Amsterdam’s painters – Ferdinand Bol

Ferdinand Bol was born in Dordrecht on June 24th 1616 and died in Amsterdam on August 24th 1680. He was a painter, etcher and drawer. His works belong to the Baroque period and he was one of the old Dutch masters.   Self portrait Bol painted portraits and historical and biblical paintings.  He became an apprentice […]

Amsterdam’s brown inns

Another kind of inn is what in the Netherlands is called brown inns.  They come in all sizes and versions. There are large inns which annually sell more than one million beers and others whose clientele are a handful of customers from the neighborhood. Brown inns have a few hallmarks in common: walls and ceilings […]

Eggertstraat and Gravenstraat

If you were standing on the Dam in front of the Nieuwe Kerk and looked to your right, you would see the Eggertstraat, which today is no more than a back alley. In former times, this alley was called Ellendigesteeg (Wretched Alley in English). The name comes from Ellendigekerkhof (Wretched cemetery), where the most wretched […]

De Dam

Since the 13th century the Dam has been Amsterdam’s center and over the years it has had various names such as Middendam, Vissersdam, and Vijgendam. Over the centuries buildings have been constantly newly built and torn down again and only two buildings have remained standing: the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk.    Nieuwe Kerk   […]

Amsterdams Royal Palace

The building that’s now the Royal Palace at the Dam in Amsterdam began its life as a town hall. It is the fourth town hall in the city. All three previous town halls were made of wood; in 1421 the first burned down, in 1452 the second, and in 1652 the third.  The third city […]

Holland versus Netherlands

Holland consists of the 2 provinces Noordholland and Zuidholland Noordholland is a peninsula between the Northsea and the Ijsselmeer. More than half of Noordhollands surface consists of drained land. The island of Texel in the Wadden Sea is part of the province Noordholland. Amsterdam is the largest city of the province. The province Zuidholland is […]

He was hungry enough to eat caviar

I looked for a recipe in a book today and found a picture of blinis, tiny small pancakes, with caviar. That reminded me of one of the stories my dad used to tell. His dad, my granddad, was a fisherman, and back in the days, when my parents were children and young, there were lots […]