frontoni-case Amsterdam

The gables of the houses are all different, and the owners competed in the decoration of the facades, which, due to the shape taken on their topsides, are still called: staircase (flattened), bell-shaped, (bottleneck), spouted, and framed, with luxurious variations inspired by French classicism.

Le houseboat di Amsterdam

Another type of housing very much present in the city are houseboats, barges or real boats used for housing. There are over 2,500 of them and they used to be used for transporting goods, but today they are moored along the circle of canals. Over 750 are found in the Singel Canal alone. they come in different shapes and types but are all equipped with every comfort.

Amsterdam Museums

After finishing our boat tour, we decided to immerse ourselves in culture by visiting Amsterdam’s most important museums: The Van Gogh Museum and the Risk Museum.
Unfortunately, we did not get to see Rembrandt’s house museum, but we have put it on the agenda for our next trip to Dutch soil.

Van Gogh Museum

We had booked our visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam online since the line to get in is always endless and without a pre-booking the chances of visiting it are very few.

Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum – Photo © Paolo Salvetti

Ornella and I are in love with Vincent’s painting, we have visited the places in Provence where he lived and worked to understand his colors, but without finding a single painting, and we have seen him in some important exhibitions brought to Italy by Linea d’ombra.

Van Gogh Museum fila

Van Gogh is one of our favorites because he is a painter outside his era, albeit within the Impressionist movement, his use of palette and thicknesses given to color place him temporally elsewhere. The same effect of painting placed in the wrong century we have for Bosh in the 1400s, Caravaggio in the 1500s, Vermeer in the 1600s, Goya in the 1700s

As expected, the line to get in was very long partly because the number of visitors inside is capped by management to allow everyone to enjoy the collection as best as possible.

The show is truly unique, the canvases are many and divided into the various time periods of the painter’s life. Strangely enough, you can take pictures inside the Van Gogh museum-I don’t know if it is still possible-giving me a chance to capture more than the paintings, the atmosphere inside.

Sunflowers, Provencal landscapes, self-portraits, the period of preaching in Holland. Above all, I was able to understand Van Gogh’s leap forward from his inspiring masters.
In fact, as in the case of the Sowers, those made by Vincent, those made by Millet (one of his references) are placed side by side, and I must say that Van Gogh’s are moving!

millet sower vs van gogh
Sower millet vs. van gogh

Rijks Museum

Our time in Amsterdam is really short, so we leave the Van Gogh Museum to quickly visit another museum gem of the city:The Rijks Museum.

Risk museum Amstedam
Credito fotografico: Maximus’78 su Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

The Rijks Museum houses the works of another of our favorite painters Johannes Vermeer, and after an alas quick view of Rembrandt’s works, we head to the rooms where Vermeer is on display.
I have to be honest, I thought there were more works, but those present fully represent Vermeer.

The diamonds of Amsterdam

After the cultural moment, it is almost a must to deal with Diamonds,
Amsterdam
is the focal point of Diamond making and trading in the world, the biggest traders, the biggest carvers are Dutch.

Diamond Museum - diamond polishing
Credito fotografico: quinet su Visual hunt / CC BY

So we could not miss a visit to the Diamond Museumwhich is located right between the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijks museum, to understand and see how the most important gems are worked by master carvers right in front of our eyes.

As in all museums on the way out there is the gift store, but given the subject matter, definitely out of my reach: beautiful stones, rings, bracelets, necklaces. All studded with Diamonds and masterfully displayed and available to be tried on. Ornella claimed that the prices are lower than those found in our jewelry stores, and I promised her that when I became rich, we would come back. At the time I thought only of declaring receivership.

Getting around Amsterdam: Bicycle is the most popular mode of transport

One thing certainly impressed us: the huge number of bicycles. In fact, it is considered by residents to be the best way to get around the city. We had indisputable proof of this as we passed the central station and its huge bicycle parking lot.

bicycle parking station amsterdam

Bicycle use is also greatly encouraged by the state, which has built a very high number of bicycle paths over the years, covering more than 2,000 km.

Amsterdam what to visit

One of the best memories was getting lost wandering around the circle of waterways that led us to discover wonderful glimpses of this city: the flower market along the canal with its huge variety of bulbs for sale, one of the most famous cigar stores in the world,Hajanius and then a visit to the NEMO Museum, made by Renzo Piano with the beautiful ship Amsterdam Docked in front.

Nemo is home to a science museum entirely dedicated to children where you can do experiments in basic physics and chemistry as well as a section dedicated to sex education while also discovering the secrets of “tongue kissing. “For the occasion I wore my fish uniform, strictly Lacoste.

Nemo Museum and Ship Amsterdam

READ THE PREVIOUS STORY: Keukenhof and the flowering of Tulips in the Netherlands.

READ NEXT MAP: Volendam and the island of Marken

Amsterdam XXX
(Visitato 47 volte. Solo oggi ci sono state 1 visite a questo articolo)

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