Amsterdam: The idea of Religious Tolerance
Amsterdam during the Dutch War of Independence and the Golden age (1550-1700)
A historical (and philosophical) tour along the growth of the city though the emerging of the Dutch Golden Age.
In this tour we walk through the oldest part of town towards the 17th century city center. We stop at several houses, monuments and locations that illustrate or symbolize historic events. We start at the Schreierstoren, near Central Station, which used to be water. We imagine how it was when the station wasn’t there yet and the city was open to the Zuiderzee, and we talk about the origin of the city. At the place where the Amstel river meets the IJ river and from where the Zuiderzee used to be a splendid seaway for shipping to and from other European cities. These were the days that the Netherlands where still some insignificant provinces of the Burgundian, and later German and Spanish empires. As we walk through the red light district and the oldest street of the city, the Warmoestraat, we see that there was a sand ridge where the first buildings were built on pig skins, and how architects later started to build houses on wooden poles that were often ‘hanging in the mud’. We talk about the reformation which was one of the causes for the Dutch war of independence against the Spanish kings.
Themes that we will talk about during the walk are:
- Between 1550 and 1700 Amsterdam grew dramatically and became the major trade center in Europe
- The Netherlands became a protestant country with religious tolerance
- What did Dutch Calvinism and religious tolerance mean in politics and in daily life.
- The typical renaissance architecture along the famous canals
- How the citizens of the city took the power from the royalty and nobility
On our way we’ll pass:
- The Ship Chandlers Warehouse, which given an impression of how the shipping industry was functioning.
- De Oude Kerk, the oldest building of Amsterdam
- The Waterlooplein, the flea market in the old Jewish neighborhood
- The Moses and Aaron Church
- The Portuguese Synagogue
- Amstel 216, the house with the blood stains
- De Gouden Bocht, the part of the Herengracht, with the most beautiful city Palaces
- The Begijnhof, an oasis in the middle of the city, with the English Church in the middle
- The Cromhout Huis
The tour ends at the Cromhout Huis; one of the richest city palaces open for public with beautiful rooms and a unique staircase to the upper floors. The Cromhout Huis also houses the Biblical museum with a large collection of protestant bibles. Strict Calvinism and a rich imagination come together in the models from the temples in ancient Jerusalem. This collection beautifully symbolises the spirit of the Dutch preacher/merchant mentality of the Dutch elite since the 16th century.
The guide, Robin van Erven Dorens, is a documentary filmmaker with great interest in Dutch history. He born in Amsterdam and has lived there most of his life.
Remember the guides work under donations. Only we ask €5 booking costs. Feel free to tip the guide after the tour!
Robin, glad to have you aboard. 🙂 Enjoy your free tours in Amsterdam.