Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Amsterdam's Quartier Latin
After reading through a small brochure outlinging a "Town Walk" of De Pijp, I feel that I have finally hit the nail on the head in describing this neighbourhood: Amsterdam's Latin Quarter.
The Pijp has a lively history, one riddled with cabaret shows, 1800s brothels, and an entrepreneurial spirit. In the 1800s, the area which is now Sarphati Park was supposed to house Amsterdam's Centraal Station. It wasn't until roughly 1880 that the government decided to place the station on the Ij harbor that Sarphati Park became the natural oasis that it is today. Housing prices were never very cheap in De Pijp, which caused many people to rent out homes to students, many of whom studied in Latin, giving the Pijp its name "the Latin Quarter."
As I have written about before, the Albert Cuyp Market is the heart of the Oude Pijp. The market was opened in 1905, due to the broad width of the street, and its central location in the neighbourhood. Apparently the market attracts more than 40,000 people on busy Saturdays!
I hope to write more about my new neighbourhood, perhaps including "must-sees" and specific interesting tidbits of history from this area. In the meantime, I will enjoy visiting the tapas bars and tiny cafes that this area has to offer, and begin making a mental list of my favourites to share with you all :)