Tag Archives: Anne Frank

BUDGET AMSTERDAM – best card deal?

Amsterdam hotels and restaurants are notoriously expensive compared to what is available in other parts of Europe.

So you may well be looking for some euro-saving options in the entertainment/transport/museum areas. Continue reading


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MAX EUWE – Amsterdam’s remarkable chess champion

Max Euwe - sculpture by Jose Finhaut, 2004.

Only once has an amateur ever become world chess champion. Dutch maths teacher Max Euwe held the title from 1935-37.

If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you’ve almost certainly passed the little square called the Max Euwe Plein, between the busy Leidseplein and the Rijksmuseum. Continue reading

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ALTERNATIVE AMSTERDAM – my hip take on the town

Where the cool set go for the best appeltaart in Amsterdam.

I was recently commissioned to write a short ‘alternative’ guide to the town where I’ve spent a substantial proportion of the past decade.

It wasn’t easy choosing what to include, but I did my best to be hip and ever so slightly hippie.

Here are the attractions that made the cut… Continue reading


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AMSTERDAM – Anne Frank’s tree falls over

Photo - Evert Elzinger A/P

The Anne Frank tree will be removed today. In her diary, Anne made occasional references to the large chestnut tree, which she could see from the back window of her hiding place and which became a symbol for her of the natural world and the changing seasons.

The tree had been the centre of a battle through the world media and the Dutch courts to save it, since arborists warned that it was rotten to the core and on its way out. Funds were subscribed from around the world. But a storm on Monday blew it over, fortunately with no damage to life (though some to limb of course).

Its removal is unlikely to affect interest in what is perhaps Amsterdam’s most visited tourist attraction. At almost any time of day the queue stretches around the corner. The house is in fact the Frank family’s former jam factory, and since when the family was betrayed and arrested all furniture was removed, there is little remaining there in the way of Anne Frank artifacts. But most moving I find the wallpaper in Anne’s bedroom, now preserved behind perspex, on which she’d posted photos of movie stars clipped from magazines, just as any teenage girl might do.

Visitors queue to pay homage to Anne Frank

The rest of the now extended building has very much the feel of a museum rather than a house, but the displays and videos tell a powerful story of courage and survival in the face of terrible fear and oppression. It is very well done, and recommended if you have time to wait in line.

Bits of bark and wood from the tree are now for sale on marktplaats.nl, an online website which is a Dutch rival to ebay. Oh dear – the age we live in!

STOP PRESS: The owners of the tree are planning to donate pieces to Jewish musea in New York, Tel Aviv, Berlin and Amsterdam.

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