Vondelpark in Amsterdam
The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located in the stadsdeel Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later renamed to "Vondelpark", after the 17th century author Joost van den Vondel. Yearly, the park has around 10 million visitors. In the park is a film museum, an open air theatre, a playground, and several horeca facilities.
In 1864 a group of citizens led by Christiaan Pieter van Eeghen established the Vereeniging tot Aanleg van een Rij- en Wandelpark . They bought several hectares of grass-land and marshes at the rim of the city of Amsterdam, in order to create the new park. They assigned the architect Jan David Zocher to design it, and in 1865 "Het Nieuwe Park" (English: "The New Park") was opened for members of the association and in exchange for a fee also for other citizens.
Two years after the park opened, in 1867, a statue of writer and playwright Joost van den Vondel was placed in the park. Sculptor Louis Royer created the sculpture and the architect Pierre Cuypers designed the stand.
In 1873 a bandstand was built. In the same year, brewer Gerard Adriaan Heineken was denied to open a bar in the park, so he built the Bierhuis Vondel (English: "Beer House Vondel") in the street next to the park, what is now Vondelstraat 41.
In the following years the overall maintenance of the park became too expensive for the Vereniging tot aanleg van een rij- en wandelpark (English: "Association for the creation of a park for riding and strolling"), due to an intensified use, and in 1953 the association donated the park to the city of Amsterdam. The landscape architect Egbert Mos renovated the Vondelpark for the city in the 1950s. The purpose was improve the park for both usage and maintenance. Small bushes were grouped into larger bushes, superfluous paths were removed, and the rose garden was renovated. Also the stream of water in the "trunk" near the northern entrance of the park was removed.
And in the park are several horeca facilities (listed in alphabetical order):
- 't Blauwe Theehuis, a bar/restaurant
- Groot Melkhuis, a bar/restaurant
- Vertigo, the bar/restaurant of the film museum
- Vondeling, the bar/restaurant of the open air theatre<ref name="openairtheatre"/>
- Vondeltuin, a bar/restaurant
There are some statues in the park:
- Joost van den Vondel (1867) by Louis Royer<ref name="19e-eeuw"/>
- The Fish (1965) by Pablo Picasso<ref name="20e-eeuw"/>
- Mama Baranka (1985) by Nelson Carrilho
Every Friday there is the Fridaynightskate that starts in front of the Filmmuseum.
Yearly events include the golf tournament Vondelpark Open and the running contest Vondelparkloop.
The Queen's Day celebrations on 30 April in the Vondelpark focus specifically on children. There is a "freemarket" and there are games and other activities for children.
From June until August there are music and dance performances in the open air theatre.
The park is referenced in Acda en De Munnik's song "Vondelpark vannacht" from the album Acda en De Munnik (1997) and in Omar Rodríguez-López's song "Vondelpark bij nacht" from the album Omar Rodriguez (2005). 1990s' 2009 album 'Kicks' opens with a track entitled "Vondelpark", which is a tour diary from one of the band's trips to the Netherlands.
- Satellite View from Google Maps
- Vondelpark Article
- Historical photographs of the Vondelpark
- Archive of the Vondelpark society at the Amsterdam City Archives