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Amsterdam

Interesting places in Amsterdam:
Amsterdam City Centre   Singelgracht
Prinsengracht   Amstel
Keizersgracht   Herengracht
Lijnbaansgracht   IJ
Westerpark (C)   Singel
Oost/Watergraafsmeer (U)   Oud-Zuid (V)
Oudezijds Voorburgwal   Plantage/Weesperbuurt
Oudezijds Achterburgwal   Oud-West (D)
Zuideramstel (W)   Jordaan
Amstelveen (municipality)   Kostverlorenvaart
Red light district 'De Wallen'   Natura Artis Magistra, Artis (Zoo)
Vondelpark   Dam Square
Watergraafsmeer  

Amsterdam has one of the largest historic city centres in Europe, dating largely from the 17th century. At this time, a series of concentric, semi-circular canals ("grachten") were dug around the old city centre. Along the canals houses and warehouses were built. The canals still define Amsterdam's layout and appearance today. Many fine houses and mansions are situated along the canals. Some of the narrow brick houses are gradually sinking because they are built on wooden piles to cope with the marshy subsoil.

Architectural heritage

Amsterdam has one of the largest historic city centres in Europe, with about 7 000 registered historic buildings. The street pattern is largely unchanged since the 19th century - there was no major bombing during World War II. The centre consists of 90 islands, linked by 400 bridges. Its most prominent feature is the concentric canal ring begun in the 17th century. The city office for architectural heritage (BMA) has an excellent online introduction to the architectural history, and the types of historical buildings. The website includes a along important examples.

The oldest parts of the city are Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk. Two mediaeval wooden houses survive, at Begijnhof 34 and Zeedijk 1. Other old houses are Warmoesstraat 83 (built circa 1400), Warmoesstraat 5 (circa 1500) and Begijnhof 2-3 (circa. 1425).

The Begijnhof is a late-mediaeval enclosed courtyard with the houses of beguines, women living in a semi-religious community. Beguinages are found in northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and north-western Germany.

There are several large warehouses for more specific uses. The biggest is the Admiralty Arsenal (1656-1657), now the Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum) at Kattenburgerplein. Others include the former turf warehouses (1550) along the Nes, now the municipal pawn office; a similar warehouse at Waterlooplein 69-75 (Arsenaal, 1610), now an architectural academy, and the warehouse of the West India Company (1642) at the corner of Prins Hendrikkade and s-Gravenhekje. The 19th-century warehouses, along the Oostelijke Handelskade, are surrounded by new office buildings.

The trading city of Amsterdam was ruled by a merchant-based oligarchy, who built canal houses and mansions in the most prestigious locations, especially along the main canals. The BMA website has a chronological list of the most important:

  • Singel 140-142, De Dolphijn (circa 1600)
  • Oudezijds Voorburgwal 14, Wapen van Riga (1605)
  • Oudezijds Voorburgwal 57, De Gecroonde Raep (1615), in Baroque Amsterdam Renaissance style
  • Herengracht 170-172, Bartolotti House (circa 1617)
  • Keizersgracht 123, House with the Heads (1622)
  • Herengracht 168 (1638)
  • Rokin 145 (1643)
  • Kloveniersburgwal 29, Trip House (1662)
  • Oudezijds Voorburgwal 187 (1663)
  • Singel 104-106 (1743)
  • Singel 36, Zeevrugt (1763)

The Jordaan was built around 1650 along with the canal ring, but not for the wealthy merchants. For a long time it was considered the typical working-class area of Amsterdam, and included some notorious slums. It was probably the first example of gentrification in the Netherlands, even before the word was used. The name probably drives from the nickname 'Jordan' for the Prinsengracht. Apart from a few wider canals, the streets are narrow, in an incomplete grid pattern.

19th-century architecture is under-represented in Amsterdam. Immediately outside the Singelgracht (former city moat) is a ring of 19th-century housing. The most prominent buildings from this period are Centraal Station (1889) and the Rijksmuseum (1885), both by P. J. H. Cuypers.

Churches

There are five main churches in the historic centre. The oldest is the Oude Kerk (1306) on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, in the red-light district. It was followed by the Nieuwe Kerk (15th century) on the Dam. The late-mediaeval city also had smaller chapels such as the Sint Olofskapel (circa 1440) on Zeedijk, and convent chapels such as the Agnietenkapel on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231 (originally 1470), now the University of Amsterdam museum. Around 1600, three new Protestant churches were built:

  • Zuiderkerk (1603) at Zuiderkerkhof, now an information centre on housing and planning.
  • Noorderkerk (1620/230) at Noordermarkt on the Prinsengracht.
  • Westerkerk (1620/31) on Westermarkt is the largest of the three. The church is open (free) for visitors from Monday to Friday, 11.00 -15.00, from April to September. You can also climb the tower, only with guide, every half-hour, € 6. In good weather you can see all of Amsterdam, and as far as the coast.

Later churches included the Oosterkerk (1669) in the eastern islands, and the heavily restored Lutheran Church on the Singel (1671), now used by a hotel as a conference centre. Catholic churches were long forbidden, and only built again in the 19th-century: the most prominent is the Neo-Baroque Church of St. Nicholas (1887) opposite Central Station.

The most prominent synagogue is the Portugese-Israelite Synagogue (1675) at Mr. Visserplein, in an austere Classicist style.

Modern architecture

Since there was little large-scale demolition in the historic centre, most 20th-century and recent architecture is outside it. The most prominent in architectural history are the residential complexes by architects of the Amsterdam School, for instance at Zaanstraat / Oostzaanstraat.

  • Museum of the Amsterdam School , located in the best-known example of their architecture. Open Wednesday to Sunday 13.00 to 17.00, entrance € 2.50.
  • The largest concentration of new residential buildings is in the Eastern Docklands. The zone includes three artificial islands: Borneo, Sporenburg, and Java/KNSM, together with the quayside along Piet Heinkade, and some adjoining projects. Accessible by tram 10, tram 26 to Rietlandpark, or best of all by bicycle.
  • The largest concentration of box-like office buildings is in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost (South-East) around Bijlmer station (train and metro), but the area does have some spectacular buildings, such as the Amsterdam ArenA stadium and the new Bijlmer ArenA station (nearing completion and already in use).
  • Amsterdam is replacing older sewage plants by a single modern plant, in the port zone. Connecting existing sewers to the new plant requires long main sewers, and the use of sewage booster pumps - a new technique at this scale. The new booster pump stations are a unique type of building, designed by separate architects. The three complete pumps are located at Klaprozenweg in the north, on Spaklerweg (just east of the A10 motorway), and beside and under Postjesweg, in the Rembrandtpark.

Windmills

Windmills were not built in urban areas, since the building obstructed the wind. The Amsterdam windmills were all originally outside the city walls. Nearest to the centre are De Gooyer and De Otter:

  • De Gooyer (1814, restored) on Funenkade currently holds a microbrewery
  • De Otter (1631), a restored and functioning sawmill, opposite Buyskade, west of the Jordaan.
  • De Bloem (1878) on the Haarlemmerweg 465 at Nieuwpoortkade,
  • De 1200 Roe, Haarlemmerweg 701 near Seineweg
  • De 100 Roe (1674), in the Ookmeer sports fields along Ma Braunpad
  • D'Admiraal (1792), Noordhollandschkanaaldijk 21, on the bank of the Noordhollands Kanaal in the north, ferry from Central Station.
  • Riekermolen (1636) on the bank of the Amstel river at Kalfjeslaan
  • De Jonge Dikkert in Amstelveen (corner of Molenweg and Amsterdamseweg) is now a restaurant .

Only the Molen van Sloten and De Gooyer are open for visitors. The Molen van Sloten at Akersluis 10, about 10 minutes walk from the terminus of tram line 2, open daily from 10.00 to 16.00. De Gooyer at Funenkade, Bus 22, Tram 7, open Wednesday to Sunday from 15.00 to 19.00.

Museums

An English-language list at the GVB (public transport) website includes the tram and bus routes for each museum: .

The Museumkaart (museum card) costs €34.95 (or €19.95 for those under 25 years old). It gives discount admission (typically 40% or 50%) in over 400 museums across the Netherlands, and sometimes free admission. You can buy it at most major museums. It is valid for an entire year, and you will need to write your name, birthday, and gender on it. If you are going to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, those are €10 each, so this card can quickly pay for itself.

  • Rijksmuseum - masterpieces exhibition. The largest and most prestigious museum for art and history in the Netherlands: works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and other Dutch masters. The museum is being completely renovated, but the major masterpieces are still on show. Open 09.00 to 18.00, open until 22.00 on Fridays. Admission € 10 for adults, under 18 free. In the garden is a small temporary exhibition on the renovation plans.
  • Sexmuseum, The largest and most prestigious museum for sex art and sex history in the Netherlands. Open daily 09.00 to 22.00.
  • NEMO. NEMO is the biggest science centre in the Netherlands; an educational attraction where you can discover a world of science and technology in an entertaining way. NEMO takes you on a voyage of discovery between fantasy and reality. You will discover how scientific phenomena influence your daily life. You will learn about technology and engineering, ICT and bio- and behavioural sciences. This is a great place to take kids.
  • van Gogh Museum. This museum is dedicated to this late 19th century Dutch painter. Do not expect to see all of Van Gogh's works however as they only have a portion at this museum, others are at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and elsewhere. Still worth the visit though as there are many famous examples of his work. Consider the audio tour at only € 4,00, in the language of your choice, will give you a much better understanding of Van Gogh's life and his paintings. Entry is 10 Euros for adults, no student nor group rates. Open late on Fridays.
  • Diamond Museum. This brand new exhibition about the history of diamond trade in Amsterdam is located opposite the van Gogh Museum.
  • Stedelijk Museum. The Amsterdam municipal museum of modern art. Temporarily located east of Central Station, 10 minutes walk from there.
  • Amsterdams Historisch Museum. The city’s historical museum. Two entrances, at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357 and Kalverstraat 92. Open 10.00-17.00, opens one hour later on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Entrance € 6 adults, € 3 children.
  • Anne Frank House. The house where the Jewish girl Anne Frank wrote her diary while hiding with her family from the Nazis. Don't let the long line discourage you; it moves quickly and the experience inside the hiding places on the top floors is moving. The museum lacks any exhibits to explain the historical context at the time of Anne's diary, however. Go in the early evening around 17:00 to avoid any lines. The Anne Frank House is open later during the summer.
  • Katten Kabinet. A cat museum. Housed in a beautiful restored palatial home in an upscale area street - very Masterpiece Theater. It was opened by the homeowner after his favourite cat died... and he still lives in the home. Lots of cat-related art, and real felines.
  • Filmmuseum. A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of contemporary and historical films. Multiple screenings daily. The Filmmuseum is located in the Vondelpark, between park entrances Roemer Visscherstraat and Vondelstraat. Despite the name the "Filmmuseum" this is not a museum, rather just an alternative cinema funded by the government.
  • Museum Amstelkring. Most locals don't recognize the official name, but will know what you mean if you say "Our Lord in the Attic." This is a Catholic church stuffed into the upper stories of a house built in 1663, when Catholics were persecuted and had to disguise their churches. It's a beautiful place to visit, and amazing to see how they fit worshippers, an organ, and an altar into such a narrow place. Now a museum, open Monday-Saturday 10.00 - 17.00 , Sunday 13.00-17.00, admission € 7, under 18 € 1. Oudezijds Voorburgwal 40, in the red-light district.
  • Tropenmuseum. Ethnographic / cultural museum about Africa, Asia, and South America.
  • Royal Palace. This former City Hall (built in 1651) is currently closed for renovation. (It is mainly used for diplomatic receptions and to welcome visiting heads of state, not as a royal residence).
  • Allard Pierson Museum. The Allard Pierson Museum is the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam . The ancient civilizations of Egypt, Cyprus, the Greek World, Etruria and the Roman Empire are revived in this museum. Art-objects and utensils, dating from 4000 B.C. till 500 A.D. give a good impression of everyday-life, mythology and religion in Antiquity.
  • Schutters Gallery. Located between Kalverstraat and Begijnhof, shows 17th-century portraits, free.
  • Scheepvaart Museum. The Netherlands Maritime Museum is closed until 2009, for complete renovation.
  • Pianola Museum
  • Handbag Museum

Zoo and botanical garden

  • Hortus Botanicus. The 'Hortus' as it is called by locals, was formerly the Botanical Garden of the University of Amsterdam. Monday to Friday 9.00 - 17.00, Saturday and Sunday 10.00 - 17.00, open until 21.00 in July and August, admission € 6.
  • Artis Zoo. An entry ticket for Artis also provides admission to the Planetarium, the Geological Museum, the Aquarium and the Zoological Museum. Artis is also a botanical garden, with plants and trees gathered from all over the world, just like the animal species.

Parks and countryside

The nearest open countryside is north of the city, about 20 minutes by bike. Cross the IJ by ferry behind Central Station, and follow the cycle signs for the villages of Ransdorp, Zunderdorp, Schellingwoude or Durgerdam. Cycling along the Amstel river for about 30 to 40 minutes will also take you into open countryside, and the village of Oudekerk.

  • Vondelpark. The only large park in the older part of the city. Especially in the summer it's lively and crowded. Meet the locals there.
  • Rembrandtpark. Not too far west of the Vondelpark, but much bigger and quieter.
  • Museumplein. Not exactly a park, but a large grassed open space. Around its edges are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Concertgebouw, and the temporarily closed Stedelijk Museum.
  • Wertheimpark. A small park opposite the botanical gardens. Has a second world war memorial and lies on one of the nicest canals in Amsterdam.
  • Westerpark. Newly expanded park, at the western edge of the centre, with cultural activities in a former gas factory. Access from Haarlemmerweg.
  • Oosterpark, Behind the tropical museum, at the eastern edge of the centre, holds several multicultural festivals throughout the year.
  • Sarphatipark, at the southern edge of the centre, is a place where people sunbathe and have picknicks in the summer.
  • Amsterdamse Bos. A much larger forest-type park on the outskirts of the city. Access from Amstelveenseweg. Horse rental, canoo rental and an open air theatre are part of the attractions.

Beach

The whole coast west of Amsterdam is a single long beach. The nearest stretch is at Zandvoort - 27 minutes by train from Central Station, every 30 minutes. In summer there are extra trains, change trains at Haarlem. Zandvoort is very crowded on warm days in summer: parts of the beach attract the incrowd, others the somewhat less so. The long beaches continue north of IJmuiden, they are more family oriented. For the most accessible of these, take the train to Castricum, and then bus (or minibus) 267. Or, you can take the hydrofoil from behind the Central Station to IJmuiden, and then take a bus to the beach.

There is a temporary artificial beach , surrounded by construction sites, in the new suburb of IJburg. Tram 26 to the last stop, then a few minutes walk, follow the signs.

Attractions and tours

  • Former Heineken Brewery (Heineken Experience), Stadhouderskade 78. Not a functioning brewery any more. Tuesdays to Sundays 10.00 - 18.00. Shameless promotion for Holland's leading export beer, but they charge tourists € 11 to get in. That includes three drink coupons and a take home a souvenir bottle opener inside a fake Heinken bottle. They no longer offer the souvenir beer mug.
  • Organised city tours. Several operators offer tours, visits to diamond factories, other guided visits, and canal cruises. Unless you really need a guide - for instance if you speak only Chinese - it is cheaper to visit everything yourself.
  • New Amsterdam Tours offers a free three-hour guided tour (tips accepted at the end of the tour) of the major Amsterdam sites and history twice a day at 11:00AM and 3:00PM. Meet in front of the tourist information office across from Amsterdam Centraal Station, near the tour guide in a red "Free Tour" shirt. The company also offers a two-hour guided tour through the Red Light District at 7:00PM that meets at the same location for 10 euros per person (8 euros for students).
  • Amsterdam Insider is a tour company offering bike, boat and walking tours. Their guides are artists, musicians and writers. Tours are € 15 per person. E-mail AmsterdamInsider@yahoo.com for more information.
  • Amsterdam Canal Cruises and Sightseeing Tours Viator - the Latin word for traveler - offers travelers a one-stop shop to plan, research and book their vacation with a wide selection of Amsterdam activities and helpful resources like customer reviews, star ratings, suggested itineraries and the Viator Travel Blog</do>

Red Light District

The Red Light District consists of several canals, and the side streets between them, south of Central Station and east of Damrak. Known as 'De Wallen' (the walls) in Dutch, because the canals were once part of the city defences (walls and moats). Prostitution itself is limited to certain streets, mainly side streets and alleys, but the district is considered to include the canals, and some adjoining streets (such as Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk). The whole area has a heavy police presence, and many security cameras. Nevertheless it is still a residential district, has many bars and restaurants, and also includes historic buildings and museums - this is the oldest part of the city. The oldest church in Amsterdam, the Netherlands-gothic Oude Kerk on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal at Oudekerksplein, is now surrounded by window prostitution. The area has many sexshops and peep show bars. Note: Don't try to take photos of prostitutes even from the streets, or you might lose your camera without any warning.



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Finally natural ice in the Netherlands

Finally natural ice in the Netherlands
Made by B℮n
Page 2, Explore The Netherlands is a small country of 16 million people, but it boasts a quarter of a million competitive speedskaters, and millions more who skate for fun. What's the story? Natural ice in the Netherlands is a rare occurrence. In fact, some winters there's no natural ice at all. Maybe that explains why the Dutch love to skate outdoors. They hardly ever get the chance! But when a cold wave hits, and the interconnected maze of canals, rivers and lakes freeze over, it's a spontaneous celebration, a national holiday. Businesses close their doors and everyone goes skating. According to Richard van Ammerzoden, a skater from Rotterdam, skating in Holland originated as a poor man's sport. Isolated by mud and water in the damp winters, rural farmers prayed for ice. When it came, just like Hans Brinker, they strapped on their wooden skates with leather thongs, and traveled great distances to visit friends and relatives they hadn't seen in months. Then they skated home. Perhaps that explains the origin of the Elfstedentocht or Eleven Cities Tour, a 200-kilometer mega-tour in the province of Friesland known as the mother of all skating tours. In the 1890s, some Frisian farmer with well-developed leg muscles tried to skate through all eleven cities of Friesland in a single day. He succeeded, and the rest is history. Photo taken at the Ransdorper Die nearby Amsterdam. Dutch skaters enjoying the kilometers of natural ice. During the month January and February most geese can be found here in Waterland. The geese are migratory, moving south or west in winter. The greylag geese fly in V- formation to save themselves energy. The next days extreme low temperature of -15 degrees Celcius expected. Ofcourse I do skate too and planed to have some skating holidays ;-) Zo'n 1000 jaar geleden of eerder begon men te schaatsen . Toen hadden ze nog geen ijzer uit gevonden dus deden ze dat met botten van geslachte of dode dieren. Die maakten ze een beetje scherp, bonden ze met touwen onder hun voeten vast en zo kwamen ze al een beetje vooruit. Toen er ijzer uit werd gevonden waren er al vrij snel ijzeren schaatsen in plaats van schaatsen van botten. Nederland is het enige land waar zoveel mensen schaatsen. De schaats is ook in Nederland uitgevonden. Ook in Noorwegen schaatsen veel mensen maar lang niet zoveel als in Nederland. Er ligt daar meestal te veel sneeuw op het ijs. Als er twee nachten matige vorst is geweest slaat de gekte weer toe. Erwtensoep in de pot, schaatsen uit het vet en tochten maken. Helaas heeft het al jaren niet meer gevroren, weet een hele generatie niet wat natuurijs maar nu lijkt eindelijk de weer een vorst periode aan te breken waar op natuurijs geschaatst kan worden. De Grauwe gans, grijsbruine gans met forse oranje snavel en roze poten is te zien langs de Grote Rivieren, Zeeuwse delta, Friesland en hier in Waterland. De ganzen vliegen altijd in V-formatie waardoor de krachtsinspanningen over de groep worden verdeeld. Vanaf eind oktober strijken de ganzen neer. Ze blijven tot eind maart. Het hoogtepunt van de ganzentijd ligt in de maanden januari en februari.

Let's ice skate to the sunset horizon

Let's ice skate to the sunset horizon
Made by B℮n
View Large On Black Page #2 , Explore The Netherlands is a small country of 16 million people, but it boasts a quarter of a million competitive speedskaters, and millions more who skate for fun. What's the story? Natural ice in the Netherlands is a rare occurrence. In fact, some winters there's no natural ice at all. Maybe that explains why the Dutch love to skate outdoors. They hardly ever get the chance! But when a cold wave hits, and the interconnected maze of canals, rivers and lakes freeze over, it's a spontaneous celebration, a national holiday. Businesses close their doors and everyone goes skating. According to Richard van Ammerzoden, a skater from Rotterdam, skating in Holland originated as a poor man's sport. Isolated by mud and water in the damp winters, rural farmers prayed for ice. When it came, just like Hans Brinker, they strapped on their wooden skates with leather thongs, and traveled great distances to visit friends and relatives they hadn't seen in months. Then they skated home. Perhaps that explains the origin of the Elfstedentocht or Eleven Cities Tour, a 200-kilometer mega-tour in the province of Friesland known as the mother of all skating tours. In the 1890s, some Frisian farmer with well-developed leg muscles tried to skate through all eleven cities of Friesland in a single day. He succeeded, and the rest is history. Photo taken at the Holysloter Die nearby Amsterdam. A family happening where Dutch families skating to the sunset horizon enjoying kilometers of natural ice. Today I took a day off enjoying the natural ice. I did skate a tour from Amsterdam - Ransdorp - Holysloot - Uitdam - Zuiderwoude to Monnickendam and back - about 40km. I did skate a tour from Amsterdam - Ransdorp - Holysloot - Uitdam - Zuiderwoude to Monnickendam and back - about 40km. This photo I took on my way home to Amsterdam. In the distance you can see the smoke of the Power Plant Hemweg of Amsterdam. Tomorrow extreme low temperature of -15 degrees Celcius is expected. Zo'n 1000 jaar geleden of eerder begon men te schaatsen . Toen hadden ze nog geen ijzer uit gevonden dus deden ze dat met botten van geslachte of dode dieren. Die maakten ze een beetje scherp, bonden ze met touwen onder hun voeten vast en zo kwamen ze al een beetje vooruit. Toen er ijzer uit werd gevonden waren er al vrij snel ijzeren schaatsen in plaats van schaatsen van botten. Nederland is het enige land waar zoveel mensen schaatsen. De schaats is ook in Nederland uitgevonden. Ook in Noorwegen schaatsen veel mensen maar lang niet zoveel als in Nederland. Er ligt daar meestal te veel sneeuw op het ijs. Als er twee nachten matige vorst is geweest slaat de gekte weer toe. Erwtensoep in de pot, schaatsen uit het vet en tochten maken. Helaas heeft het al jaren niet meer gevroren, weet een hele generatie niet wat natuurijs maar nu lijkt eindelijk de weer een vorst periode aan te breken waar op natuurijs geschaatst kan worden.

Close Encounter: Venus - Jupiter - Moon

Close Encounter: Venus - Jupiter - Moon
Made by B℮n
Please take your time... to View it large on black Soon after sunset on Monday 1 December 2008, the world will be treated to a grand spectacle in the western sky. The brightest planet in the sky, Venus, will have a close encounter with the second brightest planet, Jupiter, as viewed from Earth. The two planets will appear just 2.0° apart at their closest at 9h UT on 1 December. Joining in on the tight Venus-Jupiter formation will be the young crescent Moon, which together with its Earthshine, will produce a wonderful celestial display that will be visible all around the world. Unfortunality the sky wasn't clear for me. But today 2 December the view of the Venus-Jupiter formation could still bee seen. Lucky the sky was partly clear here in Amsterdam. The apparent relative positions of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon will vary somewhat depending upon where people view the event on the Earth. Jupiter and Venus look like they have been drawing closer together over the past month. But in three dimensions the planets are actually separated by nearly 500 million miles (805 million kilometers). Of the eight official planets in the solar system, five are visible at night without the aid of a telescope or binoculars. Jupiter and Venus are particularly bright, partly because both have highly reflective clouds that completely envelop them, but also because Venus is Earth's closest neighbor while Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Photo taken on 2nd of December 2008 at 17:31 in Amsterdam, using my camera's maximum 18 x optical zoom or 648mm, ISO 200 and 1/60s (no tripod used - spot metering). Easy to locate just after sunset in the southwestern sky. 2 december 2008 - Vanavond staat de maan linksboven de twee heldere planeten Venus en Jupiter. Dit was zichtbaar vanaf 18.00 uur in het zuidzuidwesten. Op 1 december werd de planeet Venus bedekt door de maan. De grote zeldzaamheid van Venusbedekkingen aan een donkere hemel wordt veroorzaakt doordat Venus vanaf de aarde nooit meer dan 46 booggraden van de zon verwijderd staat. Samenstanden van Venus met andere hemellichamen hebben dus meestal overdag plaats, maar ze zijn tegen de daglichthemel moeilijk te zien. De frequentie is gemiddeld eens per drie jaar. Je hebt overdag een verrekijker nodig en moet bovendien weten in welke hemelstreek je moet zoeken naar de bleke maansikkel en het lichtpuntje van Venus. Helaas 1 december de hele dag bewolkt. Maar vandaag waren de twee heldere planeten Venus en Jupiter duidelijk zichtbaar met blote oog. Met een goede verrekijker kunt u minstens drie maantjes van Jupiter zien, twee (Ganymedes en Io) links van de planeet en eentje (Callisto) rechts. Het vierde maantje (Europa) staat tot 17.45 uur dicht tegen Jupiters rechterkant en gaat dan schuil achter de planeet. Op 4 december en 31 december 2008 komt er een herkansing:

VOC arrival in the heart of Amsterdam

VOC arrival in the heart of Amsterdam
Made by B℮n
The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC in old-spelling Dutch, was established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia. It was the first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock. In addition, the VOC possessed quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies. By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers, and a dividend payment of 40%. De VOC, opgericht in 1602, was een verenigde handelsmaatschappij van Hollanders en Zeeuwen met de bedoeling de Portugezen te beconcurreren in de zeehandelsvaart. Behalve met de handel in specerijen etc. hield de Compagnie zich bezig met slavenhandel (een aantal malen werden slaven op Madagaskar opgehaald) en oorlog voeren. Een dynamische mentaliteit inderdaad. De VOC was eigenlijk het eerste aandelenbedrijf van Nederland. De eerste tijd leverde het de deelnemers niet veel op vanwege de hoge investeringen. Behalve handel in de Oost halen, hadden de schepen ook de opdracht de Portugezen aan te vallen. Oorlog kostte altijd al bakken vol geld. Maar dynamisch is het natuurlijk wel... Veel verdienden de ‘aandeelhouders' niet die eerste jaren, ze kregen dividend in natura: foeli, peper, nootmuskaat. Bij de oprichting was de afspraak gemaakt dat het ingelegde geld na tien jaar zou worden teruggegeven. Dat gebeurde niet: het werd geherinvesteerd. De VOC wist over de hoofden van de ‘aandeelhouders’ een Aziatisch handelsnetwerk op te zetten. Dynamisch met geld omgaan, inderdaad... Natuurlijk werd er veel tegen dat beleid geprotesteerd. Maar dat hielp niets. De Staten-Generaal dekte de onderneming in alle opzichten. Na 1623 nam de ontevredenheid af, de rendementen werden groter. Ook toen al gold: voor geld is iedereen te koop. Halverwege de 17de eeuw ging het uitstekend met de VOC maar in de 18de eeuw werd het snel minder. De Compagnie bleef dividend uitkeren, ook als de winst daar geen aanleiding toe gaf. Aan het eind van de 18de eeuw stapelden de schulden zich op en ging de compagnie failliet. Recentelijk werd er nog in de tweede kamer gesproken: Premier Balkenende: Ik begrijp niet waarom jullie er zo negatief en vervelend over doen. Laten we blij zijn met elkaar. Laten we zeggen: Nederland kan het weer: die VOC-mentaliteit. Over grenzen heen kijken. Dynamiek! Toch? SP-leider Marijnissen: De VOC-tijd kende nogal wat rooftochten. Ook is de kolonisatie door de Nederlanders toen ontstaan, zoals Indonesië. Als onze premier zegt dat hij terug wil naar de VOC-tijd, kan dat gek overkomen in het buitenland.

Remember the winter of 2009?

Remember the winter of 2009?
Made by B℮n
Page #1 Explore The Netherlands is a small country of 16 million people, but it boasts a quarter of a million competitive speedskaters, and millions more who skate for fun. What's the story? Natural ice in the Netherlands is a rare occurrence. In fact, some winters there's no natural ice at all. Maybe that explains why the Dutch love to skate outdoors. They hardly ever get the chance! But when a cold wave hits, and the interconnected maze of canals, rivers and lakes freeze over, it's a spontaneous celebration, a national holiday. Businesses close their doors and everyone goes skating. According to Richard van Ammerzoden, a skater from Rotterdam, skating in Holland originated as a poor man's sport. Isolated by mud and water in the damp winters, rural farmers prayed for ice. When it came, just like Hans Brinker, they strapped on their wooden skates with leather thongs, and traveled great distances to visit friends and relatives they hadn't seen in months. Then they skated home. Perhaps that explains the origin of the Elfstedentocht or Eleven Cities Tour, a 200-kilometer mega-tour in the province of Friesland known as the mother of all skating tours. In the 1890s, some Frisian farmer with well-developed leg muscles tried to skate through all eleven cities of Friesland in a single day. He succeeded, and the rest is history. Photo taken at the Holysloter Die nearby Amsterdam. Dutch skaters enjoying the kilometers of natural ice. On the 6th of January I took a day off enjoying the natural ice. I did skate a tour from Amsterdam - Ransdorp - Holysloot - Uitdam - Zuiderwoude to Monickendam and back - about 40km. This photo I took on my way home to Amsterdam. In the distance you can see the Amsterdam. Tomorrow extreme low temperature of -15 degrees Celcius is expected. Zo'n 1000 jaar geleden of eerder begon men te schaatsen . Toen hadden ze nog geen ijzer uit gevonden dus deden ze dat met botten van geslachte of dode dieren. Die maakten ze een beetje scherp, bonden ze met touwen onder hun voeten vast en zo kwamen ze al een beetje vooruit. Toen er ijzer uit werd gevonden waren er al vrij snel ijzeren schaatsen in plaats van schaatsen van botten. Nederland is het enige land waar zoveel mensen schaatsen. De schaats is ook in Nederland uitgevonden. Ook in Noorwegen schaatsen veel mensen maar lang niet zoveel als in Nederland. Er ligt daar meestal te veel sneeuw op het ijs. Als er twee nachten matige vorst is geweest slaat de gekte weer toe. Erwtensoep in de pot, schaatsen uit het vet en tochten maken. Helaas heeft het al jaren niet meer gevroren, weet een hele generatie niet wat natuurijs maar nu lijkt eindelijk de weer een vorst periode aan te breken waar op natuurijs geschaatst kan worden.

The ice train ;-)

The ice train ;-)
Made by B℮n
View On Black Frontpage Explore The Netherlands is a small country of 16 million people, but it boasts a quarter of a million competitive speedskaters, and millions more who skate for fun. What's the story? Natural ice in the Netherlands is a rare occurrence. In fact, some winters there's no natural ice at all. Maybe that explains why the Dutch love to skate outdoors. They hardly ever get the chance! But when a cold wave hits, and the interconnected maze of canals, rivers and lakes freeze over, it's a spontaneous celebration, a national holiday. Photo taken in Ransdorp at the Ransdorper Die nearby Amsterdam. Dutch kids on skates enjoying the natural ice. Took this photo while I was skating too. Today, Jan 6th, I took a day off enjoying the natural ice. I did skate a tour from Amsterdam - Ransdorp - Holysloot - Uitdam - Zuiderwoude - Broek in Waterland and back - about 40km. This photo I took on my way home to Amsterdam. The kids having fun skating behind each other like a train ;-) Op 6 Januari 2009 een middag vrij genomen en een lange schaatstocht gemaakt van Amsterdam - Zunderdorp - Ransdorp - Holysloot - Uitdam - Zuiderwoude - Broek in Waterland - Ransdorp - Zunderdorp. Voor het eerste weer op de schaats en een geweldige rondtocht gemaakt. Je komt op plaatsen waar je normaal nooit komt. De Ransdorper Die ligt tussen de weilanden geïsoleerd en is normaal onbereikbaar per weg, fietspad of zelfs per voet. Holysloot is ook een dorp waar je nooit naar toe rijdt omdat de weg dood loopt op de Holysloter Die. Via het ijs zijn nu alle dorpjes makkelijk toegankelijk. Het gezicht vanuit het ijs is prachtig vooral uniek omdat een hele generatie niet weet wat natuurijs is maar nu eindelijk na 12 jaar weer een vorst periode aangebroken waar op natuurijs geschaatst kan worden. Foto genomen op een zijtak van de Ransdorper Die. Veel wateren (rivieren, beken, meren) hebben een naam die Aa, Ae, E, Ee, Ie, of IJ in zich hebben. Dit betekende oorspronkelijk gewoon 'water' en heeft zijn oorsprong in het Oudgermaanse aha of ahwô (ook verwant met het Latijnse aqua en tevens terug te vinden in het Deense en Zweedse Å.) In het Nederlands is Aa door betekenisverenging meer specifiek een naam voor rivieren en is het weer lokaal verder verbasterd tot Ee, Ie of IJ. Soms is het aan de naam voorafgaande lidwoord de geassimileerd met ie en wordt zo Die. Zoals hierboven op de Ransdorper Die en even verderop op de Holysloter Die.

Venus was her name

Venus was her name
Made by B℮n
Please take your time... to View it large on black Soon after sunset on Monday 1 December 2008, the world will be treated to a grand spectacle in the western sky. The brightest planet in the sky, Venus, will have a close encounter with the second brightest planet, Jupiter, as viewed from Earth. The two planets will appear just 2.0° apart at their closest at 9h UT on 1 December. Joining in on the tight Venus-Jupiter formation will be the young crescent Moon, which together with its Earthshine, will produce a wonderful celestial display that will be visible all around the world. Unfortunality the sky wasn't clear for me. But today 2 December the view of the Venus-Jupiter formation could still bee seen. Lucky the sky was partly clear here in Amsterdam. The apparent relative positions of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon will vary somewhat depending upon where people view the event on the Earth. Photo taken 2nd of December 2008 at 17:31 in Amsterdam just nearby my house. I just arrived home from my work and had to hurry to find a free spot to take this photo. It's hard to spot the moon in the centre of Amsterdam. I did use my camera's maximum 18 x optical zoom or 648mm, ISO 200 and 1.0 s, no tripod just a balcony. 2 december 2008 - Vanavond staat de maan linskboven de twee heldere planeten Venus en Jupiter. Dit was zichtbaar vanaf 17.00 uur in het zuidzuidwesten. Op 1 december werd de planeet Venus bedekt door de maan. De grote zeldzaamheid van Venusbedekkingen aan een donkere hemel wordt veroorzaakt doordat Venus vanaf de aarde nooit meer dan 46 booggraden van de zon verwijderd staat. Samenstanden van Venus met andere hemellichamen hebben dus meestal overdag plaats, maar ze zijn tegen de daglichthemel moeilijk te zien. De frequentie is gemiddeld eens per drie jaar. Je hebt overdag een verrekijker nodig en moet bovendien weten in welke hemelstreek je moet zoeken naar de bleke maansikkel en het lichtpuntje van Venus. Helaas 1 december de hele dag bewolkt. Maar vandaag waren de twee heldere planeten Venus en Jupiter duidelijk zichtbaar met blote oog. Met een goede verrekijker kunt u minstens drie maantjes van Jupiter zien, twee (Ganymedes en Io) links van de planeet en eentje (Callisto) rechts. Het vierde maantje (Europa) staat tot 17.45 uur dicht tegen Jupiters rechterkant en gaat dan schuil achter de planeet. Op 4 december en 31 december 2008 komt er een herkansing:

Lunar meteorites

Lunar meteorites
Made by B℮n
Please take your time... to View it large on black The Moon (Latin: Luna) is Earth's only natural satellite, and is the fifth largest one in the Solar System. The average centre-to-centre distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,450 km. The side of the Moon that faces Earth is called the near side, and the opposite side the far side. The far side should not be confused with the dark side, which is the hemisphere that is not being illuminated by the Sun at a given moment (this may be the side facing the Earth, as it is once a month during the New Moon phase). The far side of the Moon was first photographed by the Soviet probe Luna 3 in 1959. A meteoroid is a small sand to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar system. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's atmosphere is a meteor, commonly called a shooting star or falling star. Photo taken of the moon's near side from my bedroom window on 22th December 2007. Using my camera's maximum 18 x optical zoom or 648mm. De maan is de enige natuurlijke maan van de aarde en wordt soms aangeduid met haar Latijnse naam Luna. De grens tussen het verlichte en het onverlichte deel van de maan wordt terminator genoemd. Voor een waarnemer die zich op de maan op de terminator zou bevinden staat de zon op de horizon en gaat onder of komt op. De terminator beweegt langzaam over het maanoppervlak. De terminator heeft een onregelmatig verloop vanwege het bergachtige maanoppervlak. De schaduwen van bv. heuvels en bergen zijn er lang, met als gevolg dat details van het maanoppervlak daar vanaf de aarde goed zichtbaar zijn; een gegeven waar de maanwaarnemers en maanfotografen onder de amateursterrenkundigen dankbaar gebruik van maken. Gemiddelde afstand tot de aarde: 384.450 km Temperatuur tussen -173 °C en 127 °C. Een meteoor is een kortstondig lichtspoor aan de hemel dat men ziet wanneer een klein stofdeeltje op ca. 100 km hoogte met een enorme snelheid in de atmosfeer van de Aarde terecht komt. Een deeltje ter grootte van een erwt geeft al een bijzonder heldere lichtstreep.

Westerkerk, Amsterdam - The Netherlands. Crystal ball

Westerkerk, Amsterdam - The Netherlands. Crystal ball
Made by kees straver
Some things just look better Large and on BLACK…… Enjoy!!! Technique: 1/320 exposure f/9.0 ISO 320 105 mm It’s been a while since the last time I took my crystal ball out of its hiding place and a really long time I took it with me in Amsterdam. So I waited until we had some good weather and went out hunting. The Westerkerk (western church) is a Protestant church in Amsterdam, built in 1620-1631 after a design by Hendrick de Keyser. The church is right next to Amsterdam's Jordaan district, at the bank of the Prinsengracht canal. The spire is the highest church tower in Amsterdam, at 85 meters (279 feet). The crown topping the spire is the Imperial Crown of Austria of Maximilian I. The church bells were made by the brothers Hemony. Rembrandt van Rijn was buried in the Westerkerk on October 8, 1669. The exact location of the grave is unknown, but presumed to be somewhere along the northern wall. Rembrandt's lover Hendrickje Stoffels is also buried here, and his son Titus van Rijn may also be. Other painters buried in the Westerkerk are Nicolaes Berchem, Gillis d'Hondecoeter, Melchior d'Hondecoeter and Govert Flinck. The church organ is decorated with doors painted by Gerard de Lairesse. The Westerkerk is located close to the Achterhuis (now Anne Frank House) where diarist Anne Frank, her family and others hid from Nazi persecution for two years during World War II. The Westerkerk is mentioned frequently in her diary - its clock tower could be seen from the attic of the Achterhuis and Anne Frank described the chiming of the clock as a source of comfort. A memorial statue of Frank is located outside the church. Near the Westerkerk is the Homomonument, a memorial for men and women persecuted for their homosexuality. On March 10, 1969 Queen Beatrix (then Princess Beatrix) married Prince Claus in the Westerkerk.

The kiss – wedding photography

The kiss – wedding photography
Made by kees straver
And here they are: my sister and my brother-in-law and I must say that I’m very pleased with this shot. I don’t mean to gloat but this is not bad for a first timer. The composition really works here under the magnolia tree in the garden of my parents. I got my sister in it with here eyes open (she really blinks a lot) and smiling with the bouquet in her hands and being kissed. I made sure that there wasn’t any background interference and the background is nicely out of focus so that all the attention goes to the happy couple. But, a word of caution to everybody in the same situation I was (shooting my sisters wedding). It was a lot of work, really a lot of work and the big negative side is that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the day, I was only busy with making photo’s because I didn’t want to miss a photo moment. I didn’t have any time for the rest of the family and friends. But, if my other sister ever decides to get married and she would ask my to be the photographer I wouldn’t hesitate to take up that job. It’s a great learning curve and if I mess-up she wouldn’t get mad at me :-) I shot this scene in Manual exposure and I used a flash in this shot. It was a very sunny day and this created a lot of hard shadows, by using the flash the shadows disappeared. I had to make sure that the little details got in this shot to, like the bouquet, the hair lying on her shoulder and his hand (a few fingers) visible on her back. But these are tings I like to have in a shot but to everyone his own and that’s the beauty of photography, everyone has his own opinion and objectives. Ps. because this was my first wedding photography job every, I would love the get some feedback from you and tell me were and what I can improve. Really, I don’t mind criticism I can only learn and grow from that. …………………………………………………… Camera: Canon EOS 5D MarkII Exposure: sec (1/200) Aperture: f/4.5 Focal Length: 73mm ISO Speed: 100

The night before the total lunar eclipse

The night before the total lunar eclipse
Made by B℮n
Are you ready? A total lunar eclipse will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2008 (and Wednesday evening, February 20), the first of two lunar eclipses in 2008, and the only total eclipse. The next total lunar eclipse will not occur until December 21, 2010! Total Lunar Eclipse time @ 04:26 AM CET. I hope the weather keeps as clear as today. Check out the NASA website for details. The Montelbaans tower build in 1516 and behind the tower the Southern church of Amsterdam. Photo taken from Nieuwe centrale bibliotheek - new library of Amsterdam. De Montelbaanstoren is een Amsterdamse toren uit 1516 aan de Oudeschans. De oorsprong van de naam is onbekend. De toren heeft als bijnaam Malle Jaap, omdat de klokken van de toren ooit op onregelmatige tijden spontaan begonnen te spelen. De Montelbaanstoren is gebouwd toen het middeleeuws Amsterdam werd uitgebreid door het industrieterrein Lastage bij de stad te trekken. Hiervoor werd aan de oostkant een nieuwe gracht gegraven, de huidige Oude Schans. Waar deze het IJ naderde werd een verdedigingstoren neergezet. In 1606 verloor de toren zijn verdedigingsfunctie. Er werd toen een sierbekroning in renaissance-stijl op geplaatst, ontworpen door stadsbouwmeester Hendrick de Keyser. De Montelbaanstoren werd daarmee 48 meter hoog. In de toren kwam een uurwerk, en enkele luidklokken. Rembrandt, die in de buurt woonde, tekende de toren in 1644. Achter de Montelbaanstoren ligt de Zuiderkerk. Dit is de eerste voor de protestantse eredienst ontworpen kerk in Amsterdam. De kerk is gebouwd nabij de Sint Antoniesbreestraat in de Lastage, een buurt die eind 16e eeuw bij de stad werd gevoegd. Tegenwoordig is dit de Nieuwmarktbuurt. De kerk is gebouwd tussen 1603 en 1611. Het ontwerp in renaissancestijl is van de Amsterdamse architect Hendrick de Keyser. Toen Hendrick de Keyser in 1621 overleed, werd hij in de Zuiderkerk begraven.

Adventure into the Amazon Rainforest...

Adventure into the Amazon Rainforest...
Made by B℮n
You travel far, to discover your home... ...well actually it's the Amsterdam Forest. It's a big park just outside Amsterdam and is a marvelous place where you may relax walking, taking a bicycle ride, making a picnic, rowing on a canoe or in winter when it snows, skiing down the slope. Amsterdamse Bos is today a real forest, but because it has been planned and arranged, it has many facilities created for sports and leisure. It has among others, several large water areas – a long artificial rowing lake, several other lakes, a number of swimming pools, some of them small - ideal for children and multiple sports facilities. You may spend a great day rowing like we did along the canals amid the forests, or on an open space on one of the lakes. Traveling by paddle canoe is that the animals are less likely to be scared away when you approach, increasing your chances of observing birds. My son Biejee chasing the heron. The fog hangs around the water surface after a heavy rainfall on our warmest summer day this year. Geen Amazone maar het Amsterdamse Bos. Dit park is een kunstmatig aangelegd bos ten zuidwesten van Amsterdam dat ligt tussen de Ringvaart bij Schiphol, en Amstelveen. Voor veel Amsterdammers is dit bos een mooie plek voor een lange wandeling op de vrije zaterdag of zondag. Het bos is in de loop der jaren uitgegroeid met veel oude bomen. De aantrekkelijke waterpartijen, bruggetjes, smalle en slingerende maar ook brede en rechte paden, maken het bos tot een zeer bijzonder landschap in Nederland. Op bepaalde plekken lopen kuddes Schotse hooglanders rond. Het Bos is eigenlijk eerder een kruising tussen een zeer groot park en een bos. Het is nog bij weinigen bekend, maar het water in het Amsterdamse Bos leent zich uitstekend voor de kanosport. In de schemering van de vroege avond is in het bos soms de nachtegaal te horen.

Through the  eye of an ice crystal

Through the eye of an ice crystal
Made by B℮n
Ice crystals are a small crystalline form of ice including hexagonal columns, hexagonal plates, dendritic crystals, and diamond dust. Temperature and water vapor humidity determine crystalline forms. A crystal dendrite is a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form. Dendritic crystal growth is very common and illustrated by snowflake formation and frost patterns on a window. Dendritic crystallization forms a natural fractal pattern. The term dendrite comes from the Greek word dendron, which means tree. It's wintertime and the temperature was -5 degrees Celcius. I noticed some beautiful ice crystal structures on my car window. When I looked at them more closely, I saw intensive reflections of the light in them. It's a macro photo of a 10 mm crystal dendrite. Een ijskristal is een kristal, een helder en regelmatig gevormd deeltje van ijs. De meeste ijskristallen zijn niet zo mooi als op foto's getoond wordt. De meeste zijn al in de lucht samengeklonterd. Het samenklonteren gebeurt al bij een temperatuur van -10 °C. De zeshoekige vorm van een enkele sneeuwkristal ontstaat doordat watermoleculen zich rangschikken in een zestallig patroon. Deze kristalvorm leidt tot een zo klein mogelijke vormingsenergie van het kristal. Er zijn echter wel meerdere vormen mogelijk: platen, naalden, zeshoekige kolommen en hagel. De vorm is afhankelijk van de luchtvochtigheid, temperatuur en luchtdruk. Een dendriet is een soort kristalvorm die een typische boomvormig uiterlijk geeft. De term dendriet komt uit het Griekse woord dendron, wat boom betekent. In het Nederlands is de naam dendriet afkomstig van het woord dendritisch dat 'vertakt' betekent. Soms doet dendriet ook denken aan sneeuwvlokvorming op ruiten. De vertakte kristallisatie vormt een natuurlijk fractal patroon.

Anaconda bridge

Anaconda bridge
Made by B℮n
The Borneo bridge in Amsterdam twists as a snake sky high the air and has a nickname the Anaconda bridge. The striking bridge won an international price; the Footbridge Award 2002. It was time for some abstract photo. This photo taken in Amsterdam at the Panamakade on Borneo island. I just got lucky with the sunlight today ;-) De Borneobrug bij de Panamakade overspant het ruim 90 meter brede water tussen de schiereilanden Borneo en Sporenbrug. Deze voetgangersbrug heeft een spectaculaire boog en geeft de pleziervaart toegang tot de haven. De brug kronkelt als een slang metershoog de lucht in en heeft als bijnaam de Anacondabrug. De opvallende brug heeft een internationale vakprijs gewonnen, de Footbridge Award 2002. De brug is opgebouwd uit 2500 staalelementen met een totaalgewicht van 60 ton. De brugdekken zijn uitgevoerd in hardhout. De kenmerkende bijzonderheden van deze brug zijn de in drie richtingen gekromde vakwerken, de samenkomende vakwerken boven de opleggingen. “Architectuur is niet hetzelfde als kunst, maar heeft wel degelijk een sterke kunstzinnige component.” Aan het woord is architect Bart Reuser over de Borneobrug. “Als iets alleen maar functioneel is, werkt het niet goed. Er moet aan het eind van het project iets zijn dat voorbij gaat aan het rationele en onverklaarbare, dat voorbij gaat aan functionele eisen: een bepaalde ‘twist’. Daar betreedt de architectuur het terrein van de kunst. Hier zorgt de vormgeving van de brug ervoor dat er voor ieder een ander soort beleving kan zijn van het ding zelf, maar vooral ook van de relatie tot en het kijken naar de omgeving. Het kunstwerk maakt hiermee het alledaagse tot het bekijken waard.” citaten uit Beelden van Amsterdam, 2006.

On a bed off roses – wedding photography

On a bed off roses – wedding photography
Made by kees straver
Some things just look better Large and on BLACK…… Enjoy!!! I’m back from my travels trough Argentina and Brazil but before I’ll show you those photos I’ll have to start with the wedding photos of my sister, so the next few days it’s all wedding bells. First of all let me start by thanking all of you for giving me all the info you came up with, it really helped my out a lot and make the day a huge success. I got nothing but positive feedback from everybody how saw them and that is manly thanks to you guys. Sure I’ve made some mistakes but I’m a first timer and I came only learn from them. I’ll trey and tell a little bit about my experience that day with every photo I post. Now this is something I came up with on my own. I took my sister’s and my brother-in-law’s rings and placed them on the bouquet. I read that it’s very important to place the ring of the bride on top of the ring of the groom with the diamantes facing my. Now I love macro photography so I was really in my element and I’m really pleased with the result. The big lesson here is to always bring your macro lens with you, you never know. It’s also great for portrait photography. I shot this at f/4.0 so that the diamantes and part of the rose are all in focus and if you look really close you’ll see my reflection on my brother-in-law’s ring :-) …………………………………………………… Camera: Canon EOS 5D MarkII Exposure: sec (1/200 ) Aperture: f/ 4.0 Focal Length: 100 mm ISO Speed: 400

View from the Westertoren

View from the Westertoren
Made by B℮n
The Westerkerk (western church) is a Protestant church in Amsterdam, built in 1620-1631 after a design by Hendrick de Keyser. The church is in Amsterdam's Jordaan district, at the bank of the Prinsengracht canal. The spire is the highest church tower in Amsterdam, at 85 meters (279 feet). The crown topping the spire is the Emperor's Crown of Maximilian I. Rembrandt van Rijn was buried in the Westerkerk on October 8, 1669. The Westerkerk is located close to the Achterhuis (now Anne Frank House) where diarist Anne Frank, her family and others hid from Nazi persecution for two years during World War II. The Westerkerk is mentioned frequently in her diary - its clock tower could be seen from the attic of the Achterhuis and Anne Frank described the chiming of the clock as a source of comfort. A memorial statue of Frank is located outside the church. Near the Westerkerk is the Homomonument, a memorial for men and women persecuted for their homosexuality. On March 10, 1969 Queen Beatrix (then Princess Beatrix) married Prince Claus in the Westerkerk. Photo taken from the Westertoren on the Prinsengracht - Bloemgracht, where my parents used to live. De toren van de Westerkerk is beroemder dan de kerk zelf. Allereerst omdat de Westertoren goed vanuit de omgeving is te zien, en daarom veel is bezongen en beschreven (bijvoorbeeld in het dagboek van Anne Frank, die het carillon van de toren vaak hoorde vanuit haar onderduikadres vlakbij aan de Prinsengracht). De toren staat vlak naast de Jordaan, de bekende volkswijk in de binnenstad van Amsterdam. Vanaf de toren heeft men een mooi uitzicht over de wijk. De bijnaam van de Westertoren is Lange Jan of De ouwe Wester.

Sail Amsterdam 2010

Sail Amsterdam 2010
Made by Allard One
SAIL Amsterdam is a large maritime manifestation held every five years in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tall ships from all over the world visit the city to moor in its Eastern harbour, and people can then visit the ships for four days. The event was organised for the first time in 1975 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Amsterdam, under the name 'Sail Amsterdam 700'. At that time, interest in tall ships, which had sunk to a low since the 1930s when the last commercial tall ships had been built, was starting to rise. The success of Sail Amsterdam 700 led to the establishment of the Stichting Sail Amsterdam (SSA, Foundation Sail Amsterdam). Sail is one of the largest maritime manifestations in the world, and the largest event of any kind in the Netherlands. Tens of tall ships and hundreds of other historical ships are involved. Numerous other ships and boats are present besides the participating ships, amounting to 8000 boats in the 2000 edition. Lesser events take place during the festival, involving small sailboats, sailor choirs or re-enactments of naval battles. The Sail In or Parade of Sail on the first day attracts many other small ships, including creations like a sailing organ (with trumpet accompaniment) or a train converted to a ship. On the next to last day there is a naval pageant and on the last day the 'Sail Out'. Source wiki Taken from the partly dismantled Jan Schaeferbridge (or: Java bridge). 2:1 crop. PP with Nik Color Efex Pro and Totally Rad Action Mix 2. Explore Highest #66 on August 21, 2010. #2 Nikon D80 Interestingness on August 25, 2010.

Flying Cat among the Coots, Corneille in the CoBrA Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Flying Cat among the Coots, Corneille in the CoBrA Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Made by Rana Pipiens
I bow, and taking off my hat, / Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!, writes T.S. Eliot in his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Entering the Museum voor Moderne Kunst at Amstelveen, the Netherlands, in driving rain which would not abate that day, and rounding a corner, I suddenly saw this ray of Sunlight brightening up the Museum Pond and its central sculpture. If I'd had a hat, I would have doffed it, certainly. The Flying Cat (2003) was made by the Belgian artist Cornelis Guillaume van Beverloo (1922-), better known as only Corneille. Corneille was one of the founding fathers of the avant-garde group of painters who established themselves as Co(penhagen)Br(ussels)A(msterdam) at Paris in 1949. Although they basically had a surrealist background, they rebelled and sought new forms akin to children's art: highly colorful, spontaneous, fantastic, anti-elitist and egalitarian. There was also a Marxist streak in their theory ... perhaps more because of the predominant red...! than because of any deeply theoretical interest. The CoBrA movement disbanded officially in 1951 already, but most of its members continued along the lines which had been set out earlier. Corneille became intrigued by African art and began collecting it. It stimulated his imagination and from it emanated new work. This Flying Cat is many ways demonstrates his views. Appropriately, the museum has as its first name: COBRA. How a Flying Cat is about to make a landing on a coots' nest without those birds showing any fear, is best left to our own imagination.

Frosty Amsterdam

Frosty Amsterdam
Made by B℮n
Page # 1 Explore. Dear all, have a Flickerized 2009!!! Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. The name is a derivative from Amstel dam pointing to the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel. The city is known for its historic port, the Rijksmuseum, the red-light district (de Wallen), the liberal coffeeshops, and the canals which have led to Amsterdam being termed the Venice of the North. The Westerkerk (western church) is a Protestant church in Amsterdam, built in 1620-1631 after a design by Hendrick de Keyser. The church is right next to Amsterdam's Jordaan district, at the bank of the Prinsengracht canal. Here's a view of the Westertoren in the winter -5 ºC december 2008, Jordaan - Amsterdam De belangrijkste toeristische trekpleisters van Nederland zijn in Amsterdam te vinden. Zo was in 2006 een tocht per rondvaartboot door de Amsterdamse grachtengordel met 3,1 miljoen bezoekers de meest bezochte attractie van Nederland (de Efteling was de tweede met 3,0 miljoen), het Van Gogh Museum is met 1,7 miljoen derde op deze lijst. Ook het Rijksmuseum en het Anne Frankhuis behoren tot de drukstbezochte attracties. Onder de toeristen zijn voorts de vele andere musea, de coffeeshops, de restaurants en de raamprostitutie op de Wallen ('Red Light District') populair. De Westerkerk behoort tot de Protestantse Kerk in Amsterdam en staat aan de Prinsengracht, aan de rand van de Jordaan. Voor de kerk aan de linkerkant bevindt zich het het Anne Frankhuis.

Wild Romance!

Wild Romance!
Made by B℮n
Herman Brood ( Zwolle, November 5, 1946 – Amsterdam, July 11, 2001) was a Dutch musician, painter and media personality. Brood was the Dutch personification of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. In the 1990s he took up painting and became as successful as a painter as he was as a musician. The work of Herman Brood continues to have a significant impact on new generations of Dutch painters, as well as street and public artists. When, in 2001, he found out that he had only a few months left to live, Herman took matters into his own hands and, depressed by the failure of his drug rehabilitation programme, committed suicide on July 11 by jumping from the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel at the age of 54. Photo taken in the public Library of Amsterdam on the 6th floor where you can find more art of Herman Brood. Herman Brood (Zwolle, 5 november 1946 – Amsterdam, 11 juli 2001) was een Nederlands muzikant, artiest, kunstschilder, acteur en mediapersoonlijkheid. Hij was de Nederlandse belichaming van het zogenoemde seks, drugs en rock-'n-roll. Door het gebruik van alle genotsmiddelen was tegen 2001 zijn lichaam geheel uitgeleefd. Pogingen om af te kicken hadden geen succes. Toen het leek alsof hij nog maar een paar maanden te leven had, nam Brood zelf het heft in handen en pleegde zelfmoord. Op 11 juli 2001 sprong hij van het Amsterdamse Hilton-hotel met in zijn binnenzak een briefje waarop stond: maak er nog een groot feest van .

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Nearest places of interest:

ZuidAs (South Axis)
Zuideramstelkanaal
Amsterdam RAI
Metro station RAI
  Boerenwetering
Heineken Experience Brewery
Oud-Zuid (V)
Concertgebouw

Popular places:

Zaanstad
Netherlands
The Hague
Rotterdam
Utrecht
Eindhoven
Haarlem
Amstelveen

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