Theme Week Amsterdam – The Rembrandt Square

Monday, 23 April 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Living, Working, Building

© flickr.com - Minke Wagenaar/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Minke Wagenaar/cc-by-sa-2.0

Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square) is a major square in central Amsterdam, named after the famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn who owned a house nearby from 1639 to 1656, todays Rembrandt House Museum. By the early twentieth century, the square developed into a centre for nightlife drawing artists, young people and laborers. To serve these visitors, several hotels, cafés and entertainment venues opened in the adjoining streets. The area continues to be popular with residents and tourists. Thorbeckeplein, named after politician Johan Rudolf Thorbecke (1798–1872), is adjacent to the south, and leads to Herengracht. Tram lines 4, 9 and 14 operate on Regulierbreestraat and connect Rembrandtplein to the Stopera, northwest across the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge) on the Amstel River, Dam Square to the northeast, and Amsterdam Centraal railway station.

The square has its origins in the defensive walls constructed in the Middle Ages to protect the city. The site of Rembrandtplein held a Regulierspoort or gateway into the city. By 1655, the city had expanded beyond this area and it began to attract visiting farmers who brought their butter, dairy and poultry products to sell in the city and it became known as Botermarkt or butter market. By 1668, the Regulierspoort housed a Waaggebouw or weigh house. Each autumn, the square hosted a fair and the farmers’ stalls were replaced by dance orchestras and circus tents. The market continued under this name until 1876 when a statue of Rembrandt by sculptor Louis Royer was moved from the perimeter to the centre of the square and it was renamed Rembrandtplein.

© Michielverbeek/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Adefranza/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Minke Wagenaar/cc-by-sa-2.0 © Marion Golsteijn/cc-by-sa-3.0
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© flickr.com - Minke Wagenaar/cc-by-sa-2.0
The statue of Rembrandt was made in 1852 by sculptor Louis Royer and is of cast iron. It was cast in one piece and it is Amsterdam’s oldest surviving statue in a public space. The current design of the square is the result of a €3.5 million renovation completed in December 2009. The statue is on a grey granite base bearing a replica of his signature. It occupies a space in the centre of the square facing a plaza paved with matching gray granite slabs accented by planters, trees and a small fountain. The perimeter of the square is bordered by grass and trees. In December 2006, the square became home to a large interactive LCD-screen. The display measures 7.6 m × 15 m (25 ft × 49 ft) and, in addition to programmed advertisements, allows passers-by to upload videos with a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone. At the time of installation, the screen was the largest in Europe at 114 m2 (1,230 sq ft).

As part of the celebration of the artist’s 400th birthday in 2006, a bronze-cast representation of his most famous painting, The Night Watch, by Russian artists Mikhail Dronov and Alexander Taratynov was displayed around the Royer work. This bronze-cast representation of the famous painting was on display for three-years before traveling to New York City, Moscow and Oranienbaum. In 2012, the bronze Night Watch sculptures returned to the redesigned square where they serve as a magnet for visitors. In January 2013, the Rembrandtplein Entrepreneurs Foundation began a fundraiser to keep the sculptures in the square throughout the year.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Rembrandtplein.com, amsterdam.info – Rembrandtplein and Wikipedia Rembrandtplein (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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