With over 10 million annual visitors, the Vondelpark is the biggest and most famous park in Amsterdam, and in fact, in the whole of Netherlands. Located south of Leidseplein, the Vondelpark is close to the famous Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum. The huge expanse of land and its many trees have made the Vondelpark the preferred destination for many tourists and natives to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. Due to this, many Amsterdam tours include Vondelpark in their itinerary. Below are some interesting and informative facts about the Vondelpark.
The origins of the Vondelpark can be traced back to 1864 when several prominent citizens devised a committee to build a public park. The architect Jan David Zocher was commissioned to design the park in a style befitting a typical English landscape. The park got completed by 1865 and was opened to the public in the same year. Further developments took place in 1877 when the committee began raising money to expand the park. The Pavilion, designed by W. H. Hamer Jr., was completed in 1878.
The Vondelpark covers a huge area and is home to many kinds of exotic trees and plants. This includes the Dutch red chestnut, horse chestnut, old plane trees, and various birch trees. Since it contains such a huge wealth of trees, the Vondelpark is home to many birds like blue herons, wild ducks, and other smaller birds that make this park a true delight for any avid nature lover. The area in which it is built was initially a muddy area and had to undergo renovation works each 30 years. This is to prevent the land from lowering their ground levels, which causes it to become submerged especially during heavy rains.
The Vondelpark has several sculptures installed in its different locations. The bronze monument of the Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel that stands three meters tall is one of the noteworthy sculptures located in the park. Besides that, the park features the work of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, which is a concrete abstract structure ‘Fish’. Mama Baranka, by the Amsterdam contemporary artist Nelson Carrillho is another great bronze monument situated in this park.
Open Air Theatre
The Vondelpark houses an Open Air Theater, where several cultural programs are conducted during the months of June, July, and August. Admission to the theater is free, while also offering the facility for tourists to reserve their seats via online.