Oude Zijde, that means “Old Side”, is the easternmost district of Amsterdam. Originally, it was only a narrow strip on the eastern bank of the Amstel, but the district was soon enlarged by the influx of many Jewish refugees from Portugal.
Museums, churches, synagogues, historical buildings and monuments can be found in Oude Zijde almost at every corner. We did not even see a fraction of it in our short time in Amsterdam.
The Waag is the oldest preserved city gate in Amsterdam. It is located on the Nieuwmarkt. It was built in 1488. Previously, public executions took place here. In 1612 the official town weighing scales were erected here. The farmers from around the city came here to have their goods weighed to be then taxed accordingly. The building has been used as a fire station after 1800. Today it is a restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed when we walked past. The menu looked very good. It is not easy to tell that this building was a city gate but nevertheless I just thought it’s beautiful.
The Zuiderkerk is the first church in the Netherlands that was built for the Protestants. In 1603 Hendrick de Keyser designed the Renaissance church. The tower with pillars and bulbous spire is a landmark of Amsterdam. At noon, between 12 and 13 o’clock, different pieces of music can be heard from chimes in the tower. We were lucky enough to be on time to listen to the music. After 1929 no church services were held in the church anymore. Today, it serves as an info centre and holds a permanent exhibition on the urban structures of Amsterdam. The Zuiderkerk had me very impressed. The tower looks very delicate and I liked the colour design.
In 1512, the lower half of the Montelbaastoren was part of the city fortification of Amsterdam. It stood close to the city wall and was supposed to help protect the shipyards and workshops. In 1606 the octagonal part and the wooden top were added according to the design of Hendrich de Keyser. Today this building holds administration offices. We only saw the building in passing whilst on a canal tour. Too bad that we didn’t have enough time to come back for a closer look.