Amsterdam paints an incomplete picture if you do not know about its rich history. Constructed almost 1000 years back, Amsterdam city is brimming with remnants of a bygone era. Its lanes and buildings have preserved the essence of its past, and one can easily experience it by exploring this vast city. Apart from the museum, there are several places to check out in Amsterdam when on a private Rijksmuseum tour; it will surely mesmerize the travel buff in you.
A city famous for its freedom and nightlife, Amsterdam is also a history lover’s paradise. With numerous buildings and monuments that preserve the heritage of its glorious past, the city has quite a few historic destinations to offer. So be ready to put on the shoes of an excavator as the streets of Amsterdam welcomes you to its historic embrace. Let us take a look at the top historic destinations in the Dutch capital city below.
The Dam square can be best described as the historic center of Amsterdam. This site housed the dam, which contributed significantly to building Amsterdam into what it is today. A large dam was constructed at the mouth of the Amstel River in the 13th Century. It served as a unifying factor for several settlements on the different sides of the river. The square houses and several important buildings such as the National Monument, the Royal Palace, and the Nieuwe Kerk are situated in the Dam square, so it is definitely worth a visit.
The Portuguese Synagogue is a 17th Century synagogue located in the outskirts of Amsterdam city. It reminds the visitors of the presence of a big Jewish community that thrived in Amsterdam in the medieval times. Built with all grandeur, the synagogue is a very large structure and a very popular destination for travelers. It also remains an integral part of the Jewish community in Amsterdam. Interestingly, it houses one of the oldest Jewish libraries in the world, complete with authentic and rare notes. Hence, it is also a subject of extensive research for the global fraternity.
Built initially to commemorate the victims of the Nazi killings, the Homomonument is also a symbol of respect towards the ongoing struggle faced by the LGBTQ people. It is an open symbol of support to all those who suffered humiliation because of their homosexuality. It is constructed in the shape of a large triangle made of three small pink triangles. Being the first of its kind to extend support to the LGBT community, it also inspired many similar constructions across the world.
De Oude Kerk
Being the oldest surviving building in Amsterdam, De Oude Kerk was initially run by the Catholic regime. However, it was converted to a Protestant cathedral later. The church is situated in the middle of De Wallen or the Red Light District, which happens to be Amsterdam’s main tourist attraction. Another interesting feature of the building is the presence of two more monuments dedicated to the city’s sex workers within its courtyard.
Anne Frank House
This is the place where Anne Frank resided with her family hiding from the Nazis. She is renowned for her famous journal about the hardships and mishaps of the Holocaust. The concealed place in De Jordan where they hid before being arrested is preserved to date and has become a monument to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. That is why this is one of the most visited historical places in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt House Museum
The Rembrandt House Museum is an art museum where the famous painter Rembrandt lived and completed many of his iconic artworks. The museum houses an elaborate collection of his etchings and paintings. The adjoining building also has a big share of his collection of objects from all around the world. Recently, the building was reconstructed to bring back the feel of Rembrandt’s time. It is located close to the City Hall and is an integral part of Dutch art and history.
The Canal Belt
The waterways of Amsterdam are world famous, both for their construction as well as their aesthetic appeal. Built during the period between 1613 and 1665, it was a part of a citywide innovation project. This interconnected system of canals links the neighborhoods across the city and boosts its trade by enabling easy transportation of goods all over Amsterdam. Considering the legacy of these waterways, UNESCO protects these canals as a world heritage site
De Waag is a 15th Century building situated in the Nieuwmarkt Square in Amsterdam. It is a very important building in Amsterdam’s history as it has witnessed several incidents as well as drastic transitions in lifestyle. Back in the time, it functioned as one of the gates in the city’s fortified wall. It has also served as a museum, a fire station, as well as an anatomical theatre. Furthermore, the building is the oldest non-religious building in Amsterdam with the Rijksmonument status.