Originally one of the marshiest parts of Amsterdam, prone to regular flooding, the narrow slice of land sandwiched between the curve of the Amstel, Kloveniersburgwal and the Nieuwe Herengracht was the home of Amsterdam’s Jews from the sixteenth century up until World War II. By the 1920s, this Old Jewish Quarter, or Jodenhoek (“Jews’ Corner”), was crowded with tenement buildings and smoking factories, but in 1945 it lay derelict – and postwar redevelopment has not treated it kindly either. Its focal point, Waterlooplein, has been overwhelmed by a whopping town hall and concert hall complex, and the once-bustling Jodenbreestraat – the “Broad Street of the Jews” – is now bleak and very ordinary, with Mr Visserplein, at its east end, one of the city’s busiest traffic junctions. Picking your way round these obstacles is not much fun, but you should persevere – among all the cars and concrete are several moving reminders of the Jewish community that perished in the war, including the imposing Esnoga (Portuguese synagogue) and the fascinating Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum), as well as Rembrandt’s former home, the Rembrandthuis.

 

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Netherlands features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

Nijmegen is a lively university city around an hour-and-a-half by train from Amsterdam. Beyond its famous Four Days Marches, it’s a fairly unassuming place a…

08 Aug 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

During a trip to Keukenhof in the Netherlands, travel photographer Nori Jemil captured Holland's tulip season through her lens and the results are beautiful. H…

25 Apr 2016 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

With its canals, narrow cobbled alleys and trams, the novelty value of Amsterdam can prove entertaining enough for many kids. There’s also a whole host of att…

30 Mar 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month