Books Reviews

Secret Amsterdam – Book Review

By Angela Youngman Oct 29, 2012, 21:14 GMT

Secret Amsterdam – Book Review

Discover the historic location of Rembrandt\'s famous "Night Watch", the origin of the invention of cognac; homage to prostitutes; decypher facade stones; make love quite legally in the open air ; visit magnificent interior courtyards; ski in the heart of the town, or become an adept of "boat-in" - the Amsterdam version of drive-in - and eat a pizza in your own boat.Away from the crowds and the stereotypes, Amsterdam still ...more

Fascinating - this is the Amsterdam familiar to local people rather than tourists.  Forget all the usual tourist haunts. This book highlights the unusual, the places that are easily overlooked. 

Find out why there are so many tiny house frontages - householders attempts to evade tax are nothing new! Definitely some unusual statues to find - my favorite was the violinist exploding out of the earth, although it was a close run thing with the man sawing a tree limb high up in a tree !

Discovering the height of the sea water level as compared to the level of Amsterdam has to be nightmarish at high tides, while finding the historic location of  Rembrandt's Night Watch is quite fascinating.

Most people would walk past the entrance to a Hofje, not knowing the secret world inside.  The result is a fascinating book ideal for dipping into whenever you have a few minutes to spare and wanting to find out a little more about Amsterdam. You don't have to use it as a guidebook to find it useful.

My only criticism is the number of gable ends mentioned in the book - after a while these become a bit boring.  Not all of them have great stories attached to them, so it becomes repetitive.

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