sunset, Centraal Station Oostzaan
Centraal Station, Amsterdam at sunset The Kolksloot canal in Oostzaan.   Note the windmill in the distance.


A beautiful city with a fascinating history. Excellent public transportation, including an easy train ride to/from Schiphol Airport.  I was particularly impressed with the architecture. Many of the older buildings were built at a time when taxation was determined by the building's width.   Thus, they were built tall and narrow, with correspondingly steep and narrow staircases.  The fronts tend to slope towards the street, and have a sturdy horizontal beam protruding from near the top. These features facilitate moving of large items (like a couch or piano) which would not fit in the narrow staircases.
moving a couch Couch being moved into a typically narrow building Begijnhof The Begijnhof, dating from the 14th century, used to house devout lay-women who did religious work for the
adjacent nunnery.  It remains today as a tranquil courtyard surrounded by beautiful buildings.
Royal Palace The Royal Palace, located in Dam Square Centraal Staation Trams at Centraal Station
Damrak The Damrak, a tourist strip of gift shops, fast food, and money changers, looking back toward Centraal Station herring stand This stand sells small herring sandwiches, or broodjes

the canals of Amsterdam



I once heard Haarlem, the capital of the province Noord-Holland, described as "all the Amsterdam charm, with none of the hustle".  Just a 20-minute ride from there via train, and well worth the visit.
bikes This small, flat city is perfect for bike riding drawbridge Drawbridge over a canal
vine A vine grows over Pieter Straat Grote Markt A corner of the Grote Markt (Great Market), the centre of town



The capital of the Netherlands, and home to, among other things, the International Court of Justice and the Dutch Royal Family.
pedestrian mall Pedestrian mall, Den Haag decorations Christmas decorations on this busy street


Last updated on 01/28/2000

This page, and all photos copyright 1995-2000 Steve Hershoff