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De Pijp District-Amsterdam-Holland-A Colorful and Cosmopolitan Atmosphere,its Lively Market Albert Cuypmarkt,Heineken Brouwerij and Heineken Experience,the Bohemian Past with Famed Artists as Albert Kuyp and Piet Mondriaan,its Several Trendy Cafes and Restaurants,Visit and Discover De Pijp,Captivating Southern District of the Enchanting Amsterdam.

A very cosmopolitan nighborhood of the charming city of Amsterdam is undoubetly De Pijp,an old district
packed of typical restaurants,cafes and shops,an area of the Dutch capital captivating and colourful famous
for its many cultural events,galleries,De Pip is like like a shining planet in a galaxy called Amsterdam offering its enchanting past of its several renaissance buildings living in harmony with the present with all its new inhabitants and their acitivities,a sort of Paris Quartier Latin but keeping its strong own identity.  

In the last decades,De Pijp received many immigrants from its former colonies Suriname and Indonesia,but also from India,Turkey,Malaysia and Morocco,furthermore many students also live there to escape from the high rents in the centre of the Dutch capital all that generated that cosmopolitan picture and image this Amstedammer neighborhood has today.

.De Pijp also attracted during its history in different periods several artists who opened small galleries and workshops and it is not a case many of its streets have names of famed Dutch painters the famous  Cyupstraat for example is a street in homour of the dustunguished artist  Albert Cuyp and about the architectonic apart some old Renaissance buildings the major part of the constructions dating back the period previous to the 2nd World War of a school which left excellent examples of modern Dutch urban architecture which never disturbed or contrasted so much the old.It is since the 90s that D Pijp started to become a very fashionable and trendy district in a sort of revival in a different way with a new lifestyle and new inhabitants.

Located south of the city and the Canal Ring in the area called Stadsdeel Amsterdam-Zuid  just outside the circle of the three Amsterdam main channels,De Pijp is bordered to the north by the channel Stadhouderskade forming a sort of frontier with the historic centre of Amsterdam,to the east by the Amstel River, forming the border with Oost-Watergraafsmeer district, to the west by the canal Boerenkanal and the street Ruysdaelkade forming the limit of the Museumkwartier,the area of the museums while at south through the channel of the river Amstel and the street Joseph Israëlkad there is the border close to Riverenbuurt district.

The story is about the name of the district De Pijp seems that the streets running through it, narrow and straight, remember the torches of old pipes made by clay,for that reason, the translation of the name De Pijp in Dutch language means the Pipe.Another version of the name is about the chimneys of the old breweries,and another one is connected to the company which supplied the gas in area De Pijp Gas Vennootschaap.

 With a  a population of approximately 35,000 inhabitants,the district was formed in the second half of the 19th century,when the population of the Dutch Capital growth and Amsterdam needed the creation of new residential areas leading to an expansion to the south of the city in that period the less developed.

The idea of a new district was to house the workers and  to give breath to the already crowded famous neighbourhood Jordaan.The sharp increase in the urban population in the 20s and 30s ,the district expanded a lot and the new area was sometimes called Nieuw De Pijp,the New Pijp,the mjor part of the  inhabitants were workers and part of a humble social class.The district suffered a sort of degradation and the crisis in the 19th century,it was a gray area,without amenities,cultural centres or museums as the nearest centre but soon next to the former inhabitants started to come bohemian students and artists,also young professionals because to rent a apartment or a room in De Pijp was much cheaper than Joordan or other central districts.

Writers,intellectuals,and other artists started to populate Dee Pijp,such as Albert Kuyp,Piet Mondriaan also young French and Flemish painters,the poets and writers Jacob de Haan, Frederik Van Eeden,Simon Vinkenoog and Herman Gorter.With all that Dutch cultural elite the district has a renaissance,De Pijp became a new vital and meeting point of Amsterdam,and from there taverns and cafes were opened,the social life of that districts in decay lived a new artistic and lively atmosphere.

 This Amsterdam neighborhood despite its new artistic soul some years later started to become a place linked  to new ideas as the radical socialism and other politic and social  movements.On 18 February 1941,during the German Nazi occupation of Holland in the 2nd World War there was a famous incident in the district with :the irruption of the German police in the famous Koco, a tea room located in the street Van Woustraat,the raid that ended with the arrest of the owner,Ernst Cahn,for reesisitng to the German soldiers and he was later shot.

One of the highlight of  De Pijp is Albert Cuypstraat,the street namesakes Albert Cuyp,along it takes place Albert Cuypmarkt the large market which started its activity in the year 1904.That market originally
had a few of stalls while today they are over 350,vibrant,packed by a multitude of vendors,locals and tourists it is a very colorful and bustly place,considered the largest open air market in Holland and it attracts for its variety of articles and products an average of 22,000 visitors every weekend,the market works daily except Sundays.

The visitors can have the opportunity to buy,fruits,fresh fish,flowers,clothes,Oriental spices,cheeses and many other food delicacies.Albert Cuypmarkt consists in a long road which runs through the district,halfway crossed by Eerste Sweelinckstraat,where is located the statue of the most famous popular Amsterdammer singer: André Hazes.It is no coincidence and a case that the statue was erected right there in De Pijp in fact it is the place where he was discovered as artist where he sang to collect money to buy a present for his mother.

In the district another highlight is the famous Heineken Brouwerij with Heineken Experience a mecca and attraction for all beer lovers with the opportunity to visit the famous Heineken Brewery discovering the history of that so popular beer made in Amsterdam.In 1988 the famed company stopped producing beer in the building of De Pijp but the former building factory has been well renovated and there nowadays the visitor can havee the chance to learn the learn the history of the Heineken family,see the billboards from around the world and an interactive vision of the various processes of beer.

The tour lasts approximately 75-80 minutes and it is of course very interesting.The former factory is now a large amusement park media and a visit to that old factory includes in addition to the complete tour a degustation of the famous beer and a souvenir.Next to the building there is Marie Heineken Platz a busy square with some café-bars and restaurants.

Strolling its narrow streets,De Pijp is also a gastronomic district,characterized by the presence of numerous Indonesian but also Chinese,Turkish,Indian and Caribbean restaurants..The multi-ethnic athmosphere is completed with the presence of Moroccan Bazars,Chinese Shops,butchers from the Middle East and Dutch bakeries.

Very famous in De Pijp the Mamouche a North African restaurant offering all the typical specialities of Maghreb such as Cous cous,tajine,mechoui harira and so on in a very charming atmosphere..If you want to enjoy a cool drink or excellent cocktails the Hotel Okura provides a great cocktail bar on the 23rd floor offering magnificent views of Amsterdam.

The district is packed of interesting and curious shops too.De Taart Van Tante is a bakery-patisserie selling excellent cakes in a kitsch and art deco local,De Peperbol is a former tea spices and sweets store,it has became gradually an Eastern Market where it is possible to buy today essential oils,spices and many other products.The southern part of De Pijp is the area of  Diamantbuurt (the Diamond) built in 1925. De Pijp is also one of the Amsterdam places where started the business of companies cutting diamonds,for that in the district you will find some name of streets with the names Saffierstraat (Sapphire Street) or Smaragstraat (Emerald Street).

De Pijp  is also the birthplace of FEBO, a chain of fast food restaurants characterized by low prices and the sale of its products in vending machines,being able to buy drinks and chips at certain facilities.Originally, FEBO House was the name of a bakery located on Ferdinand Bol Straat,the street inspired the name of a bakery opened in 1941.Its owner, J.I. Borst prepared several lunches and snacks products sold through a vending machine later.According to the website of the company, the products were considered of quality and  they were pretty demanded which is why there was a production locals enlargement and it opened other branches in the city.Later, the bakery stopped making bread and it was renamed FEBO.

The district also has a small park called Sarphatipark,the residents loves and uses that park enjoying walks,it is a little green oasis with alongside a pond and fountains.In De Pijp you can also enjoy the typical Amsterdam cruise channels,the neighbourhood is just outside the main canal belt bordered by Amsteldijk and Stadhouderskade excellent points to take a boat and to enjoy a cruise channel discovering the beauty of this splendid city called Amsterdam.

De Pijp is a must if you are planning to visit the Dutch Capital it is artistic and bohemian soul,its cosmopolitan atmosphere and its attractions are something special in a special city called Amsterdam.

Francesco Mari

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