This favourite city of ours never fails to surprise and awe the imagination. This time around we discovered the Albert Cuyp street market…a kilometer of booths great for browsing for everything from souvenirs to flowers to cheese, clothing, shoes,….one of the most interesting was a booth with very unique and beautiful silks and sequined fabrics! (It seems that all the markets have fabrics and notions stalls…are there more DIY seamstresses in European?)
The street and market are named for Albert Cuyp, a painter from the 17th century.
The market began as an ad hoc collection of street traders and pushcarts. By the beginning of the 20th century, this had become so chaotic that in 1905, the city government decided to set up a market, at first only held on Saturday evenings. In 1912, the market became a daytime market open six days a week. Originally the street was accessible while the market was taking place, but more recently the street has been completely closed off to traffic during market hours.
The product selection at the market varies from the traditional range of vegetables, fruit and fish to clothing and even cameras. There are many products sold that are of interest to the city’s residents of Surinamese, Antillean, Turkish, and Moroccan origin, giving the market and neighbourhood a strong multicultural feel.
The market is the busiest in all of the Netherlands and is reputedly the largest daytime market in Europe. It is also an important tourist attraction. The famous Dutch Stroopwafelsare prepared fresh here.
From the market, we found our way to the ‘Museum’ Quarter, where we saw quite a few kids skating on a pond that was frozen and decorated up to resemble a canal from back in the day (complete with a zamboni!) (that is the Rijksmuseum in the background.)
There was also another temporary Art display set up and open to the public. My favourite piece was “Beach” by artist Janet Van de Graaf. Each of the photos in the mosaic is actually about a foot square so the installation filled the wall!
Darkness descends early these days, but all the better to appreciate more ‘street and canal art’ in this great city. I also have a YouTube video of the top display as it was an action installation and very well done!
Go to ….Festival of Lights art installation on canal in Amsterdam.(on YouTube)