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Historical Sites in Amsterdam

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Netherlands
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Anne Frank House
Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s most well known former residents. The Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam is where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. Now converted into a museum it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general. The rooms at the Anne Frank House still portray the atmosphere of the period spent in hiding. Historical documents, photographs, film images and original objects that belonged to those in hiding and those who assisted them help illustrate the events that took place. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks are also on display in the museum.
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Dam Square
Dam Square is Amsterdam’s beating heart. Nowadays Dam Square in contrast with the old days it is now a very peaceful square which is home to scores of pigeons and street performers. Dam Square has had a turbulent history. Around 1270 a damn was constructed in this spot in the river Amstel. Dam Square was once the central marketplace of Amsterdam where literally everything under the moon was sold. The Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam are also situated at Dam Square. Other nearby highlights are the red light district, the narrowest house in Amsterdam at Singel 7 and the shopping mall Magna Plaza.
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Zypendaal House
Zypendaal House (Huis Zypendaal) is an old-style country house dating from 1762. The ground floor is open to the public. The costly furnishings and many souvenirs of the Brantsen family, the house's former residents, give the house a very intimate feel.
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The Big or Eusebius Church
The Big Chruch or The Eusebius in Arnhem has dominated the skyline of the city of Arnhem for more than five centuries now and tells the history of the capital of the province of Gelderland from the Middle Ages until the Second World War and the post-war reconstruction.
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Museum De Waag
Museum De Waag brings city history to life! How did Deventer originate? Which inhabitants played a role in the history of the city? What did the river IJssel mean for the development of Deventer? Visitors to Museum De Waag receive answers to these questions in Flows through time. Deventer, city of the IJssel. This exhibition is on show from 23 June 2017 and tells the historical story of the city in five chapters. Specially developed 3D reconstructions and animations show how Deventer looked in the past.
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Frisian Castle
The first buildings to be built in Friesland using natural stone or bricks were stone refuge towers, known in Friesland as ‘stinzen’. ‘Stins’ means stone. These squat towers with rounded peaks served as a refuge for their owners, the farming gentry. These people were the rural aristocracy in Friesland, which had no earls or counts before 1500.
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The mills
The mills in the province of Groningen provide a wonderful image of agricultural developments. The mills had their own specific function; there are flourmills, hulling mills, sawmills and water mills. The Groninger Molenhuis supports mill owners in keeping or restoring their mills.
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Kazerne Dossin
Kazerne Dossin is a very special place of remembrance for Belgium. As 'SS Sammellager Mecheln', the Dossin barracks was a waitingroom for death for more than 25,000 Jews and gypsies from Belgium and Northern France during the Second World War. A brand-new museum has been built to record the historical significance of this place for present and future generations and to illustrate themes like racism, exclusion and human rights. The combination of the human rights theme and the historical story of the Holocaust in Belgium makes Kazerne Dossin a project of European interest. The new museum was designed by leading architect and former Flemish Government Architect bOb Van Reeth.
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St Rumbolds Cathedral
St Rumbold's Cathedral was built in the thirteenth century. From the outset it was larger and more impressive than all the other parish churches and later on it became 'the church of the archbishops'. Originally there was a triple-nave cruciform church on the site of the vast cathedral. Only after a series of building campaigns did the church become a city's star attraction. The inside of the cathedral is breathtaking. You can admire Anthony van Dyck's painting 'Christ on the Cross', along with works by (among others) Michel Coxcie, Gaspard de Crayer and Abraham Janssens. The real showpiece, however, has to be the high altar by Lucas Faydherbe which dates from 1665.
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Leuven Town Hall
The town hall is Leuven's pride and joy. Moreover, it's one of the best-known Gothic town halls worldwide. It took three architects and thirty years to build it. Leuven's 'Hall of Fame' features 236 statues, which were only added to the façade after 1850. These days the town hall merely has a ceremonial function after the city's administrative services moved in 2009. The tourist information center is situated on the side of the town hall. Also daily guided tours are available. The guide will tell you about the construction history of this Gothic gem. You will discover the story behind the 236 sculptures on the façade. Afterwards, you can visit the foyer, the reception rooms, the large and small Gothic Hall, the wedding hall and the council hall. Every third Saturday of the month you can visit the cellars under the town hall. These cellars have housed the ‘Jaartallen’ collection since the very first edition in 1890. The entrance is located at Grote Markt square next to the town hall’s flight of step.
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Castle of the Counts
A weekend trip to Ghent is simply not complete without a visit to the mysterious ‘Castle of the Counts’. This important sight in Ghent is a castle with a very turbulent past, closely intertwined with the complex—often stormy—political and social history of the city. It is the only remaining mediaeval castle with a moat and largely intact defence system in Flanders. Your visit to the Castle of the Counts will give you a complete picture of heraldic culture in the 12th century. The gatehouse, ramparts, keep, count’s residence and stables are open to visitors. The Castle of the Counts boasts a unique collection of torture equipment. What used to be the pantry now features the torture equipment, which is displayed in a suggestive executioner's cabinet. The former courtroom features the collection of judicial objects. The Castle of the Counts also hosts all kinds of cultural activities, events and activities, for example during the Ghent Festivities. It is also a popular place to get married for Ghent’s locals. Let’s not forget the time the Castle of the Counts was occupied by protesting students in 1949! Explore the castle during your weekend trip in Ghent and find out all about the ‘Battle of the Castle of the Counts’.
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Markt
Markt is the heart of the city and surrounded by many historical highlights. It is filled with pedestrians and bicyclists and a perfect place to get some rest or food in a local restaurant. Markt is dominated by its Belfry, for centuries the city’s foremost edifice and the perfect look-out in case of war, fire or any other calamity. You can still climb to the top of the tower! The statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck graces the middle of the square. These two popular heroes of Bruges resisted French oppression and consequently played an important part during the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. Their statue neatly looks out onto the Gothic revival style Provincial Palace. Until the 18th century this used to be the extremely busy Waterhalle, a covered warehouse where goods were loaded and unloaded along the canals that ran alongside the square. Today the canals are still there, albeit underground.
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Belfort (Belfry & Carillon)
The most important of Bruges’ towers stands 83 metres tall. It houses, amongst other things, a carillon with 47 melodious bells. In the reception area, waiting visitors can discover all kinds of interesting information about the history and working of this unique world-heritage protected belfry. Those who take on the challenge of climbing the tower can pause for a breather on the way up in the old treasury, where the city’s charters, seal and public funds were kept during the Middle Ages, and also at the level of the impressive clock or in the carillonneur chamber. Finally, after a tiring 366 steps, your efforts will be rewarded with a breath-taking and unforgettable panoramic view of Bruges and her surroundings.
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Begijnhof (Beguinage)
The 'Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde' with its white-coloured house fronts and tranquil convent garden was founded in 1245. This little piece of world heritage was once the home of the beguines, emancipated lay-women who nevertheless led a pious and celibate life. Today the beguinage is inhabited by nuns of the Order of St. Benedict and several Bruges women who have decided to remain unmarried. In the Beguine's house, you can still get a good idea of what day-to-day life was like in the 17th century.
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St. Peters Caves
In one of the highest spots in Holland, miles of tunnels make for a unique experience. A tour beneath Saint Peter’s Mount near Maastricht allows you to explore the caves that were excavated by men through the centuries.
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Saint Peters Fortress
Saint Peter’s Fortress was built on St. Peter’s Mount in the early 18th century. It’s initial purpose was military, allowing the people of Maastricht to defend the city from the French. While successful for a long time, the city had to surrender in the end.
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Town hall and market square
The historic façade is already an indication of the building’s glorious history: 50 rulers, 31 of whom were crowned in Aachen, surround the central figures of Charlemagne, the Holy Mary and Pope Leo III. In the elaborately decorated rooms, too, the story of the city hall, which was built on the historic site of the great palace hall of Emperor Charlemagne, is brought to life. In the coronation hall, where formerly the rulers took a meal after being crowned, copies of the imperial regalia remind us of this glorious era today.
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Explore Kornelimuenster
Kornelimünster is located in the Inde valley, and is Aachen’s most picturesque district. The historic centre, which surrounds the Medieval priory church, St. Kornelius, has remained almost entirely intact today, and invites visitors to walk around and spend a few hours there. As well as its wonderful, historic town centre, Kornelimünster is also a good starting point for a large number of expeditions to the surrounding area. Whether you prefer leisurely cycling on the Vennbahn track, mountain bike tours or hiking on the Eifelsteig – here, there’s something for everyone.
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Westfront Nieuwpoort
What does Nieuwpoort have in common with Namur, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Kortrijk and Bruges? In all of these cities you can find a statue of Albert I, the Soldier King. These bronze riders mark the way the German army invaded Belgium in 1914, up until Nieuwpoort where they came to a grinding halt. This was achieved through the power of seawater and the smart coordination of the sluices and locks. But water wasn’t only an ally, it condemned Nieuwpoort to a crueller fate, the complete destruction of the city as first city at the front. A hundred years later the monument to King Albert I is a serene place in a beautiful landscape, surrounded by water. The ideal place to tell the story of the inundation. This happens in the hypermodern visitor centre ‘Westfront Nieuwpoort’ right under the 2500m² terrace of the monument, with a polyvalent inner circle and 3 exposition wings.
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Abdijmuseum Ten Duinen
Discover the role of the Lords of the Dunes of Koksijde in the Order of Citeaux, a European project before the letter.It's not a dull or dusty affair but a unique archaeological site and a modern museum that tells the story of the silent stones vividly. The religious Maldague silver collection has a permanent home at the Abbey Museum.
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Arnsberg Old Market
Arnsberg's historic heartbeats at the Old Market Square with its belfry, Old Town Hall (1710), "The Crimea" and Maximilianbrunnen (1779). The Madonna in the niche at the town hall has survived many city fires and bears witness to an eventful history. On the side of the town hall is the symbol of Cologne rule in Arnsberg. The wonderfully renovated patrician building "Zur Krim" is reminiscent of a dark chapter in legal history, because the witch judge of Arnsberg once lived in it. The bell tower - the symbol of the city - forms the "parlor" Arnsberg with the old town hall (1710) and the Maximilianbrunnen, framed by patrician and half-timbered houses. The bell tower was part of the former city fortifications in Arnsberg and is one of the oldest buildings in Arnsberg. He found a first written mention in a document by Count Gottfried III. from the year 1236, in which it was about the expansion of the city area towards the monastery Wedinghausen. With the execution of this plan, the tower lost its function as a defensive tower and served only as an inner-city gate. For centuries, the top of the tower consisted of a tent-like roof with four small corner towers. It was only around 1723 that the tower received its baroque onion dome after a city fire, which was preserved until 1945.
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The Trazegnies Castle
Trazegnies was the seat of a powerful seigniory and the cradle of one of the most illustrious families in Europe. Trazegnies' family possessed a castle worthy of her. Over the centuries, the castle has undergone a great many transformations. The splendid main building is a jewel in Belgium’s crown and is almost unique in the country, displaying architecture in the style of Louis XIII. The Romanesque cellars still survive today from the primitive manor, a rare testimony of the 11th century. Today, part of the castle is available for hire for different events: seminars, buffets and much more.
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Abbey of Oignies
Dating back to the end of the 13th century, the Oignies Abbey is located in a classified and preserved historic setting. Its robust silhouette stands on the foundations of the old chapel Saint-Nicolas, dedicated to the patron saint of boatmen. The abbey is known worldwide for its cultural, social and economic activities which throughout the centuries have allowed it to flourish. His treasure is considered one of the seven wonders of Belgium. It was a meeting place and residence of illustrious personalities and the production workshop of goldsmith Hugo d'Oignies. His invaluable pieces are always present in Namur. Also place where Sainte Marie d'Oignies lived exhilarating hours as well as. Nestled in a park of 3 ha, the abbey is planted with beautiful trees more than a hundred years old; this secure park is entirely walled and is on the edge of the Sambre. The Abbey of Ognies offers its guests what they need to feel at home. Thousands of guests from all over the world and of all ages have crossed paths and crossed each other for more than 800 years.
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Visit Monschau
Vibrant activities within ancient walls, a medieval townscape with idyllic half-timbered houses, narrow streets and cobblestones. Monschau is the cultural centre of an entire region and one of the most popular holiday and excursion destinations in the Eifel. More than 350 kilometres of signposted trails to the right and the left of the Eifelsteig will lead you through paths of adventure, e.g., along the imposing beech hedges, to the blooming narcissi meadows and up through the Hohe Venn (High Fens), a raised bog that is absolutely unique in its kind within Europe.
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Tournai The Notre-Dame Cathedral
So many adjectives that describe Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai, a true jewel of medieval architecture. The only Belgian Cathedral listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this masterpiece of Western art draws the scenery of the country for miles around. A must-visit in your discovery of Tournai! 134 m long including 58 m for the only choir, 67 m wide for the transept, 83 m high for the tallest tower. The proportions of Notre Dame Cathedral are gigantic. The nave and transept built in the 12th century are Romanesque. The choir, completed in 1254, is of Gothic style. This combination of stones gives it an undeniable originality and the 5 towers that dominate the city make it a unique building of its kind. Discover an exceptional treasure room with the presence of major works: the two large reliquaries of Notre-Dame and Saint-Eleuthère, precious ivories, goldsmiths' pieces, a 14th century Arras tapestry. Since 2006, a vast restoration project is at work: stabilization of the Gothic choir, replacement of roofs, cleaning stone walls, restoration of stained glass windows ... The building site is constantly evolving and completely renovated parts appear over the days.
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Belfry of Mons
Built in the park belonging to Hainaut’s counts, on the site of the former château, the building nicknamed “el Catiau” towers over the city. From the garden, the view of Mons is simply stunning. From the top of the hill, you can imagine the history of this city, the trials that it has had to live through over the centuries, and its influence through time, until it became the capital of Hainaut. Next to the belfry, the Sainte-Calixte Chapel remains the city’s oldest religious monument. This Roman style chapel was built in 1051 and now houses a museum where you can learn about the history of the old château and the restoration undergone by the belfry.
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The Main Square
The Lillois' favourite meeting place offers an interesting view of the architecture from the 17th to the 20th century. Standing in the centre of the squares stands the Goddess commemorates Lille's resistance to the Austrian siege in 1792
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The Rihour Palace
Begun in 1453 by Philippe Le Bon, Duke of Burgundy, it is one of the rare reminders of the flamboyant gothic style in Lille. On the ground floor, the Salle des Gardes (Guards room) houses the tourist office.
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Norwich Cathedral
Norwich's magnificent Romanesque Cathedral is open to visitors of all faiths and none. In beautiful grounds it's an awe-inspiring, welcoming building with spectacular architecture, magnificent art and a fascinating history.
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Sparrenburg Castle
High above the town on the Sparrenberg hill sits imposing Sparrenburg Castle. Its mighty fortifications are located right next to one of the most beautiful ridge walks in Germany, the 156km Hermannsweg.
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City Hall
City Hall, a Flemish and Neo-Renaissance style construction, is symbolic of the union between the cities of Saint-Pierre and Calais.Its belfry, which culminates at 75 meters, offers an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the city. It is also part of the group of Belfries of Belgium, Northern France and Picardie, listed as UNESCO World Heritage ;
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The World War II Museum
La Coupole, located 5 km from Saint-Omer (Nord-Pas-de-Calais), is one of the most impressive remnants of the Second World War in Europe. It is a symbolic place of the Nazi oppression, due to its overwhelming mass, the nature of its underground facilities and the suffering of the slave labourers who built it.
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Castle of Vianden
Vianden Castle was built between the 11th and 14th Century on the foundations of a Roman castle and a Carolingian refuge. This Castle-Palace bears the Hohenstaufen characteristics and is one of the largest and finest feudal residences of the Roman and Gothic eras in Europe. Until the early 15th Century it was home to the powerful Counts of Vianden who could boast of their close connections to the German Imperial Court. The greatest of them, Count Henry I (1220 -1250) was even married to a member of the Capetian family, which ruled France at the time. In 1417, the castle and its lands were inherited by the younger line of the German House of Nassau, which -in 1530- also acquired the French principality of Orange. The castle's most remarkable rooms; the chapel as well as the small and the grand palaces were built in the late 12th and the first half of the 13th Century. In 1890 the castle became the property of Grand Duke Adolphe of the elder line of Nassau and remained in the hands of the Grand Ducal family until 1977 when it was transferred into state ownership. It has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and today ranks among the most significant historical monuments of Europe.
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The Deutsches Eck
The establishment of the Teutonic Order at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle in 1216 gave this historic site its name, the “Deutsches Eck” (“German Corner”). Koblenz also owes its name to the meeting point of the Rhine and the Moselle - from “Castellum apud Confluentes”, Latin for “fort at the confluence”, which over time became the current name of Koblenz.
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Beaufort Castles
The old castle, protected by a moat, was built in four periods. The oldest part of the castle dates from the early 11th century. It was a small square-shaped fortress on a massive rock, surrounded by a wide ditch and a second wall facing the valley. Around the first half of the 12th century, a flanking tower was added and the access gate was moved and enlarged.