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Red Light District. Nieuwmarkt 4. Map 8 D3. Q Nieuwmarkt.

Barely clad prostitutes bathed in a red neon glow and touting for business at their windows is one of the defining images of modern Amsterdam. By , prostitution had become so widespread, with increasing numbers of sea-weary sailors flooding into the city, that attempts were made to contain it. Prostitutes straying outside their designated area were marched back to the sound of pipe and drum. A century later, following the Alteration see pp24—5 , the Calvinists tried to outlaw prostitution altogether.

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Their attempts were half-hearted, and by the midth century prostitution was openly tolerated. In , Amsterdam had a Entrance to one of the clubs in the Red Light District population of ,, and more than brothels. Today, the area is crisscrossed by a network of narrow lanes.

The city council is trying to make this area more culturally attractive by reducing the number of window-prostitutes, closing the seediest clubs and encouraging entrepreneurs outside the sex industry to open up shops here. Built in , it was then, and often still is, called St Antoniespoort. In , the building became the public weigh house waaggebouw. Peasants had their produce weighed here and paid tax accordingly. Various guilds moved into the upper rooms of each tower.

From the Guild of Surgeons had their meeting room and anatomy theatre here.

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They added the central octagonal tower in After the weigh house closed in the early s, the Waag served as a fire station and two city museums. Antiques market May—Sep: 9am—5pm Sun. Organic market 9am—4pm Sat. An open, paved square, the Nieuwmarkt is flanked to the west by the Red Light District. When the city expanded in the 17th century see pp26—7 , the square took on its present dimensions and was called the Nieuwmarkt.

It retains an array of 17th- and 18th-century gabled houses. True to tradition, an antiques market is held on Sundays during the summer. The old Jewish Quarter leads off the square down St Antoniesbreestraat. In the s, many houses were demolished to make way for the metro, sparking off clashes between protesters and police. The action of conservationists persuaded the city council to renovate rather than redevelop old buildings.

In tribute to them, photographs of their protests decorate the metro. Map 7 C3. Exhibits refer back 8, years to early Z I J D E Asiatic civilizations, which used the plant for medicines and clothing.

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It was first used in the Netherlands, according to a herbal manual of , as a cure for earache. Until the late 19th century, however, hemp was the main source of fibre for rope, and was therefore important in the Dutch shipping industry. Other exhibits relate to the psychoactive properties of this plant.

They include an intriguing array of pipes and bongs smoking devices , along with displays that explain smuggling methods. The museum also has a small cultivation area where plants are grown under artificial light. Police sometimes raid and take away exhibits, so there may be occasional gaps in displays. A series of portraits of scholars — a gift from local merchant Gerardus van Papenbroeck in — also adorns the walls. The chapel is currently used as a conference centre and is not open to the public. Agnietenkapel 5 Oudezijds Voorburgwal Previously home to the Entrance to Agnietenkapel, part of University Museum, the Agnietenkapel was part of the the University of Amsterdam convent of St Agnes until , when it was closed after the Alteration see pp24—5.

Book century it was a centre of market 10am—6pm Mon—Sat.

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It also housed the municipal library The Oudemanhuispoort was until the s. Gothic chapels to have surToday the building is part of vived the Alteration. During restoration from to , the University of Amsterdam. The pediment over the elements of gateway in the Amsterdam School Oudezijds architecture were Achterburgwal introduced see p Trading Oudemanhuispoort periods of secular inside this covered use, the building walkway dates still has the feel of a from and today there is Franciscan chapel.

It has a lovely ceiling, courtyard via the arcade. The Trippenhuis now houses the Dutch Academy. Opposite at No. It is only 2. Zuiderkerk 9 Zuiderkerkhof Map 8 D4. The spire of the Zuiderkerk, a prominent city landmark Oostindisch Huis 7 Oude Hoogstraat 24 entrance on Kloveniersburgwal Built in , it is attributed to Hendrick de Keyser see p The premises have been expanded several times, in , and , to house spices, pepper, porcelain and silk from the East Indies. The VOC was dissolved in see p31 , and for a while the Oostindisch Huis was taken over by the customs authorities.

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Later, the state tax offices also moved in, and the VOC medallion carved in the stone gate was replaced with a lion, the traditional heraldic symbol of the Netherlands. Trippenhuis 8 Kloveniersburgwal Justus Vingboons designed this ornate Classical mansion, completed in It appears to be one house: it is in fact two.

The house was designed for the wealthy arms merchants Lodewijk and Hendrick Trip, and hence the chimneys look like cannons. The spire, with its columns, decorative clocks and onion dome, is a prominent city landmark. The Zuiderkerk ceased to function as a church in Restored in , it is now a public housing exhibition centre. Museum Het Rembrandthuis 0 Jodenbreestraat 4. He lived in the groundfloor rooms with his wife, Saskia, who died here in , leaving the artist with a baby son, Titus see p There are guided backstage tours.

Waterlooplein w Map 8 D5.

Q Waterlooplein. Market 9am—5pm Mon— Fri, am—5pm Sat. Printing and paintmaking demonstrations take place regularly, as do temporary exhibitions. The Waterlooplein dates from , when two canals were filled in to create a large market square in the heart of the Jewish quarter. The site was originally known as Vlooyenburg, an artificial island built in the 17th century to house the Jewish settlers see p The original market disappeared during World War II when most of the Jewish residents of Amsterdam were rounded up by the Nazis and transported to concentration camps see pp34—5. After the war, a popular flea market grew up in its place.

Despite encroachment by the Stadhuis-Muziektheater, 63 the northern end of the Waterlooplein still operates a lively market, selling anything from bric-a-brac and army-surplus clothing to Balinese carvings. Map 8 E4. Designed by the Flemish architect T. The later church took its name from the Old Testament figures of Moses and Aaron depicted on the gable stones found on the original building.

These are now set into the rear wall. The church was restored in , when its twin wooden towers were painted to look like sandstone. It is now used for exhibitions, public meetings, concerts and celebrations.