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In 1620 the northern part of the Jordaan welcomed its own church, the Noorderkerk, built in 1620-1623, by Hendrick de Keyser and his son Pieter. During the Renaissance period the centrifugal geometrical concept of the church was the ideal construction. It symbolized humanistic principles, and the architecture matched the Protestant service, in which the pulpit fulfilled a central role. The location, however, is medieval, with houses surrounding it. The church is still in use as a Protestant church. In 1998 drastic renovations were completed.
This statue is located outside Noorderkerk on the northern edge of the Jordaan, and commemorates the violent riots that took place in the Jordaan in 1934. The riots were in opposition to moves by the government in power at the time to remove welfare benefits, a plan which was scrapped after the riots. The statue depicts three figures bound together with chains, and was sculpted and erected in 1992 by artist Sophie Hupkens. The inscription "Eenheid de sterkste keten" adorns the statue and translates as "The strongest chains are those of unity."
Sculpted by renowned Dutch artist Hans Bayens in 1972, the statue of writer, educator and activist Theo Thijssen sits close to the top of Prinsengracht on Lindengracht, just outside the popular and award winning Café Thijssen. The bronze statue rests on a solid stone plinth and depicts Thijssen, who was famous for his love of teaching, instructing a student while sitting on his desk. Thijssen wrote a number of books, often autobiographical, that are well loved both inside and outside of The Netherlands. There are even two bridges on Amsterdam's Bloemgracht named after characters from his books.
Amsterdam is known for its large number of scenic canals. Visit Brouwersgracht to take in the city's charm as it's no different from the others. The streets, lined with bicycles, give you a sense of nostalgia. You can shop at the numerous stores, and follow it with feasting at one of the cafés.
As legend has it, this mansion, built in 1622, was originally the home of a rich merchant, Nicholaas Sohier, who had a deaf maid. One night six thieves broke into the house, but were all beheaded miraculously by the maid. Nowadays, those heads can still be seen prominently decorating the gable roof, giving the house its famous name. It is privately owned today housing offices and private exhibitions.
The Haarlemmerpoort is the only remaining vestige of old Amsterdam. These old gates used to surround the city. Others built included: Leidsepoort, Muiderpoort and Utrechtsepoort. They functioned as guarded entrances to the city and as exits out of town. The gates led to the cities with which their names matched: The Haarlemmer Gate led to Haarlem and the Leidsepoort to Leiden. Until 1825, Amsterdam was located inside these gates. Following another city expansion, the gates and the town ramparts became useless and were taken down. In 1840, the Haarlemmerpoort was restored in the classical style by architect C. Alewijn.
Just outside of Westerpark, west of Amsterdam's Jordaan area, stands a statue to Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, a former Lutheran preacher who became the Netherlands' first socialist member of Parliament in 1888. His views were seen as dangerously anarchist, and he campaigned for causes such as universal voting rights and fair treatment of workers. The statue was sculpted by Dutch artist Johan Polet in 1931, and is the last of a number of rejected concepts. The final version depicts Nieuwenhuis in a worker's jacket with a fist in the air; a relief of Prometheus, who stole fire from the Gods, is depicted on the plinth.
Back in the sixties, one sweet lady took in a stray cat and her kittens. Her house soon became too small for all the cats that followed and she moved to a houseboat in one of Amsterdam's lively canals. Even though cats hate water, they flourished in their new home and it since became a cat shelter where cats can go their own way, are not confined to cages and walk around like little captains. It is a unique and remarkable place. Two hours a day tourists are very welcome to come aboard and see this amazing shelter for themselves.