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Agenda >> Overview

On the last Saturday of every month the Amsterdam City Walks and the Amsterdam Historical Museum offer an interesting combination, in English, of a guided tour of the museum and a city walk through the historical centre of Amsterdam. Each Saturday has a different theme.
Time: 12.30 PM
Programme: Guided tour 12.30 -1.30 pm, city walk 2 – 3.30 pm
Costs: 15 euros p.p. (excl. museum admission)
Starting point: Main cash desk in the Amsterdam Historical Museum (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357)
Reservations required: 06- of
Stadswandeling - Boeken Amsterdam door de eeuwen heen

Saturday 27 January 2007 Amsterdam through the ages -A mediaeval village becomes a global city-

The museum tour and city walk outline the history of Amsterdam from the Middle Ages to the early modern period. The history of the city dates back to the 12th century AD when a dam was built in the River Amstel and dykes were erected along the banks of the Amstel and the IJ. The settlement rapidly grew into a thriving mediaeval town. In 1578 Amsterdam joined the revolt against Spain, a symbolic step from the Middle Ages into a new era. In the 17th century, called the Golden Age, the city developed into a powerful trading centre that became the economic centre of the West. In the centuries that followed Amsterdammers have often looked back on this glorious period with nostalgia. The city entered its ‘Second Golden Age’ at the end of the 19th century and the foundations were laid for the Amsterdam of today.

Stadswandeling - De schittering van de gouden eeuw Stadswandeling -  Amsterdam door de Eeuwen

Saturday 24 February 2007 Mediaeval Amsterdam -Between heaven and hell-

Amsterdam was a model Catholic city in the Middle Ages. People believed in the Virgin Mary, the saints and miracles. They feared Satan, and witches were not infrequently burned at the stake on Dam Square. The Miracle of Amsterdam, when the host was miraculously spared from the flames, put Amsterdam on the map in one fell swoop. The fact that the city developed into a sort of Canterbury of the Low Countries, as well as the favourable location of the city on the mouth of the River Amstel, brought prosperity to Amsterdam as early as the Middle Ages. The city grew steadily and developed from a modest mediaeval village into an important regional centre of trade. At the close of the Middle Ages, on the eve of the Dutch Revolt, Amsterdam was already an important player on the world stage.

Stadswandeling - Joods Amsterdam Amsterdam - Van Christus tot Boeddhaa

Saturday 31 March 2007 Religion in Amsterdam -Unity in diversity -

Mediaeval Amsterdam was packed with Catholic churches, cloisters and chapels. In some parts of the city nothing could be heard but nuns at prayer. The Dutch Revolt, which Amsterdam joined in 1578, changed all this. Catholicism was set aside and Calvinism triumphed in this so-called Alteration. All the possessions of the Catholic church fell to the state and the previously Catholic churches were quickly filled with Protestant worshippers.  People soon realized though that tolerance was absolutely essential in a trading city like Amsterdam and that there was no place for Calvinistic orthodoxy. The many religions that flourished in the city as a result are a fascinating theme for a guided tour of the museum and a city walk through Amsterdam.

Stadswandeling - Joods Amsterdam Buste Athena

Saturday 21 April 2007 The city and the Renaissance -The classical ideal of the Golden Age -

The Renaissance, the rebirth of classical antiquity, began in Italy at the end of the 14th century. Civilization was thought to have reached its zenith in the Roman Empire and had fallen into decline in the Middle Ages. This civilization could only be regenerated by carefully studying classical writings, artworks and buildings. From the beginning of the 16th century Renaissance ideas gained popularity in the Netherlands and were deeply influential in many areas. This museum tour and city walk introduce you to the role of the Renaissance in the field of architecture, art, science and politics.

Stadswandelingen - In het voetspoor van de VOC Gerzon

Saturday 26 May 2007 Fashion Palaces 1880-1960 -From shop window to shop window-

From 27 April - 26 August 2007 the museum presents the exhibition ‘Amsterdam Fashion Palaces’. The opening of these fashion houses at the end of the 19th century marks the beginning of an unbroken tradition of shopping and window shopping. Exclusive fashion houses like Hirsch & Cie, Maison de Bonneterie, Gerzon, Metz & Co and De Bijenkorf (a department store as well as a fashion house) opened their doors in prosperous times. The period around 1900 is even called the Second Golden Age. The monumental architecture of the fashion houses represented a new era for the fashion-conscious Amsterdammer. The windows of the fashion houses were lit by electricity for the first time, impressing both young and old and enrapturing many artists. As well as exclusive couture, the fashion houses sold luxurious ready-to-wear clothing. Fashion became something of an institution in the lives of many Amsterdammers. The tour of the exhibition and the city walk past various fashion houses gives a fascinating picture of a phenomenon that is here to stay in our modern society.

Stadswandelingen - Titaantjes Amsterdam - Vreemde verhalen

Saturday 30 June 2007 Weird and wonderful stories

The objects in the museum and Amsterdam’s historic buildings tell remarkable, strange and often exceptional stories about the city. This museum tour and city walk are about those stories. Naturally, the Miracle of Amsterdam is one of them. The host, the body of Christ, was miraculously saved from the flames in this mediaeval wonder. In the 17th century such miracles were relegated to the realm of fairy tales. Reason dominated this Golden Age. The anatomy lessons in the museum take us back to the world of the Amsterdam surgeons. They did their research on criminals who had died on the gallows. The lifeless bodies in the paintings are just as impressive today as they were in the Golden Age.

Stadswandelingen - Van Christus tot Boedha Hofjes in de jordaan

Saturday 28 July 2007 Rich & Poor in the 17th century -The burden of too much good fortune -

The city benefited greatly in the 17th century from the entrepreneurial sprit of Amsterdammers. The status and wealth of the city were manifested in public buildings like the Town Hall, now the Royal Palace, on Dam Square. The magnificent splendour of the citizens’ hall must have made all Amsterdammers proud of their city. Gradually more and more families became richer and richer. The iron merchant Dirk Jansz. De Graef was the richest Amsterdammer in 1585 with a capital of 140,000 guilders. In 1631 there were more than a hundred Amsterdammers with a fortune exceeding 100,000 guilders. Distinguished regents began to distance themselves from trade in the 2nd half of the 17th century. Wealth was increasingly ostentatiously displayed. The Trip brothers, for example, had a house worth 250,000 guilders built on Kloveniersburgwal. But there was a negative side to all this wealth. Neighbourhoods like the Jordaan were being used more and more as urban dumping grounds for the poor proletariat. A helping hand was more than welcome and was often offered by rich families, who founded alms houses to provide the most needy with a safe haven. The city and church communities also founded many institutions. Orphanages, homes for elderly gentlemen, hospitals, prisons and lunatic asylums filled the city, the burden of too much good fortune. 

Stadswandelingen - Vreemde verhalen De Beurs van Berlage

Saturday 25 August 2007 Amsterdam around 1900 -The second Golden Age-

The period around 1900 is known as the Second Golden Age. It was as if the city had woken from a long sleep and the economy grew spectacularly. As a result the city changed and expanded rapidly. Large-scale new building projects gave Amsterdam a new look and were the visible evidence of a new golden era. Photographers like Breitner and Jacob Olie captured these changes. Their photos of a tranquil Amsterdam, which quickly disappeared, are particularly appealing now. They provide us with a picture of times long past. This museum tour and city walk are about Amsterdam at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a dynamic period at the foundation of our modern society.

Stadswandelingen - Meer informatie - In het voetspoor van Sinterklaas Koninklijk paleis

Saturday 29 September 2007 The Golden Age -Amsterdam, the centre of the world-

The 17th century is the most glorious period in Dutch history and the most important era in the history of Amsterdam. In this period the city developed from a regional trading centre into the very heart of the European economy. Amsterdam grew at an explosive rate from a population of 50,000 in 1600 to more than 200,000 in 1700 and expanded as never before. With the help of many objects in the museum and numerous historic buildings we’ll explore the Golden Age from different perspectives.

Stadswandelingen - De Universiteit van Amsterdam Rembrandt

Saturday 27 October 2007 Painters of the Golden Age – in the footsteps of Rembrandt and his colleagues

The Golden Age is internationally famous for the art of painting. In no other period in the history of art were so many painters active as in the Netherlands in the 17th century. In this period Amsterdam was the centre of the art trade and the workplace of many artists. This museum tour and city walk will introduce you to well-known and less well-known painters. Rembrandt, the icon of the Golden Age, is of course one of these.

Stadswandelingen - De Wallen en de Nieuwmarktbuurt VOC

Saturday 24 November 2007 Sailing to the East!  -With the VOC to faraway lands -

The Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC – Dutch East India Company) is one of the icons of the Golden Age and is often called the first multinational. The Company was founded in 1602 when a number of commercial companies joined forces. This ended the murderous competition between them and brought with it the prospect of higher profits. For almost two centuries the VOC had a monopoly on trade with the East and managed a large number of trading stations in the East Indies.  The Company was divided into six chambers, the Amsterdam Chamber being the most important. So it isn’t surprising that the VOC primarily left its mark on Amsterdam. Many objects in the museum and historic buildings in the city tell the story of this fascinating enterprise.

Stadswandelingen - De Grachtengordel en de Jordaan Pompeus

Saturday 29 December 2007 High-flyers! -Famous Amsterdammers and their time-

The history of the city teems with important, exceptional and remarkable people. During the guided tour you’ll get to know many important people whose portraits are in the museum. Whether it’s the puissant rich 16th-century merchant Pompeius Occo,  the 17th-century poet Joost van den Vondel,  the 18th-century historian of Amsterdam Jan Wagenaar, the 19th-century culture lover and banker Adriaan van de Hoop or the 20th-century socialist Monne de Miranda, they all have a fascinating tale to tell. The city walk will introduce you, with the help of many historic buildings, to other groups of high-flyers in Amsterdam - politicians, architects, writers and philosophers, who at one time or another all called themselves Amsterdammers.



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