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This monument to the Dutch Golden Age poet and playwright, Gerbrand Adriaensz Bredero stands, appropriately enough, just outside of Amsterdam's notorious Red Light District. Bredero's work often depicted the seedier side of Dutch society and he lived all his life in and around these streets; his former residence can be found on Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The statue is a tribute to Bredero's work, showing a couple embracing in a scene from "The Spanish Brabander" and was created by Dutch sculptor Piet Esser in 1968 to mark the 350th anniversary of Bredero's death.
The Fo Guang Shan He Hua is a faith of the Buddha's Light International Association. He Hua literally means the lotus flower which symbolizes enlightenment. The temple is therefore also known as the lotus temple. Albeit the fact that this is the largest Buddhist shrine in Europe you still tend to find peace and tranquil within its walls. Typical to the Chinese and Buddhist architecture, the temple is an exemplary structure consisting of traditional gates, shrine, pagodas and carved niches. Additional to the shrine, the complex also houses a meditation center, a meeting room, library, dining room and bedrooms.
Originally a lively fish and cloth market, this square upon which the castle-like De Waag building stands was the holding place for Jews arrested during World War II. In the 1970s, Chinese immigrants created a small Chinatown, and a decade later, locals protested the construction of a subway station here. On weekdays the square is a cool gathering place surrounded by pubs and small restaurants where you can eat well for very little money. While Saturdays sees the square occupied by the weekly farmers' market, where you will find everything from from fruits and vegetables to cosmetics and curios. A delightful walk along the canals amid some of Amsterdam's oldest houses is highly recommended.
Known as the Trippenhuis, this happens to be one of the widest old houses in Amsterdam. Built in 1660 by two wealthy brothers—Lodewijk and Hendrick Trip, the house was built for Mister Trip's coachman when the coachman expressed his desire to have a home built as wide as his master's front door. Now it is home to the Dutch Academy of Sciences.
Amsterdam's mysterious unknown sculptor created this small plaque set into the ground close to the Oudekerk, the old church in the center of the city's Red Light District. Molded from bronze, the piece takes the shape of a man's hand touching a lady's breast and is often considered to be an homage or mark of respect for Amsterdam's many sex workers, much like the nearby statue, Belle. While nobody knows who created or placed it in secrecy so many years ago, the Borstplaat, which literally means the breastplate has been a part of Amsterdam since 1993.
Amsterdam's Red Light District is one of the infamous attractions that have come to make Amsterdam the edgy capital that it is. Although this district, located between Centraal Station and Niewenmarkt, is best known for being home to a large concentration of brothels and sex shops due to the Netherlands' legalization of prostitution, there is much more to see than just the risque display windows. The Red Light District is actually one of the oldest areas in the city, and also contains many of the city's best-known coffeeshops, the historic Oude Kirk (Old Church), several museums and many bars and restaurants. The district has a reputation for being a bit gritty when the sun goes down, so people who may be nervous to experience this unique area may enjoy touring during the day.
This pint-sized statue located beside the Oude Kerk in the center of Amsterdam's Red Light District was erected in honor of the millions of people throughout Amsterdam (and the world) who work in the sex trade, willingly or not. The statue was commissioned by the Prostitute Information Center's founder and operator Mariska Majoor, and was unveiled in March 2007 as part of the Red Light District's Second Open Day. Belle is the work of Dutch artist Els Rijerse and is made of steel reinforced bronze on top of a granite plinth.
Odd perhaps, but De Oude Kerk (Old Church) really is in the center of the red-light district. Surrounded by cobblestones, the church has to this day maintained its medieval appearance, despite being stripped of its decoration during the Reformation in the early decades of the 15th Century. From its beginnings as a small wooden church, to growing into the beautiful building that exists today, Oude Kerk has come to be known as "Amsterdam's living room." The city's famous Stille Omgang is an annual event which commemorates the Miracle of the Host, and still takes place today annually around 15th March. This nocturnal procession ends at De Oude Kerk.