De Waag, the former weighing house of the city of Amsterdam, dates from the 15th century and was originally a city gate called Sint Antoniespoort, which was part of the city wall. After the city was expanded and the city gate was no longer useful, the city scales moved into the building. Heavy objects like cannons or anchors were weighed here. Various guilds had established themselves on the upper floors. The surgeons also had their operating theater in De Waag. Rembrandt painted his famous painting The Anatomy Lesson by Dr. Nicolaes tulip.
The respective guilds had their own entrance. The facade stones of the guilds such as blacksmiths and stonemasons can still be seen on the wall today. The scales have not been used since 1819; the building later served as exhibition space for various museums. In the meantime, scales, guilds and museum objects have disappeared and a restaurant has moved in. So today you can eat and drink something in De Waag.
June 17, 2021
The Nieuwmarkt is a square in the center of Amsterdam, between Geldersekade and Kloveniersburgwal. It borders the Zeedijk to the north and the Sint Antoniesbreestraat to the south and forms the center of the Nieuwmarktbuurt.
The monumental Waag is central. Around the square there are monumental buildings, many restaurants, a supermarket and the De Flesseman senior citizens' residence.
There is a daily market in the summer months, an organic market on Saturdays and an antiques, curiosity and book market on Sundays. In spring, in the week before King's Day, there is the “April Festival” with a neighborhood breakfast and nostalgic fair with carousel, mirror tent and children's theater.
The Nieuwmarkt borders the red light district, Chinatown and Lastage. Since the Nieuwmarkt area, especially on the Zeedijk, has many Chinese residents and businesses, the street signs in this area are in both Dutch and Chinese characters.
The eye-catcher on the square is the scale. All around are buildings, almost all of which are designated as national or city monuments. However, some are now missing. The demolition of many houses for the construction of the tunnel of the south-east line of the Amsterdam Metro in the Lastage (between Geldersekade and Oudeschans) led to the 1975 Nieuwmarkt riots under the motto “No tubes, but houses”. The plan to build a motorway from the Wibautstraat and Weesperstraat via the Nieuwmarktbuurt to the Prins Hendrikkade and on to the Haarlemmer Houttuinen also met with violent protests. In the Nieuwmarkt underground station, works of art are a reminder of this time. The southeast side of the square fell victim; several buildings there were demolished.
June 17, 2021
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