The English Bookshop/Spuistraat
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Discover Hidden Amsterdam on Literary & Cultural Walking Tours
Did you know that the mini-mosaic at Hazenstraat and Lauriergracht is one of 26 installed in 2000 by French urban artist Invader? Or that eccentric author Harry Mulish, considered one of the "Great Three" of Dutch postwar writers along with literary pals W.F. Hermans and Gerard Reve, penned novels like The Assault, later an Oscar-winning film, at Leidseplein's swanky American Hotel...when he wasn't womanizing at the Bar Americain? This is just a bit of the trivia you'll pursue on Literary & Cultural Walking Tours in Amsterdam As you stroll along the city's canals and alleyways, you'll also learn about the squatting movement of the '60s, admire the elegant Felix Meritis building on the Keizersgracht (home of the European center for Arts, Culture and Science), and see where Multatuli, a humble civil servant, lived and wrote the 1860 book that sent shock waves through respectable Dutch society, Max Havelaar. Guided by long-time Amsterdammer Asker Mulder, the two- to three-hour tours begin in the Jordaan at The English Bookshop. Heading through the cobbled alleyways of this quiet, bohemian-chic neighborhood, you'll wander up Spuistraat, then down to Leidseplein, collecting insights about the history of Amsterdam and its inhabitants as seen through the eyes of writers, poets and thinkers who've resided here. If you have any interest in the city's literary and cultural past, from mainstream to alternative, you're sure to be both entertained and informed.
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