The Old Church – Oudekerskplein 23
OudekerkThe “Oude Kerk” (Old Church) is the oldest monument in Amsterdam, built in the beginning of the 14th century on an artificial hill. The contrast on the square (Oudekerksplein) where the Old Church is located is enormous; the oldest church of Amsterdam surrounded by buildings where the oldest profession in the world takes place: prostitution. Women are selling their services behind the windows in small alleys around the church. Between this unrivalled contrasting mix of activities you’ll find a daycare, cafés, coffeeshops and one of the best restaurants in the city.

The Bulldog – Oudezijds Voorburgwal 90
bulldogBulldog-owner Henk de Vries, who sold his first African Grass in matchboxes in 1970 at a Dutch pop festival, laid the benchmark for the contemporary coffeeshop. In 1975 he turned his father’s sex-shop at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 90 into the first coffeeshop selling soft drugs in Amsterdam: The Bulldog (Henk’s pet dog was a bulldog). What once began in a cellar, has now grown into an ironclad trade name with five locations and a hotel in Amsterdam, locations in Canada and a merchandising line.

‘De Gecroonde Raep’ – Oudezijds Achterburgwal 46-A
de gecroonde reapThe building ‘De Gecroonde Raep’ was designed by the renowned city architect Hendrik de Keyser (1565). In the 17th century the wealthy family Valckenier lived there. Their family portrait is part of the art collection of the Amsterdam Museum, formerly known as Amsterdam Historical Museum.The building has entrances at the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. Unique is the beautiful gable stone “De Gecroonde Raep”. In the late 40’s of the last century the world famous Cobra Movement (freethinking artists who combined creative freedom and experimentation, passion and vitality, and social engagement in their work) closed their covenant in the house. The name CoBrA is a combination of the initial letters of the capital city names: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. That’s because the initial founders of the group are originally from these countries.

Bethaniënklooster – Barndesteeg 6
The Bethaniënklooster (Monastery of Bethany) is a former convent in the center of Amsterdam, build in the 15th century. It was an Augustinian monastery where women could do penance for a life of sin. The monastery was named after ‘Mary of Bethany’ who was regarded to be a sinful woman in Medieval Western Christianity.The Bethaniënklooster became popular among the wealthy part of the city and was the home of mostly rich nuns. In 1462 about 220 women lived in the monastery. In the 20th century the building got its function of music hall for classical music. In 2012 Bethany’s Jazz Club opened its doors in the restored cellar of the Bethaniënklooster.
Most recently the Bethanienklooster has been sold and will get a new destination. A new organization will get the chance to add something new to the history of the building.