Theme Week Amsterdam – The Rembrandt Square

23 April 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: 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.   read more…

Leeuwarden in Friesland

16 April 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

© panoramio.com - L-BBE/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – L-BBE/cc-by-3.0

Leeuwarden is a city and municipality with a population of 108,000 in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital of the States of Friesland. The Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour), an ice skating tour of eleven cities in Friesland, started and finished in Leeuwarden.   read more…

The International Court of Justice in The Hague

1 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month

© International Court of Justice

© International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (French: Cour internationale de justice; commonly referred to as the World Court, ICJ or The Hague) is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting and regulating the Court.   read more…

The International Criminal Court

1 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month

International Criminal Court building © OSeveno/cc-by-sa-4.0

International Criminal Court building © OSeveno/cc-by-sa-4.0

The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court. The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force. The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC’s foundational and governing document. States which become party to the Rome Statute, for example by ratifying it, become member states of the ICC. Currently, out of 193 UN member countries there are 124 states which are party to the Rome Statute and therefore members of the ICC. Israel, Russia, Sudan and the United States aren’t part of it.   read more…

Portrait: Vincent van Gogh, founder of modern art

24 May 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Vincent van Gogh signature

Vincent van Gogh signature

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life in France, where he died. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.   read more…

Portrait: Erasmus of Rotterdam, Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian

28 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, Portrait

Erasmus statue in Rotterdam © Frank Versteegen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Erasmus statue in Rotterdam © Frank Versteegen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian. Erasmus was a classical scholar and wrote in a pure Latin style. Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet “Prince of the Humanists”, and has been called “the crowning glory of the Christian humanists”. Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works. The popularity of his books is reflected in the number of editions and translations that have appeared since the sixteenth century. Ten columns of the catalogue of the British Library are taken up with the enumeration of the works and their subsequent reprints.   read more…

Market Hall Rotterdam

1 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month

© Steven Lek/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Steven Lek/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Market Hall (Dutch: Markthal or Koopboog) is a residential and office building with a market hall underneath, located in Rotterdam. The building was opened on October 1, 2014, by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Besides the large market hall, the complex houses 228 apartments, 4600 m2 retail space, 1600 m2 horeca and an underground 4-storey parking garage with a capacity of 1200+ cars. The Market Hall was designed by architectural firm MVRDV. The grey nature stone building has an archwise structure like a horseshoe. The building has a glass facade on both sides, these are made up of smaller glass windows. The smaller windows are mostly squared and around 1485 millimeters wide. All of these are hung around a structure of steel cables, 34 metres high and 42 metres wide, which makes it the largest glass-window cable structure in Europe. Each facade has 26 vertical and 22 horizontal cables.   read more…

Theme Week Amsterdam – The Van Gogh Museum

11 November 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions

Van Gogh Museum © Taxiarchos228/cc-by-sa-3.0

Van Gogh Museum © Taxiarchos228/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Van Gogh Museum is an art museum in Amsterdam in the Netherlands dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. It is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw. The museum opened on 3 June 1973. It located in buildings designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa. The museum’s collection is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. In 2013, the museum had 1.4 million visitors, and was the 2nd most visited museum in the Netherlands and the 35th most visited art museum in the world. In 2014, the museum had 1.6 million visitors.   read more…

The Rotterdam

1 September 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Hotels, Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

© F. Eveleens/cc-by-sa-3.0

© F. Eveleens/cc-by-sa-3.0

The fifth SS Rotterdam, also known as “The Grande Dame”, is a former ocean liner and cruise ship, and has been a hotel ship in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, since 2010. She was launched by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in a gala ceremony on 13 September 1958, and was completed the following summer. The Rotterdam was the last great Dutch “ship of state”, employing the finest artisans from the Netherlands in her construction and fitting out process. Her career spanned forty-one years. She sailed from 1959 until her final retirement in September 2000.   read more…

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