Located in central Amsterdam, Netherlands you will find a major square called Rembrandtplein. It is, of course, named after the famous artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. The artist owned a home in a nearby location from 1639 to 1656.
Originally this plot of land was intended for defensive purposes. During the middle ages this location was considered the “gateway” to Amsterdam. With expansion, by 1655 the city outgrew this relatively small area. Along with this, neighboring farmers began to bring their products to the square to sell to the residents. Many of the items for sale included poultry and dairy items. The town acquired the nickname “Botermarkt” meaning butter market in English.
As early as 1688 this region began to be known for entertainment as well. Every fall, the weigh house, stables and stalls were converted into stages where local performers would entertain in temporary circus tents. Fairs and festivals featuring dance bands began to be held there on a regular basis.
The district was officially named Rembrandtplein in 1876, coinciding with the relocation of the statue of the artist from an outlying part of the square to its center. The statue itself was a creation of the sculptor Louis Royer who hailed from the Austrian Netherlands. Another of his works, this one depicting Joost van den Vondel, currently stands in the Vondelpark. Joost van den Vondel was a well known Dutch playwright and author. A cast iron display is also present on the grounds replicating perhaps Rembrandt’s most famous artwork, The Night Watch.
Places of Interest
A visit to Rembrandtplein today will afford you a wide array of entertainment, food and drink choices to go along with its storied history. The first thing that you cannot miss when entering the square is the 25 by 49 foot interactive video screen. This was installed at the end of 2006 and will connect via Bluetooth technology with your mobile devices enabling you to upload videos. As recently as 2009, a $5,000,000 overall renovation was also completed. Another frequently visited location by tourists is Pathe Tuschinski, an updated cinema originally built in 1921. In and around Rembrandtplein you can also enjoy a variety of cuisine and drinks in venues such as Coco’s Outback and the Irish pub Mulligans.