Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands and it was my last stop in the trip of Netherlands in September 2020. The name of the city originates from The Dam on the River Amstel since the city developed from a small village on the river Amstel. The city owns numerous canals which form a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are so many water cities in the world that are compared with Venice but in my opinion, Amsterdam is the one which is most similar to Venice.
阿姆斯特丹是荷兰的首都，这是我 2020 年 9 月荷兰之行的最后一站。这座城市的名字来源于阿姆斯特尔河上的大坝，因为历史上这座城市就是是从阿姆斯特尔河上的一个小村庄发展而来的。 它拥有众多运河，这些运河也被联合国教科文组织列为世界文化遗产。全球上有如此多的水城号称威尼斯，但在我看来阿姆斯特丹是与威尼斯最为相似的一个。
Firstly, I took train from Rotterdam to Amsterdam central station. This stylish train station is surrounded by canals and behind the station there is a big lake. It is an historical building, and was designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and opened in 1889. It is a Gothic and Renaissance Revival station building with two turrets and many ornamental details like stone reliefs. When I stepped out of the gate of the train station, I was shocked as I felt that I was in a harbor.
伊始，我从鹿特丹坐火车直达阿姆斯特丹中央车站。这个风格迥异的火车站被运河环绕，车站后面是一个大湖。这是一座历史悠久的建筑，由荷兰建筑师皮埃尔·库珀斯设计，于 1889 年开启使用。它是一座哥特式和文艺复兴式结合的建筑，有两座尖塔和如石头浮雕等许多装饰细节。当我走出车站大门时，着实感到震惊，此刻仿佛自己置身在一个港口中。
Opposite to the train station, there is a neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance Roman Catholic church. This will be the first grand building to be noticed by the tourists when you just got off train. Above its rose window, there is sculpture of the patron saint of the city of Amsterdam placed in a niche. The church is located in the old city center of Amsterdam. Most of the old buildings and beautiful canals are distributed around this area.
The top of church has a iconic central dome, glowing with reflected gold under the sunset. This is the view of the church from the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, which is a famous street and canal. The canal is also lined with monumental stepped gable houses from the Dutch Golden Age. Here assembles the most traditional street view of Amsterdam. The famous Red Light District is located in the area as well. Bicycle is one of the most important transportation tools in Netherlands. Here along the streets or on the bridges, I could always find so many bicycles. For tourists it’s easy to rent a bicycle and visit the whole city as you want.
教堂上方有一个标志性的中央圆顶，在夕阳下反射出金色的光辉。这是从著名的街区 Oudezijds Voorburgwal 看到的教堂景观。运河两旁矗立着荷兰黄金时代的阶梯式山墙房屋。这里汇集了阿姆斯特丹最传统的街景。闻名遐迩的红灯区也位于该地区。自行车是荷兰最重要的交通工具之一。 在街上或桥上，或多或少都能看到一些自行车。对游客来说，租一辆自行车随心所欲地游览整个城市确实易如反掌。
The urban plan of Amsterdam is different with other cities in the world. It consists of three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), which were digged in the 17th century. The interlocked canals form several concentric belts around the city intersected with small waterways and streets so travelers need to cross numerous bridges when they walked in the city center. These canals were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. It is recommended to take a boat tour to see the houses erected in the 17th and 18th centuries at the both sides of canal banks and observes the wild ducks’ frolic in water.
阿姆斯特丹的城市规划与世界其他城市截然不同。它由三条主要运河（Herengracht、Prinsengracht 和 Keizersgracht）组成，在 17 世纪挖掘而成。交错的运河在城市周围形成了几条辐射带，与一众小水道和街道相交，旅行者在阿姆斯特丹老城区行走时需要穿过许多桥梁。 这些运河在2010年被联合国教科文组织列为世界遗产。特别建议游客乘船游览，参观运河两岸17和18世纪的房屋以及野鸭在水中嬉戏。
In Amsterdam, I have crossed so many bridges with different styles under my feet. Some bridges are even removable. The bridges and houses in this city are more modern than the ones in Venice. Additionally, I could still find many cars at the roadside of Amsterdam. In Venice, cars are totally not allowed to enter the city. When I immersed myself in the city, I can not stop to compare it with Venice. They have so many similarities.
It is a pleasurable experience to walk along the canals after dinner. At night, this area is quite crowded with tourists. There are a lot of night clubs, coffee shops, and restaurants for people to spend a meaningful night life. The night of September is a bit colder. When the streetlights are all lighted, it bring a sense of warmness to me. I took a note of the lamp posts of this city. Its appearance is simple not like the richly decorated baroque style in Paris.
Amsterdam is a city intertwined with modernity and history. Some historical buildings hide in the unimposing corners of the streets. The Oude Kerk in this picture which in English means Old Church is Amsterdam’s oldest building. The building was founded around 1213 and after the Reformation in 1578, it became a Calvinist church, which it remains today. The church is located in the Red Light district In the history it became home to the registry of marriages and stored the city archives and the most important documents.
阿姆斯特丹是一座现代与历史交织的城市。一些古老建筑隐藏在不起眼的街角中。 这张照片中的 Oude Kerk 在英文中的意思是老教堂，是阿姆斯特丹最古老的建筑。 该建筑始建于 1213 年左右，在 1578 年宗教改革之后到今日，它成为了一座加尔文主义教堂。该教堂位于红灯区，历史上曾是市政婚姻登记处，并存放着城市档案和最重要的文件。
The church has a high brick tower with a crown like tower top. It well preserved the history of the city. The church contains 2,500 graves under which are buried 10,000 Amsterdam citizens. When I walked around this area, there is one interesting thing. The prostitute windows displaying the coquet are directly opposite to the solemn and divine church and there is a Bronze statue in front of the Oude Kerk with inscription saying “Respect sex workers all over the world.” So in Amsterdam, ‘sex’ is a culture of the city as well and the travelers should try to get used to it. Amsterdam is called the capital of sex as well.
教堂有一座高高的砖塔，塔顶有一座皇冠。它很好地诠释了这座城市的历史。教堂内共有 2,500 座坟墓，埋葬着 10,000 名阿姆斯特丹市民。当我在这片地方走来走去时，发现了有一件有趣的事情。展现妓女风情的橱窗就在庄严神圣的教堂对面，老教堂前有一尊铜像，上面撰写着“尊重全世界的性工作者”。在阿姆斯特丹，“性”也是城市的一种文化，旅行者应该尝试习惯它。阿姆斯特丹也被称为性都。
Another historical tower that left impression on me was the Munttoren tower. It stands on the busy Muntplein square, where the Amstel river and the Singel canal meet. Due to its perfect position, when I travelled in Amsterdam, I had passed by this tower and seen it for many times. Originally, It was part of Amsterdam’s medieval city wall built in 1480. Its name means Mint tower because the guard house on side of it was used to mint coins in the 17th Century. It has a symbolic clockwork with four clock faces and a carillon of bells made in 1668. The current carillon consists of 38 bells which chime every quarter of an hour. Every Saturdays, between 2 and 3 p.m., the Amsterdam city carillon player will give a live concert on the bells.
另一座给我留下深刻印象的历史塔楼就是图中这座蒙托伦塔。它位于繁忙的 Muntplein 广场上，Amstel 河和 Singel 运河在这里交汇。由于它的绝佳地理位置，当我在阿姆斯特丹旅行时，我多次经过这座塔并仔细观察过它。最初它是阿姆斯特丹建于 1480 年的中世纪城墙的一部分。因为它旁边的哨楼在 17 世纪曾用于铸币它的名字意为铸币塔。它有一个带有四个钟面的标志性钟表装置和一个 1668 年制造的钟乐器。目前使用的钟乐器由 38 个钟组成，每个钟每15分钟鸣响一次。 每周六下午 2 点到 3 点之间，阿姆斯特丹市钟琴演奏家将进行现场演奏。
In the evening, when darkness had fallen, the lights of every house were lightened up and silence enwrapped the streets. At this moment, the stillness of canals was temporarily interrupted by the shuttling boats. I even noticed that some tourists were still in sprits to visit the city by boats at night. I believe definitely this would be a romantic experience for them.
Before the darkness reigned the city completely, I still had enough time to sit at the bench at the river bank and caught a glimpse of the landscape by riverside. I enjoyed the free time during the busy journey. Although I was extremely tired, I still preferred to stay longer in the pleasant environment and leave more imprints of this city in my memory. The beautiful scene along the canal really reminded me the night in the Saint Marc square in Venice. It was really superb!
When night approached finally, I needed to look for something to fill in my stomach. Pancake is a good choice definitely. I would like to mention the Dutch pancake which is a bit different with the American pancake. Dutch pancake is larger and much thinner than the thick and fluffy American pancakes. The traditional pancake is too sweet with toppings like bacon and cheese. For me I think Dutch pancake is better, its taste is modified and added with salmon, chives, onion and even peppers. The taste is more acceptable for Chinese.
Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands so at its street corners, tourists could easily find some symbols representing this country. This statue of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was sculpted in bronze by Theresia R. van der Pant. Wilhelmina, who is the member of the House of Orange-Nassau, was the Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. During the invasion of the Netherlands in the second world war, Wilhelmina fled to Britain and took charge of the Dutch government-in-exile. She frequently spoke to the nation over radio and was regarded as a symbol of the resistance. This statue and the national flag of Netherlands represent the tenacious spirit of the country.
阿姆斯特丹是荷兰的首都，所以在它的街角，游客可以很容易地找到一些代表这个国家的标志。这尊荷兰威廉明娜女王的雕像由特蕾西亚·R·范德潘特用青铜雕刻而成。威廉敏娜女王是奥兰治-拿骚家族的成员，从 1890 年开始就一直担任荷兰女王，直到 1948 年退位。在第二次世界大战德国入侵期间，威廉敏娜女王逃往英国并建立荷兰流亡政府。她经常通过无线电向全国发表讲话，同时也被视为抵抗运动的象征。这座雕像和荷兰国旗代表着这个国家顽强的精神。
This is another national monument which is located opposite to the famous Dam square. A national Remembrance of the Dead ceremony is held at the monument every year on 4th May to commemorate Dutch fallen soldiers in the second World War. The cenotaph made of white travertine stone consists of a main pillar with four chained male figures. Two male sculptures at the both sides represent members of the Dutch resistance and a depiction of a woman with a child and doves flying above represents victory, peace, and new life.
这是另一个国家纪念碑，它位于著名的水坝广场对面。 每年 5 月 4 日在纪念碑举行全国死难者纪念仪式，以纪念在第二次世界大战中阵亡的荷兰将士。由白色石灰华石制成的纪念碑由一根主柱和四个带铁链的男性人物组成。两侧的两尊男性雕塑代表荷兰的抵抗而上方一个带着孩子和飞翔的白鸽的女性雕塑则代表着胜利、和平和新生活。
Dam square is the well-known and most important locations in Amsterdam. It derives its name from its original function which acts as a dam on the Amstel River built in 1270. This is the place where you could always find scores of pigeons, busy tourists, and freestyle street performers. The building at the background is the royal palace. The original structure was built as a town hall in the seventeenth century. In history the square is at the water side and thousands of ships stopped here every day. It was a market place as well at that period. In 1808, Louis Bonaparte, the Emperor Napoleon’s brother, also King of Holland took the city hall on Dam Square as his Royal Palace. The bronze statue on the façade of the building represents peace.
水坝广场是阿姆斯特丹最著名和最重要的地点。 它的名字来源于它最初是建于1270 年的阿姆斯特尔河上的水坝。在这里，总能看到无数鸽子、忙碌的游客和自由的街头表演者。这个照片的背景建筑是皇宫。 它最早是在十七世纪建造的市政厅。历史上的水坝广场就在水边，每天都有成千上万的船只停靠在这里。在那个时期，它也是一个交易市场。1808年，拿破仑皇帝的弟弟、荷兰国王路易·波拿巴将水坝广场上的市政厅作为他的皇宫使用。这座建筑正立面上的铜像代表着和平。
After entering the entrance of the royal palace, visitors will see this grand Citizens’ Hall at first. The hall’s marbled floor is formed of world maps and star charts. The statues inspired by Romans and Greek mythology and the chandeliers in the hall are really magnificent. The plaster statue bearing a celestial globe on his shoulders is Atlas, the Titan in the revolt against the gods.
The architect Jacob van Campen designed this building as a miniature universe. The marble reliefs with the four elements and garlands of flora and fauna together make up the terrestrial microcosm. The four elements are earth, water, fire and air. The figure enthroned at the center of this universe is the Maid of Amsterdam which represents the city. Around her are four child-like small statues depicting the four elements. The two sculptures at her flanks represent the symbol of Wisdom, Minerva, and the symbol of strength, Hercules.
建筑师 Jacob van Campen 将这座建筑设计为一个微型宇宙。四种元素的大理石浮雕和动植物花环共同构成了地表世界。 这四大元素分别是地、水、风和火。位于这个宇宙中心的人物雕像是代表这座城市的阿姆斯特丹女神。她的周围是四个孩子般的小雕像，代表了四大元素。她两侧的两尊雕塑分别是代表智慧的密涅瓦和象征力量的大力神。
This is the gallery connecting the citizen’s hall and other rooms. The palace is now used mainly for entertaining and official functions, such as state visits, New Year receptions and other official occasions. The royal family did not live or work here. The arched ceiling of the building is really amazing. I think it may symbolize sky and the numerous delicately decorated reliefs represents the gods. The blue globe above the chandelier looks like earth.
All of the rooms in the palace had a specific function. This is one of the most famous rooms in the palace. It is called the Burgomasters’ Cabinet or Former Councilors Chamber. In this room, Amsterdam’s four ruling mayors met with a group of previous mayors who acted as a sort of advisory board. Two enormous paintings above the two fireplaces constantly remind them that a good mayor must be honest, incorruptible and steadfast. The large painting called ‘An elephant behind the curtains’ hangs above.
This painting created by Ferdinand Bol depicts this story. The Consul Caius Fabritius Luscinus had to negotiate the release of prisoners-of-war with King Pyrrhus in Greece. When Pyrrhus who wears a turban and crown couldn’t buy Fabritius off with gold and silver, he set a dangerous elephant onto him. Everyone in the painting was afraid, except Fabritius. He wears the white plumed helmet and fearlessly holds his ground.
In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte made his brother Louis the first King of Holland. This room belongs to King Louis’ bedroom. He ordered this four-poster mahogany bed decorated with gilded bronze from the Jacob-Desmalter firm in Paris. It is shaped like a boat and is therefore called ‘boat bed’. The interior decoration of this room is a bit similar to the style of Versailles Palace. The gorgeous damasks, gilded clocks, crystal chandeliers mark the luxury of royal house.
1806年，拿破仑·波拿巴将他的好兄弟路易推为荷兰的第一位国王。这个房间就属于路易国王的卧室。他从巴黎的 Jacob-Desmalter 公司订购了这张用镀金青铜装饰的四柱桃花心木床。它的形状像一艘船，故此被称为“船床”。 这个房间的内部装修有点像凡尔赛宫的风格。华丽的锦缎、镀金时钟、水晶吊灯标志着皇室的奢华。
On the ground floor of the Palace, it is the tribunal space which later served as the king’s chapel. When the building was still a town hall, this was where the death sentence was pronounced. The Tribunal was decorated elaborately with the marble works of sculptor elder Artus Quellinus who was the most important representative of the Baroque in sculpture in the Southern Netherlands. On the wall, there are four huge sculptures of offenders waiting to be hanged.
On Dam Square, there is a 15th-century church called New Church located next to the Royal Palace. There is a sun dial on the façade. Now, it is no longer used for church services but is used as an exhibition space. The church is also used for Dutch royal investiture ceremonies and royal weddings. As usual, I liked to sit at the benches in the square and look around the old buildings like the palace and the church. It is the heart of Amsterdam and represents the long history of this old city. Besides there were always so many doves flying over the square and left me deep impressions.
水坝广场上，皇宫旁边有一座 15 世纪的教堂。它的正面有一个日晷，被称为新教堂。现在，它已不再用于教堂礼拜，而是用作展览会场。这座教堂还用于荷兰皇室授职仪式和皇室婚礼。像以往一样，我喜欢坐在广场的长椅上，环顾四周的宫殿和教堂等古老建筑。这里是阿姆斯特丹的中心，也代表着这座老城的厚重历史。另外广场上总是那么多的鸽子盘旋翱翔，也给我留下了深刻的印象。
In the city center of Amsterdam, you can easily find such a big shopping mall as well to satisfy your desire of shopping. The Magna Plaza is a modern shopping mall but with a historical appearance. It was built in 1895–1899 in Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance style. The stylish two towers reminded me of a castle or a cathedral however this building was the Amsterdam Post Office in the history. Due to the iconic pear shaped crowns on top of the towers the building is named as ‘pear burg’. Its façade is decorated with polychromatic brick and dimension stone.
在阿姆斯特丹市中心，你也可以轻松找到这样的大型购物中心满足你的消费欲。麦格纳广场是一个非常现代化的购物中心，不过却具有一幅历史悠久的外观。它建于 1895-1899 年，采用的是新哥特式和新文艺复兴风格。风格独特的两座塔楼则让我不禁想起了某座城堡或大教堂，但这座建筑却是历史上的阿姆斯特丹邮局。由于塔顶标志性的梨形冠冕，这座建筑也被命名为“梨堡”。它的外立面用彩砖和规格石料装饰而成。
Amsterdam is a great place to explore the Dutch art and culture of the Golden Age. You can find many museums in this city. Among them the most representative is the Rijksmuseum which is the national museum of the Netherlands. The museum was founded in The Hague in 1798 and moved to the current building which was first opened in 1885. When I visited Amsterdam, there was a temporary exhibition of the work of Caravaggio. This museum collects many masterpieces created by the greatest Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Vermeer.
阿姆斯特丹也是探索黄金时代荷兰艺术和文化的最好地方。游客可以在这个城市游览许多博物馆。其中最具代表性的当属荷兰国立博物馆Rijksmuseum。该博物馆于 1798 年在海牙成立，后来搬迁到现在的建筑，并于 1885 年首次开放。当我游览阿姆斯特丹时，这里有一个卡拉瓦乔作品的临时展览。这个博物馆收藏了伦勃朗和维米尔等荷兰最伟大的画家创作的诸多杰作。
This museum has a beautiful garden with blooming flowers and small fountains. Even you don’t want to visit the museum, you could still take a short break here. The Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers who also designed Amsterdam’s Central Station designed this garden. The garden consists of four parts. Each part has different style. This garden in this photo is in French-Classicist style.
这个博物馆还包括了一个美丽的花园，里面有盛开的鲜花和小喷泉。即使没有参观博物馆的兴趣，不妨在这里稍作休息。同时设计了阿姆斯特丹中央车站的荷兰建筑师 Pierre Cuypers 设计了这个花园。它由四个部分组成，每个部分都有不同的风格。这张照片中的这个花园是法国古典主义风格的。
The Gallery of Honor is an extended corridor displaying the masterpieces by the great artists of the seventeenth century. The cast iron beams are inscribed with the names of the famous painters of the age. Semi-circular arched wall sections display the coats of arms of the eleven provinces of the Netherlands and their respective capital cities. The section of the gallery displayed the most famous painting created by Rembrandt – The night watch. This painting is extremely large, up to 363 by 437 centimeters. It is famous for its colossal size, the dramatic use of light and shadow and the perception of motion in what would have traditionally been a static military group portrait.
著名的荣誉画廊是一条延伸的长走廊，它展示了十七世纪伟大艺术家的杰作。铸铁横梁上刻有当时著名画家的名字。半圆形拱形墙部分展示了荷兰十一个省及其各自首府的徽章。这部分的画廊展示了伦勃朗创作的最著名的画作—夜巡。这幅画非常大，足足有 363 厘米 x 437 厘米。它以其巨大的尺寸、对光影的巧妙使用以及对本是静态团体人物的动态描绘而闻名。
Another master piece in this museum is this oil-on-canvas painting called ‘The milk maid’ which was created by the famous Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. It is regarded as “one of the museum’s finest attractions”. The painting shows a milk maid pouring milk into a earthenware container on a table. Vermeer employs light well to depict this woman with downcast eyes and pursed lips. Its artistic effect is similar to the ‘Mona Lisa’. People can not help to think what this woman is thinking when she prepares the food.
Behind the Rijksmuseum, there is a large piece of meadow. The museum square is used for mass events such as festivals, celebrations, and demonstrations. Three major museums including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum are located near this square. It is recommended to come here and visit the two most influential museums together.
For me Van Gogh is one of my favorite artist and the best artist and Van Gogh museum is a must-see during my trip in Amsterdam. I have visited Arles before where Van Gogh created most of his work in his life. These works will only be seen in this museum. The building of the museum was a very modern one designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa.
在我心目中梵高是我最喜欢的艺术家也是最好的艺术家，梵高博物馆也是我在阿姆斯特丹旅行期间必去的地方。之前我曾游览过阿尔勒，梵高一生中大部分作品都是在这里创作的，然而这些作品只能在这个博物馆亲眼目睹。整个博物馆是由 Gerrit Rietveld 和 Kisho Kurokawa 设计的非常现代的建筑。
The museum was opened in 1973 and has the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. At the first floor the sculpture of Van Gogh could be seen. Most of his self portrait was collected here. I remembered in one British science-fiction television program ‘Doctor Who’, Van Goh was invited to visit his art gallery in Museum Orsay. When he saw his paintings and heard the comments of himself from one art master ：’ Van Gogh is the finest painter of all time. His command of color is the most magnificent. He transformed his pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty.’, he was so excited that he could not control his tears.
该博物馆于 1973 年开放，收藏了世界上最多的梵高绘画和素描收藏。在一楼可以看到梵高的雕塑。他的大部分自画像都是在一楼收集的。我依然记得在一档英国科幻电视节目《神秘博士》中，梵高受邀参观他在奥赛博物馆的艺术画廊。当他看到他的画作并听到现代大师对自己的评论 “梵高是有史以来最优秀的画家，他对色彩的驾驭是最为出色的，他把自己曾受的折磨和痛苦转变成美好的艺术”，他激动地潸然泪下。
The whole life of Van Gogh was a tragedy. Although he created so many great works, no one recognized his talent during his lifetime. I believe if Van Gogh could revive and visit his museum in Amsterdam, he would be extremely excited and be proud of himself. The museum of Van Gogh indeed proved his value. This painting is called ‘The Langlois bridge’ created in Arles. The sky was grey when Van Gogh painted this bridge in Provence. This painting had left me deep impression because when I visited Arles, I passed by it as well. The bridge is famous for his painting and is well conserved until today.
One of his most famous paintings must be the ‘Sunflowers’. He created this series of paintings in Arles as well. There ware several versions of ‘Sunflowers’ conserved in the different museums in the world. Van Gogh has used a lot of yellow pigments in this painting. I believe he must be influenced by the golden sunflower fields in Arles.
The ‘Sunflowers’ is so famous that this museum has set a wall with background of sunflowers for visitors to take a picture and share it on Instagram. I think it is a good method to let more people know Van Gogh and his art works. The duplicate of this painting could be purchased in the museum as well which costs 200 euros.
“向日葵”是如此远负盛名，梵高博物馆特意设置了背景就是向日葵的一面墙，供游客拍照并在 Instagram 上分享。我认为这是让更多人了解梵高和他的艺术作品的好方法。这幅画的复制品也可以在博物馆购买，价格为 200 欧元。
When I left the Van Gogh museum and stepped on the meadow, there was a beam of sunlight shining the building in the opposite. The weather is always gloomy in Netherlands so I would feel happy when it’s a sunny day. Sun light will give hope to people who always live in darkness. I like such a large piece of greenery amid the crowded city. It makes the traditional city landscape not so monotonous and more beautiful.
I have spent totally three days in Amsterdam. This is really a memorable experience. I always like cultural and historical cities at water sides. Confucius had said that the clever person prefers water and the kind person prefers mountain. Before I left at last, I took this picture on one bridge. It could best represent this charming city, the peaceful canal, the arched bridge, the clean streets, and the colorful flowers, they looked so amazing under the pleasant morning sun light. I wish I could come here again in the future.