Jordaan - Jordaan information and pictures
Amsterdam’s quaint Jordaan
neighborhood offers visitors a quiet break from the always crowded, main tourist destinations. Located southwest from the city’s center along the Prinsengracht Canal, Jordaan was once a slum, built in the 17th century to house the growing population of immigrant workers. Now, its tall narrow houses and winding alleys are quickly becoming gentrified and is a favorite district for students and artists.
Built in 1612 beyond the city center as a district for the working class, Jordaan for many years had no running water with the canals used as open sewers. Rembrandt and poet, Joost van den Vondel both resided in Jordaan. Rembrandt is buried in a pauper’s grave in the nearby Westerkerk, or West Church.
This poor district was discovered by artists and students as a cheap place to live in the 1970s, and has since been transformed to a desirable residential neighborhood with hip cafes, artist galleries and boutiques. Just a short walk from Dam Square
, this is a neighborhood to be savored on foot, where every turn on the narrow cobblestone alleys and canals will reward a visitor with a hidden discovery.
- There are no main tourist destinations in Jordaan, although there are a few recommended sites to visit. The 17th century neighborhood church, the Noorderkerk, designed by Hendrick de Keyser is worth a visit. Its ancient courtyard is a frequent site for concerts.
Hidden, gated almshouse courtyards, called hofjes
are prevalent throughout Jordaan. The churches and the charitable rich funded the hofjes in the 1600s to house poor, widowed women. Open a gate of a hidden hofjes to discover quaint courtyards with a secret garden like quality.
While strolling along the main lanes of Jordaan, numerous art galleries are located on the ground levels exhibiting and selling unique works of art. A few quirky museums are also situated in the Jordaan district: a houseboat museum, Pianola Museum, the Theo Thijssen museum, housed in the popular writer’s birthplace and last but not least, a fluorescent museum named “Electric Lady Land.”
The Jordaan district is populated with small, trendy restaurants and popular brown cafes. While taking a stroll in this historic neighborhood, you will happen upon little cafes hidden away in the narrow houses and tiny alleys. After touring the many treasures of Jordaan, stop for a drink or a quiet meal in establishments that are free from the crowds of tourists and experience the real Amsterdam
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