The zzzland Times

Our travel

                                  Amsterdam, Holland 

 The Rijksmuseum was founded in 1800 in The Hague to exhibit the collections of the Dutch stadtholders, it was inspired by French example. By then it was known as the National Art Galler. In 1808 the museum moved to Amsterdam on the orders of king Louis Napoleon, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte.The paintings owned by that city, such as The Night Watch by Rembrandt, became part of the collection.

The 400th birthday celebrations of Rembrandt was in full swing.  

We enjoyed our tour of this great museum and discovered some great paintings. The museum is located in a nice area of town..

 Marriage Portrait of Isaac Massa en Beatrix van der Laen 

by Frans Hals

An informal portrait of an extremely rich merchant, Isaac Massa, and a pretty burgomaster's daughter, Beatrix van der Laen.   _________________________________________________________________________    

The Night Watch, the most famous painting in the Rijksmuseum, actually has another title: the "Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch".

Rembrandt shows Cocq and his men in motion: their lances are askew, their muskets are out of order, and they all project a sense of the vitality of their mission. The canvas is gigantic and was originally even larger. In this group portrait Rembrandt captures the personality of the entire company.


 The Meagre Company

'Just to see that painting would make the journey to Amsterdam worthwhile.' wrote Vincent van Gogh in 1885, after having seen this work in the Rijksmuseum. In 1633 Frans Hals was commissioned to paint the portraits of Captain Reynier Reael and Lieutenant Cornelis Michielsz. Blaeuw with their militia unit.


 The Kitchen maid

This is one of Johannes Vermeer's genre piecesin which he establishes an intensely intimate atmosphere. Although the artist observes his model from nearby, she continues with her work, totally unperturbed.


 Woman reading a letter

In Dutch genre a painting of a woman reading a letter was usually a reference to love. The map on the wall may refer to a distant lover, but the painting offers no further clues to a hidden meaning.



The hall opened on April 11, 1888, with an inaugural concert in which an orchestra of 120 musicians and a chorus of 500 singers participated, performing works of Wagner, Handel, Bach, and Beethoven.

There are a lot of canals in Amsterdam... and over 200,000 bicycles!  You have to be weary of those bicycles. Pedestrians are third on the pegging order after bicyles and cars.




Cat in the window of a house in Amsterdam.

Just thought it was a cute picture.










 There are plenty of these bikes riding around Amsterdam.


Hook to lift goods. (You can see it above the window of the top floor).  

A brown café where you can smoke a joint... (the Red, yellow and green flag). They are now proposing outlawing them. (2009)

De Bijenkorf (literally: The Beehive) is a chain of upmarket department stores with its flagship store on Dam Square. Founded in 1870 as a small store along the Nieuwendijk, it offers many prestigious brands in womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty, food, and home. Judy enjoyed shopping there. (So did I...;-))    


Dam Square lies in the historical center of Amsterdam, approximately 750 meters south of the main transportation hub, Central Station. It is roughly rectangular in shape, stretching about 200 meters from west to east and about 100 meters from north to south. It links the streets Damrak and Rokin, which run along the original course of the Amstel River from Centraal Station to Muntplein (Mint Square) and Munterren. 


The National Monument (in the foreground), a white stone pillar erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of  WWII, dominates the opposite side of the Dam square. 

The Royal Palace (in the background) is one of four palaces in the Netherlands which is at the disposal of Queen Beatrix by Act of Parliament. The palace was built as city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the seventeenth century. The building became the royal palace of king Louis Napoleon and later of the Dutch Royal House.

The cruise ship terminal in Amsterdam. Close to the city center.   



The Bed and Breakfast we stayed in for our three-day stay in Amsterdam.





The Zaanse Schans is a delightful old hamlet on the banks of the river Zaan with characteristic green wooden houses, charming styalised gardens, small hump-backed bridges, tradesmen's workshops, historic windmills and engaging little shops. This enchanting hamlet gives an excellent impression of how a typical Zaanse village must have looked like in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

You can easily get there via a 15 minute train ride from Centraal Station. The train system in Holland is quick and effecient. These are the best windmills we saw during our trip.  



Judy showing off our room on the Viking river cruise boat.










The Deltaworks are a series of constructions built between 1950 and 1997 in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, and storm surge barriers.

The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has declared the works to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World together with the Zuiderzee Works.

The Oosterscheldekering (Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier), between the islands Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland, is the largest of the 13 ambitious Delta works series of dams, designed to protect the Netherlands from flooding. The construction of the Delta Works was in response to the North Sea Flood of 1953.


The second red line would be the water level that would trigger the dam to shut down. Only happened once in 50 years. It was a fascinating visit. A massive project. 



                            The House of Orange

The past home of the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange, it is now a state museum. Its baroque garden is a reconstruction of when the palace was built in the late 17th century. The design reflects French and Dutch influences and is similar to the layout and ornamentation of the Vaux-le-Vicomte gardens in France. The mature copper beeches and tulip trees growing in the parterres around the King?s Fountain are the remains of Louis Napoleon?s landscape garden.               

  View from the garden.

A fountain on the palace grounds        





                              Anne Frank house

Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (June 12, 1929?early March 1945) was a  Jewish girl born in the city of Frankfurt am Main in Weimar Germany. She gained international fame posthumously following the publication of her diary which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in WW II.

This church is located beside Annea Frank's house. While in hiding she would hear the church bells chime. In fact, while visiting her room, we heard the bells chime just as she would have... It was one of THOSE moments. 

Anne Frank Museum across the canal. The original house is enclosed within.

The above church is to the right.


Delftware, or Delft pottery, or Dutch Delftware, denotes blue and white pottery made in and around Delft in the Netherlands and the tin-glazed pottery made in the Netherlands from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Delftware in the latter sense is a type of pottery in which a white glaze is applied, usually decorated with metal oxides. Delftware includes pottery objects of all descriptions such as plates, ornaments and tiles.

Not exactly "Amsterdam", but it's "dam" close.



Our Lord in the Attic

The canal house was built in 1630. Between 1661 and 1663 the top three floors of the house were changed into a house church. The building was renovated in the 18th and 19th century.

After the Church of St Nicholas was opened, the house church was no longer in use as a church. On 28 April 1888 it opened its doors for the public as a museum. The museum was previously named Museum Amstelkring and is now called Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (English: Museum Our Lord in the Attic)

The museum contains the front room, the between room, the hall, the church, the Lady chapel, the confessional, the Jaap Leeuwenberg hall, and the 17th-century kitchen

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