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History Tours in Amsterdam

Learn About the History of Amsterdam During World War II

Stories from Multiple Perspectives

From a humble fishing village to an international city hosting 780,000 residents from 180 different countries, Amsterdam’s history tells interesting stories from multiple perspectives. The Jewish name for the city is “Mokum.” This translates roughly to “safe place” in Yiddish, as the city has been a refuge for those escaping persecution in their countries of origin. Today, around 45 percent of Amsterdam’s citizens have roots outside of the Netherlands. The Jewish community in particular has a very rich history in the city. Going on an Amsterdam history tour is a great way to learn more about their stories.

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The History of the Jewish District in Amsterdam

The neighborhood between Nieuwmarkt and Plantage in Amsterdam is what today is known as the “Jewish District” of Amsterdam. Jewish rabbis and refugees first settled in this area in the 16th century when a decree was passed in Spain that expelled Jewish people from the regions of Spain and Portugal. The city of Amsterdam opened its doors and since then has been a landing place for Jewish people as they faced discrimination and expulsion. While the wealth of Jewish merchants helped to shape the city in the 17th century, the German invasion during WWII had devastating effects on the Jewish people living in Amsterdam as well as their historic and cultural centers. Sites such as the Portuguese Synagogue and the National Holocaust Memorial help to preserve this history and are included on the Jewish District history tour.

Reserve your spot online to take a deep dive into the history of the Jewish District in Amsterdam and the heritage of the Jewish people who call the city home today.

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