Aude Søjde – the historic part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Zuid district in Amsterdam

Zuid district in Amsterdam

The charm of old Europe and the achievements and comforts of modern life can be found in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, the cultural and economic heart of the Netherlands.

Zuid

A relatively small by European standards city is divided into districts, each of which has its own specificity and is interesting in itself, because it has not only the historical sights, but also the magic of various coffee shops and stores. One of these Amsterdam neighborhoods is the Zoid district.

Soyd attractions

Located in the central and southern part of the city, the Zoid district covers a decent area of almost 20 square kilometers. District Zoid, according to not only locals but also tourists, is the most comfortable and fashionable district of Amsterdam: here is an excellent infrastructure, a lot of educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, stores and offices.

And the area is interesting because it concentrates the most popular and loved by tourists places – the stunningly beautiful landscape park, named after the Dutch playwright and poet Vondel – Vondelpark with its film museum, open-air theater and playground, as well as the Museum Square, which appeared here in the late XIX century after the World Expo, and which houses four famous museums – National Museum Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Van Gogh Museum and the Diamond Museum, created in the middle of the 19th century. It is no exaggeration to say that the world famous Concertgebouw is located in the Söid district. Opposite the Rijksmuseum there is a beautiful rectangular pond, which turns into an ice rink in the winter and is a great place for winter fun and leisure activities.

Old Söid

Söid includes the old part of the city, the Ķude Söid, which has a modern twist to it: walks along the Forburgwal and Achterburgwal waterways along the mighty medieval fortifications, along the historic Dam Square, along the street Varmostraat, where you will find the Golden Fleece House with a Condomerie (condom stores of different shapes and sizes) and an old tea and coffee stall. Moreover, the main historical attractions of the area are the old 13th-century church Audekerk with fascinating murals and stained-glass windows, surrounded by chapels, and, oddly enough, modern porno theaters. Here is also the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam, dating from 1550 and well-preserved up to now; St. Olaf Chapel with skeletons on the frieze; the old bridge with the locks and mechanisms of the Audezeids-Kolk, St. Nicholas Catholic Church with a dome in neo-baroque style.

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Shopping in the Söid district

Van Baerlestraat

In addition, Söid is famous for its main shopping street, Van Baerlestraat, which is wide and very lively. Shopping lovers will be curious to find here many wonderful and interesting stores, most of them offering products of Dutch brands. The most chic, and yet, alas, the most expensive fashion designer store is The People Of The Labyrints. An interesting store with its own history is Gaastra, founded in the XIX century as a workshop for sewing ship sails and clothes for sailors, still operates to this day, but the production of ordinary clothes, maintaining adherence to tradition of quality, has now come to the fore.

Nutrition in the area of Söid

Brasserie Bark

From nice to healthy: After a walk through the stores you can have a look at the Dutch fish restaurant Brasserie Bark or try the local pastries with different fillings in the Bagels and Beans bakery, also on Van Baerlestraat.

What else is interesting about Söid?

Albert Köyp Market

In nearby De Pijp, a microcosm of Zoïde, you can experience the color and beauty of multi-ethnic coexistence. Originally developed as a working-class neighborhood, however, De Pape has maintained and reinforced its status ever since: it’s home to a great variety of nationalities, cheap housing, cheap stores, and exotic food in ethnic restaurants. And the center of De Pape is a popular market Albert Koeip, where you can inexpensively buy unusual spices, fruit, and taste the famous Dutch syrup waffles. The Albert Köyp market is well worth a visit.

A quiet moment alone with nature is possible in the city without going far away from Amsterdam – the magnificent city park Sarfatipark with its English landscape will delight you with its beauty and give peace of mind. The Heineken Beer Museum and the House of Dwarves are also worth a visit.

Transport in the Zuid

Transport in the Zoede

There are several types of public transport in Amsterdam, the most convenient being the metro and streetcars. For convenience, the city has introduced a unified electronic payment card for all forms of public transport OV-chipkaart.

Subway

Zoid is crisscrossed by two metro lines – the green line number 50 and the orange number 51. But it’s best to use the subway only if you need to go to remote areas.

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Streetcars

Streetcars are very popular: they are convenient, fast and well timed, and there are 16 streetcar lines running throughout Amsterdam and all of its districts. In the Söid district most of the streetcars run under the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 12, 16, 24.

Bicycles

It is also worth mentioning the unquestionable popularity of the bicycle as a means of transportation in the city: Convenient bike rental centers, many specially equipped bike lanes and bike parks provide an opportunity not to depend on the city transport and prohibitory signs that are in force, for example, for cars in most narrow streets of the city and the area Söid in particular. There is even a bike cab Bike Taxi, equipped with roofs in case of bad weather, and the route of a bike cab to the historic landmarks of the district Söid will cost about 10-15 euros.

A trip to Amsterdam will not leave even the most sophisticated traveler indifferent!

Aude Søjde – the historic part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The eastern half of medieval Amsterdam, known as the Oude Zuide, originally occupied only a narrow strip on the eastern bank of the Amstel River. From the beginning of the 15th century, the Aude Zuide began to grow to the east. This trend continued until the mid-17th century. The influx was also influenced by the increase of Jewish refugees from Portugal. In the 17th century, Aude-Zeude was a major trading center.

What can be seen in Aude Zoede?

Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

What can be seen in Aude Zoede?

The typical appearance of this part of town includes the red-light district, which is centered around the Aude Kerk church. Prostitution has been practiced in Amsterdam since the 13th century when the city became a port. Over the years, however, this activity expanded so much that in 1478 the city imposed restrictions . Prostitutes who left a certain area of the city were humiliatingly accompanied by a trumpet and a drum. In the 16th century, after a change of religious orientation, Protestants tried to ban prostitution and outlaw it. Their efforts were unsuccessful, however, and since the mid-17th century prostitution has been fully tolerated. In 1850 there were more than 200 special establishments in the city.

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Amstelkring Museum

In the center of the red light district stands the small Amstelkring Museum, which is very easy to miss because the lower floors look like an ordinary 17th-century merchant’s house. The stairs of this house lead visitors up to the roof, where a three-story Catholic secret church is hidden. The church was completed in 1661 and features a main altar and two wooden galleries. The secret Catholic church bore the fitting name Ons Lieve Heer op Solder.

Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amstelkring Museum

Faithful Catholics had to enter this do m with a secret church at the side entrance so that no one could see them, because the ruling Calvinists forbade Catholics to practice their faith in public. The church served as a Catholic parish church for more than 200 years . It lost its function in 1887, when St. Nicholas Church was built next to the train station. The museum was opened in 1888 and is the second oldest museum in Amsterdam. Visitors can see not only the church, which still hosts services and weddings, but also the reception halls, which have 17th-century Dutch Classicist equipment and decor.

Aude Kerk Church

The main church of Aude Kerk in Amsterdam was built around 1300 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The current Gothic appearance of the church dates back to the 14th century, and a basilica was built from the original one-nave church to become a refuge for the poor and a gathering place for merchants. The church was originally dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.

Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Church of St. Aude Kerk

The exterior of the church looks rather unfinished, which is due to the fact that over the years it has been continually expanded and added to. In the mid-14th century, the original side walls were replaced with wider ones, the presbytery was expanded and a choir gallery was added. In the 15th century, several chapels were added to the church, and in the 16th century a nave was built, followed by a church tower. Although the paintings and sculptures were destroyed after the religious reformation in 1578, the stained-glass windows and gilded ceiling remain intact.

Newmarkt Square

The open paved Newmarkt Square adjoins the Red Light District on the west side and the Chinatown around its northern end. The square was built in the 17th century after the demolition of the city walls and the filling of the surrounding canals and is bounded by several 17th- and 18th-century pointed houses. Traditional markets were held in the square and during World War II it served as a gathering place for Jews before deportation to concentration camps. The tradition of markets on Newmarkt continues to this day, with farmers’ markets on Saturdays and visitors being able to buy antiques on Sundays during the summer months.

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Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Newmarkt Square

The square is dominated by the Vaag building. Waag Tower, Amsterdam’s oldest secular building. Originally it was an entrance gate. Public executions were held here, and in a small room in one of the towers, prisoners waited to die. When the district was founded here in the 17th century, the city limits were moved behind this entrance gate, which had lost its function. Thus, in 1617 the tower became the building of the municipal scales, and performed this function until 1819.

Peasants had to weigh their goods here and pay taxes accordingly. The upper floors of the building housed various craft guilds (e.g. the blacksmiths guild, the painters guild, the surgeons guild or the masons guild), each with its own entrance, which can still be identified by the various stones on the facade. In the early 19th century, the Vaag ceased to serve as a serious structure. Since then, the building has been used as a fire station and museum (Amsterdam Historical Museum and Jewish Museum). Today there are restaurants and cafes here.

Chinatown

Amsterdam’s Chinatown is located around Newmarkt and Zedeck. The neighborhood originated in the early 20th century, when many Chinese sailors came to the city, some of whom settled here and brought their families here. It is the oldest Chinese quarter on the European mainland . The local Chinese community is very close-knit and follows traditions. Visitors can find authentic Chinese restaurants, bakeries, trendy boutiques and doctors’ offices. However, the term “Chinatown” is somewhat inaccurate as it represents businesses and residents of different Asian cultures such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Chinatown

Chinatown also has a colorful Buddhist temple, Fo-Guang-Shan-He-Hu a, which tourists can visit for free. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in the traditional Chinese style, which was inaugurated on September 15, 2000 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The entrance gate of the temple consists of three aisles: the large entrance in the middle is for monks and nuns and the side ones are for the “lay” public. The entrance gate symbolizes the 3 jewels of Buddhism, the Buddha, the Dharma (Buddhist teaching) and the Sangha (Buddhist monastic community).

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Rembrandt House

Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rembrandt House

The painter Rembrandt van Rijn , one of the most famous residents of Amsterdam, where this native of Leiden spent most of his life. The house in what was then the Jewish quarter, now Rembrandtuis, was bought in 1639. The artist lived and taught there until 1658. Rembrandt lived on the first floor with his wife Saxony, who died here in 1642, leaving the artist alone with his son Tito. Many of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings were painted in the first floor studio. In 1908 the house was restored and converted into a museum, housing the world’s largest collection of the artist’s drawings, prints and etchings. A good collection of his prints and drawings also includes self-portraits. Landscapes, nudes, religious and mass scenes are also represented.

Amsterdam Towers.

Montelbaanstoren, a defensive tower that was part of the medieval fortifications. It was built in the area of the former shipbuilding quarter in the early 16th century. The upper part of the tower is strikingly reminiscent of the tower of the church of Aude Kerk. It lost its original function as early as 1606, and later, at the request of the locals, it was supplemented with a clock with a percussion machine. Since 1878, the tower has been the center of Amsterdam’s water supply.

Aude Zoede - historical part of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The towers of Amsterdam

The Schreyerstoren Tower was built in 1480 and was a defensive element of the medieval city walls. Legend has it that the tower got its name from the cries of the women who accompanied the men sailing into the sea. Although this story is depicted on the seventeenth-century gable stones, in fact, things are different. The original name of the tower was Schreyhoekstoren and reflected the position of the tower where the city walls intersected at an acute angle.

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