Amsterdam

I’ve been to Amsterdam twice, in 2005 and 2009, though have surprisingly few photographs. It’s a hobby I’ve grown into over the years. This is more of a snippets post focusing on a couple of the less well known attractions. I’ll have to return for a third time to more thoroughly cover it. I do remember enjoying the Van Gogh Museum but no photos were allowed.

Fans of architecture and design will love De Bazel, an amazing example of Brick Expressionism. Opened in 1926 as a bank, it is now home to the Amsterdam City Archives. From the outside the building is imposing.

Inside and below are highly decorative bank vaults, filled with colourful tiles, and thick bright blue doors, quite a sight.

The Museum Van Loon is a classic Amsterdam house, built in 1672, and preserved as it was lived in during 19th century. The expansive garden behind the house was unexpected.

Both times I visited the Rijksmuseum it was under renovation. After ten years it finally reopened in 2013, there is a great documentary series on what went on behind the scenes. When I visited a few rooms were open, I remember seeing some astonishing Vermeer’s, but no photography was allowed.

The iconic I Amsterdam sign used to be outside the Rijksmuseum, but was removed in December 2018 after becoming a selfie magnet, with 6,000 taken daily. This was viewed as promoting mass tourism, with more people interested in photos outside the museum than visiting the artworks inside.

Close by is Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen, home to 40 bronze iguana statues by artist Hans van Houwelingen.

The 350 year old Royal Palace Amsterdam had an impressive facade.

To end with the best known feature of Amsterdam, the wonderful canals, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age.

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