Plantage

With its wide boulevards, parks, and elegant 19th-century architecture, the Plantage, only a short walk from Waterlooplein (follow the tram tracks), feels gracious and spacious. The neighborhood's roots stretch back to the 17th century, when the area was divided into 15 parks and it was a recreational zone for the wealthy. Top draws here are the Artis Zoo and its Neoclassical aquarium built in 1882. Opposite the zoo is the marvelous Verzetzmuseum (Resistance Museum). There are poignant reminders here of the fact that from the late 19th century up to the World War II, this was a neighborhood for wealthier Jewish families: in little Wertheimpark is the Auschwitz Memorial with its engraved message: Nooit Meer (Never Again), and down the road is the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a theater that the German occupiers used to gather Jews before they were sent to their deaths. Between 1941 and 1944, 104,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands; 1,169 survived. North of the Plantage, around Waterlooplein, is the former Jewish Quarter, with the still-functional Portuguese Synagogue and the four former synagogues that are now the Jewish Historical Museum.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Tropenmuseum

The country's largest anthropological museum was first built to educate the Dutch about their colonial history in Indonesia and the…

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Verzetsmuseum

From May 14, 1940, to May 5, 1945, the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany and this museum looks at…

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Gassan Diamonds

By the beginning of the 18th century, Amsterdam had a virtual monopoly in the diamond industry in Europe, so when…

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