During the 1600s Amsterdam experienced a tremendous boom, fueled in part by Dutch colonial ambitions overseas and in part due to a unique social and political situation at home. During this three-hour walk of central Amsterdam in the company of a trained historian we will look at how trade, power, and art intersected during the 17th century to produce Amsterdam’s so-called Golden Age.
Our walk begins at the West India Company, one of the two major international development corporations driving Dutch expansion at the time, where, among other things, the decision to start a small colony on the island of Manhattan was made. In the company of a trained historian we’ll look at how these colonial endeavors unfolded in the Dutch context, and the impact they had on Amsterdam as a world city.
Our time together will also include a stroll through the Jordaan district or other area nearby where some of the better canal houses are found. Many of these were owned by wealthy burghers, and some have been converted into museum houses, which afford a unique glimpse into domestic and social life of the upper classes during the period. We may also take the opportunity to stop in a local cafe for a quick respite, as there are many exceptional ones in this part of town.
We'll head on to Dam Square, the central square of the city, before wrapping up with a visit to the Amsterdam Museum. This museum of the city features a great collection of furniture, art, letters, and other artifacts from the Golden Age of Amsterdam. We’ll finish with a basic overview of the museum but encourage participants to continue further on their own.