To the left you see the square grid of the Jordaan district, built in the early 17th century for artisans and the poorer souls. Next to it you see the four grand, major tree-lined curving canals: counting from the outside to the inside they are named Prinsen (Princes) gracht, Keizers (Emperors) gracht, then the most important one, the Heren (Gentleman's) gracht and finally the Singel. Thus the order is PKHS, can't think of a short word as a memory aid in English right away but in Dutch we use PaKHuiS (warehouse).
In the middle you see the old center with the Dam Square and the New Church. On Dam square stands the Royal Palace originally built as the Town Hall. A bit to the right hand side is the Old Church with the Red Light district and the Rembrandt area. The white horse shoe shape is the combination of Opera and Town Hall, situated on Amstel river. Towards the top, by the harbor you see the large Central Railway Station, totally blocking the view of the harbor. In order to repair this error in 1880's city design, a promenade and exciting new buildings are now constructed alongside the harbour, reuniting the citizens and visitors of Amsterdam with its widest body of water.
Amsterdam is the uncrowned capital of The Netherlands. The beauty of the city center is the result of many centuries of careful city planning. It boasts the most wonderfully preserved group of canals and ancient canal houses found anywhere in the world. In the center we find the headquarters of the United East India Company, pivot of international trade and source of great wealth in the 17th century. Dutch painter Rembrandt, prince of painters, and prolific etcher, draughtsman also made his home here and catered to the wealthy merchants.
A number of important museums including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum are also located here. A dozen of other museums are well worth visiting, including the Rembrandt house. On Dam square, from which this town on the Amstel river originally got its name, is the former Town Hall, now Royal Palace. Next to it stands the late mediaeval New Church, now mainly serving as an exhibition hall. A five-minute walk going east takes us to the large Old Church in the middle of the Red Light District. I am available as your top-notch university level guide. As a portable reference manual I use the famous díAilly historical handbooks during the Amsterdam walks. In it I have amassed extra historical information not currently available.
As an art historian based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I can meet you in Amsterdam for a personalized guided tour of art museums and the historic center. Together we will experience the beauty and history. Enjoy yourself and learn about history while strolling and discussing the country's history, art and culture. In doing so, we may touch many bases - spanning not only fine art and architecture but also the city's history and current social issues. Starting at your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural walking tour of your choice. My guided itinerary offers you accessable informative conversation in English, Dutch, or German (my French and Italian are more limited).
Generally for small groups of 1-4 persons in Amsterdam 60 EUR per hour. Contact me for information on higher amounts with other venues and more people.
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