From spring to winter Amsterdam and other historic Dutch towns offer a creative, energetic and vibrant civic culture full of life. Dutch towns present a well-ordered, neat society marked by historic architecture, a fine set of canals and streets and these core qualities: Civic virtue, Spirit of Enterprise, Freedom of Thought and Creativity.
Civic virtue: the local traders and businessmen forming their own power base and becoming more powerful than the old nobility.
Spirit of Enterprise: An attitude of outward looking, sailing the seven seas of the world looking for trade, profit and spheres of influence.
Freedom of Thought: Erasmus on the high worth of every individual man. Coornhert writing law texts on how to be decent to prisoners. Grotius inventing international Sea law: "make peace, not war", Spinoza jump-starting modern individualism and freedom of thought, opening the first door to the Age of Enlightenment.
Creativity: A country brimming with art, industrial design, out-of-the-box attitudes, a sense of humor and lateral thinking. Provo, hippies, youth culture and anti-authoritarian attitude starting out as fringe movements, and their lifestyle becoming mainstream.
A lecture for Japanese TV
On the glories of Vermeer.
When we walking the four semi-circular canals of Amsterdam: This area with canal houses are now part of the UNESCO world heritage list. Wonderful rhythm, styles and a feeling for subdued design in architecture. The world of nature seen on the flower market at Singel / Munt abounding with thousands of tulip bulbs and hundreds of other flowers and plants. And in near by Aalsmeer, near the airport, visit the largest flower auction in the world is full of life early in the morning, every working day.
Vermeer! Four spectacular paintings by Vermeer in Amsterdam, and three in The Hague. Come see how intelligent and yet mysterious his paintings are painted and composed and understand why Vermeer has become the number one painter in Dutch art history. In museums around the world the sum total is only 36 Vermeer paintings.
Rembrandt walks. And Rembrandt lectures and museum visits. See how Rembrandt rapidly evolved from his age of 20, working in the style of Lastman to age 22, showing influence of Caravaggio and finally to age 24 in which he painted the majestic Jeremiah. See how he climbed the career ladder in ten years from 1632 to 1642 and then tumbled down, being pushed away by society. How he became an unfriendly, anti-social recluse and yet gave the world astounding psychological insights in the characters he painted and etched: traders, family members, scenes from the bible and history books.
VOC. When we walk in the area of Dam square and Oude Hoogstraat we will discuss how the United East India Company (VOC) was created, starting modern capitalism and the stock market as we know it now.
Stores. Visit these nice stores for Dutch cutting edge industrial design: Droog – on Staalstraat, Moooi - on Westerstraat. Between the center and the Jordaan area are the fine specialized shopping streets called nine streets - 9 streets – negen straatjes, such as Berenstraat. Near by is the successful former age of enlightenment gentlemans club Felix Meritis. Now a cultural center.
Right opposite the Rijksmuseum (in front) is the highest concentration of antique stores on Spiegelgracht and Spiegelstraat, For a quick and superior lunch bite excellent soups are in Soup enzo, located on Spiegelstraat and also on the block of the Rembrandt House, on Jodenbreestraat.
Amsterdam, Canal view.
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Below is the Aerial photo shows Amsterdam, North Holland. To the left you see the square grid of the Jordaan district, built in the early 17th century for artisans and the poorer souls. Next to it you see the four grand, major tree-lined curving canals: counting from the outside to the inside they are named Prinsen (Princes) gracht, Keizers (Emperors) gracht, then the most important one, the Heren (Gentleman's) gracht and finally the Singel. Thus the order is PKHS, Please Kiss Her Softly.
In the middle you see the old center with the Dam Square and the New Church. On Dam square stands the Royal Palace originally built as the Town Hall. To the right hand side is the Old Church with the Red Light district and the Rembrandt area. The white horse shoe shape is the combination of Opera and Town Hall, situated on Amstel river. Towards the top, by the harbor you see the large Central Railway Station, totally blocking the view of the harbor. In order to repair this error in 1880's city design, a promenade is now constructed alongside the harbour, reuniting the citizens and visitors of Amsterdam with its widest body of water.
FB: Private Art Tours, Amsterdam + Holland
FB: Academica Translations, Amsterdam
Bookings through my office.
Spotting the Rich & Famous inhabitants in the Golden Age.
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Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands. The beauty of the city center is the result of many centuries of careful city planning. It boasts the most wonderfully preserved group of canals and ancient canal houses found anywhere in the world. In the center we find the headquarters of the United East India Company, pivot of international trade and source of great wealth in the 17th century. Dutch painter Rembrandt, prince of painters, and prolific etcher, draughtsman also made his home here and catered to the wealthy merchants.
A number of important museums including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum are also located here. A dozen of other museums are well worth visiting, including the Rembrandt house.
On Dam square, from which this town on the Amstel river originally got its name, is the former Town Hall, now Royal Palace. Next to it stands the late mediaeval New Church, now mainly serving as an exhibition hall. A five-minute walk going east takes us to the large Old Church in the middle of the Red Light District.
As a reference manual I use a number of hand books, including the famous díAilly historical handbook during the Amsterdam walks.
As an art historian based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I can meet you in Amsterdam for a personalized guided tour of art museums and the historic center. Great Amsterdam tours!
Together we will experience the beauty and history. Enjoy yourself and learn about history while strolling and discussing the country's history, art and culture. In doing so, we may touch a number of bases - spanning not only fine art and architecture but also the city's history and current social issues. See client testimonials.
Read a biography.
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Starting at your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural walking tour of your choice. My guided itinerary offers you accessable informative conversation in English, Dutch, or German (my French and Italian are more limited).
See Amsterdam in 1662 (Map with dots indicating where the high and mighty lived in Amsterdam, in the seventeenth century)
You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. Our cultural tour organisation office will take care of a unique and memorable experience.
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours" *.
*Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, p. 182.
Drs. Kaldenbach is chairman of the Circle of Academic Tour Guides of the Netherlands and Flanders (CATON)
Please contact me for time and fees of the tailor-made tour you ar interested in.
These tailor made tours are available upon request - please contact me to book a date. Minimum group size: 1 person. Maximum group size is limited to about 10 persons. With a megaphone I can also manage larger groups on the streets.
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Photo by Dick Martin.
Visit a large architectural cultural site on Amsterdam at Startamsterdam.com
Old maps on http://watwaswaar.nl
The Rijksmuseum has done me the honor of linking the main Rijksmuseum site to my website. Start at www.rijksmuseum.nl and select Collection. Then choose 'Digital Collaboration' and the 'Digital Vermeer House'.
I conduct Rembrandt walks in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London and New York City offices. Their clients include important journalists.
The travel site www.luxurytraveler.com has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.
Read further client testimonials.
Meet a campanion for a day, friends4action in Amsterdam.
Read a biography.
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV and Radio Netherlands World Service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Delft artists by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Delft, on Vincent van Gogh and on other art history topics.
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".
Further information is available on his encyclopedic web site: www.johannesvermeer.info
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach , firstname.lastname@example.org
Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs
1058 JS Amsterdam
telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)
cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)
Reaction, questions? Read client testimonials.
Open seven days a week.
Member of the VVV Tourist information and the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).
Email responses and bookings to art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.
This page forms part of the 2000+ item Vermeer web site at www.xs4all.nl/~kalden
Launched April 15, 2006. Updated June 14, 2011.
External Link:Amsterdam entertainment & hotels
BBC 4 TV programme shoot in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, March 28, 2013 just before the formal opening. Kaldenbach in red jacket. Behind the middle cameraman interviewer Andrew Graham-Dixon. The director approaching from the right.
In the middle: daughter Suzanne, who has not been there for 12 years, Kees Kaldenbach and interviewer Andrew Graham-Dixon.