Amsterdam is a 1000-year-old city and a long history sleeps alongside its modern establishments. For those interested to know more about its past, there are several places that still preserve the beauty of the bygone eras. Below are some of the most important historical sites that you can visit on your Amsterdam tours.
Amsterdam Centraal Station is one of the Dutch capital’s major transportation hubs. It is a place where metros, ferries, trams, taxis, and trains pass through, connecting people to different places around the city. The building has an elaborate history of having witnessed the transformation of Amsterdam to a bustling metropolitan city. It was designed by AL van Gendt and Pierre Cuypers, and was inaugurated in 1889. The station sits on three man-made islands and is supported by wooden piles because of the sandy base.
Museum Van Loon
This is a stately residence, which was once owned by one of the prominent dynasties of Amsterdam – the Van Loon family. Dating back to the 17th Century, this place has a collection of artifacts from the past that includes family treasures, decorative arts, and city history. It was purchased by the Van Loon family in the year 1884, and the home was filled with their furnishings and portraits. Later, in 1974, this canal house was turned into a museum and rigorous restoration was conducted. Head to this place if you want to feel how a canal house interior would look like.
This is another stately home, which was constructed in the 17th Century. This one was inhabited by the elite families of Amsterdam, and was later converted into a museum that displays the different décor styles of the previous centuries. In fact, the last owner of the residence, Louisa Holthuysen, handed the place over to the city under the condition that the place is turned into a museum. The interior of the museum is adorned with art collections from the past, gardens, and beautiful interiors. The place opens to the public once in a year, and offers a walking tour narrating the secrets of the inner gardens of canal houses of Amsterdam.
Museum Het Rembrandthuis
The Rembrandt House is the place that the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn called home as well as a studio. He used it from 1639 to 1658. The place is brimming with his memories; this is the place, where he created some of his most famous works. There are several of his etchings on display here, and the interior has been reworked to make it appear just like in the past. Besides, there is also a collection of works by some of his teachers, contemporaries, and pupils in the house-turned-museum.
The Dam Square is one of the nosiest hubs of Amsterdam, home to some of the main city attractions including National Monument, Royal Palace, and Madame Tussauds. You can visit the Royal Palace and take in the visual beauty of the architecture inside. Furthermore, the palace is still used by the royal family for important ceremonies and receptions. The National Monument here is a memorial for the victims of World War II, while the Dam is also a venue of several fairs, celebrations, and events. The best thing is that it is just a few minutes away from the Centraal Station.
This is the headquarters of one of the most powerful companies, the Dutch East India Company. The company was formed in 1602 with an objective of conducting trade with Asia. The building was a symbol of luxury and command as it sported warehouses, boardrooms, and administration. The government took over the building in the year 1799 when the company came to a close. It is now being used by the University of Amsterdam. You can spend some peaceful time wandering its premises and admiring the several paintings installed here.
This is an edifice sitting in the Nieuwmarkt square, which has served multiple uses throughout history. It was first constructed as a gate for the city walls. Later, it became the ‘weigh house’ for shipped goods. Today, it is home to a collection of great cafés and restaurants, aside from its different exhibits. Note that this place is located in the heart of Chinatown district, which allows you to try some Chinese food later as well.
Beurs Van Berlage (Old Stock Exchange)
This is the original home of Amsterdam’s Stock Exchange. The building was designed by Hendrik van Berlage and it portrays the shift in architectural style from the 19th to 20th Century. Today, the building is used as a gallery space and as a conference center. If you climb up to the top of the building’s tower, you will get excellent views of the city. The fact that it is located right in the middle of the city makes it easily accessible.