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27-February-2015

Spanish Masters in Amsterdam

The ‘Spanish Masters from the Hermitage. The world of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya’ exhibition can be admired in the Hermitage until 29 May. This exhibition draws attention to the broader context of painting in the Spanish Golden Century (second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth century) and the echoes and continuation in subsequent centuries.

Spanish masterpieces were created during the reign of Philip II, the absolute monarch of a colonial empire who enforced strict rules for Catholic paintings. The period that followed was dominated by artists including Francisco de Zurbáran, also known as the Spanish Caravaggio.

A great many aspects of Spanish history are highlighted in this collection, such as the horrors of Napoleon’s conquest in 1808, bullfighting and Mediterranean pub life. The variation of the exhibition is also expressed in the alternation of Spanish painting styles: Baroque, Rococo, dramatic realism and spiritual minimalism.

9 Insider Tips

When you ask the real Amsterdammer... Nine tips!

1

Watch the giant waterlily bloom in Hortus

This magnificent flower blooms only once and only at night. When visiting the Hortus 

in summer keep an eye on the Victoria alert (link) that tells you whether tonight’s the night.

2

Experience a virtual sea adventure

Some of the newest 4d techniques have been used to make this sea journey in The National Maritime Museum very realistic. There are bombs, pirates and a lot of Dutch bravery. Not for the faint of heart!

3

Treasure hunting at Waterlooplein

At Amsterdam most iconic flea market you’re sure to find a vintage treasure. Top it off with a visit to café Waterlooplein, for a true down to earth Amsterdam experience.

4

A thousand candles in the Synagogue

The magnificent Portugese Synagogue is one of the very few seventeenth century buildings in Amsterdam of which the interior is still completely intact. Try visiting it at night during concerts or special services when it’s lit with thousand candles.

5

Take an architectural crash course

Every Friday at 1.30 PM Arcam offers a 45 minute introduction to Amsterdam’s architecture. From it’s humble beginnings to it’s current accomplishments.

6

Experience bold ballet

Not only are the Dutch known for their contemporary design, they are also masters of modern choreography. So forget about the Russian classics and experience cutting edge design, lighting and dance come together at the National Ballet. Breathtaking in many ways.

7

Kiss someone at Micropia

Probably not a good idea for a first date, but definitely spectacular: a good and long kissing session at the museum of microbes will enlighten you about just how many bacteria you can share.

8

Explore the area with a boat

The canal bus from the canal company passes by most of the attractions in the Plantage area. Their hop on hop off cruise offers day tickets so you can visit al the museum at your own pace.

9

Dappermarkt

At the eastern edge of the Plantage you’ll find Amsterdam’s most diverse market. Open most days, always a bargain to score and many ethnic snacks to feast on. Our favourite: the Turkish pizza at the corner of the Mauritskade.