At first glance, a novice can not differentiate this courtyard
in Amsterdam. Here, six hundred years ago a Catholic sisterhood
lived like nuns without taking any monastic vows. Though nothing
survived now, this cluster of small homes around a garden courtyard
is cut of from the bane of civilization and traffic noise, still
remains its sanctified milieu.
The place tells you the earliest days of the city when Amsterdam
used to act as a catalyst for the Catholics and was regarded
as a destination for worldwide pilgrims. In 1346 begijnen- a
pious woman established this cloister for women. Without becoming
a nun they used to live without their husband and children.
The last begijn died in 1970, but people from all over the world
still pay homage to these women by pausing for a moment.
The city is built up around a chain of semi circular, concentric
canals dated largely back to 17th century which still define
its lay out and presence in the city landscape. The canal cruise
is extremely popular in Amsterdam, closely 2 million passengers
every year cruise these canals along. The canal cruise is regarded
as one of Europe's premier tourist attractions. People simply
love the idea of getting around in the relaxed way amidst those
17th century canals. The premier and luxury cruises also do
a perfect ambience for lunch, party or dinner.
The museums are the city's main draw. The Vincent van Gogh
Museum with the largest collections of the maestro, Anne Frank
Museum, the hiding house during world war II, The Rembrandt
Museum containing his original works, Sex Museum which has an
extensive collection of historical erotic and pornographic arts
are the most popular choices, but there are many, many more,
close to fifty, truly enriched museums spread all across the
city. The million visitors Amsterdam attracts every year by
dint of these popular and historical museums which cover a wide
array of interests for eight to eighty.
For example, through facilitating collections of artifacts,
images and interactive displays the famous Resistance Museum
depicts the Dutch resistance during World War II. Maritime Museum
displays the vast maritime collections of Dutch naval history.
The museum is located in a 350 year old huge warehouse which
houses more than twenty five rooms. It opens al year around.
However, the most amazing museums of all are Hash Marijuana
Hemp Museum that tells you the incredible 8000 year old history
of using cannabis and hemp. The process of producing marijuana
and other drugs are all explained in detail.
An impressive science and technology museum is for kids where
they can have some intelligent and amazing hands on experience.
Tropical museum and Jewish museum also include children's sections.
Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of more than 700
pieces and 850 letters. The collection is displayed in chronological
order from the earliest 1800 to the mid 1800.
Call it divine ruminations. Those beautiful and brightly
patterned vibrant Dutch flowers in widest of ranges will place
you in another era. Kukenhof is the biggest flower show in the
country encompassing 32 hectare area.
Other than canals and flowers another Amsterdam hallmark is
diamonds. Take a quick tour to one of those diamond factories
and unveil the real cut and polishing secrets behind making
of those diamonds.
You can spend some hours in Volendam and Marken, a picturesque
windmill village. The cruise will take around half an hour to
reach this world famous fishing village.