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Hidden gems in Amsterdam

Though Amsterdam has so many incredible destinations that are worth the wait in endless lines, there are still some lesser known places that are worth discovering and would absolutely color up your day.

Westerstraat 70II - little houses: My true love at first sight

Remember the platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station in Harry Potter? The invisible headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix at 12 Grimmauld Place? Do you think such places would ever exist? Yes, they do. And instead of one, there come seven!

I would never forget how cheerful I was when we discovered these Westerstraat 70II - little houses in Amsterdamseven dwarf housesseven little houses secretly laid on top of one another in the gap between number 54 and 70 in Amsterdam’s Westerstraat.

Long ago, the narrow alley Dolfijnengang which gave access to number 56 to 68 was located in between number 54 and 70. When these two alongside other “front row” houses were expanded, the small alley vanished into air, leading to the disappearance of those hidden houses. The miniature of them are then created by Natwerk whose brilliant and creative ideas have bring joy to so many people, including me 😛

Passers-by threw a curious look at us as we were ha-ha-ing, shooting crazily in front of a five-inch gap between two houses, asking themselves what were wrong with us. When they stepped up closer and saw these little treasures, their eyes glittered with happiness, just like ours 🙂

Where it is: 70 or 54 Westerstraat

Westerstraat 70II - little houses in Amsterdam
Westerstraat 70II - little houses in Amsterdam

Torensluis – This bridge’s magical “belly” used to be a prison

Torensluis bridge in AmsterdamTorensluis bridge in Amsterdam

This famous bridge, whose name means “tower lock”, is one of the oldest and widest bridges in the city, laying over the beautiful Singel. It is wide enough to hold the terraces of two coffee shops nearby and big enough for cars to cross over. The reason for this unusual width is because there was a tower, known as the Jan Roodenpoortstoren, that once stood there until 1829.

Thousands of people visit it each day, sunbathing on the bridge, taking pictures from different angles from outside, but just a few know that they can actually enter the inside of the bridge and take a walk to the past.

The door and windows of this dungeon can still be seen clearly from the pavement. The inside is described as spacious (we could not get in the day we went there as it was being restored), and for many years, this underground room has been used as a prison, a storage place, and now it hosts music concerts, special events, art exhibitions, or fashion shows, etc. You can see a bunch of fliers attached on the entrance.

We were not lucky enough to see the inside, so please let us know how the interior looks like when you visit it 🙂

Where it is

Zevenlandenhuizen - Seven countries in one street

Each period of time in the rich history of Amsterdam marks a stunning architectural style with typical buildings.

At the end of nineteenth century, Amuel van Eeghen, a banker and also a politician, wanted to bring all the charm and roman of Europe to Amsterdam, and the architect Tjeerd Kuipers was commissioned to build seven houses representing seven countries. Each country, namely Germany, Russia, Italy, France, England, Spain and the Netherlands, symbolizes its own European style. And their names are written on the facade, making it easier for people to recognize which countries they are representing.

Where it is: in between Vondelstraat and Zandpad

Zevenlandenhuizen in Amsterdam

There are still a lot out there, awaiting in the dark. Would you be the next explorer who brings them to light? 🙂

AnhThy
AnhThy
AnhThy(Tea) started to travel at a very young age, but things get serious during her years living abroad where she was exposed to majestic nature and wonderful people from all walks of life. Apart from photography, writing becomes part of her life in which she relives all of the memories built up along the way, and in which she can become as many different characters as she always wants to be. Following her journey to discover more of the personality that comes across in her work.

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