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Windmills in Amsterdam


Windmills are an iconic part of the Dutch landscape, and no trip to the Netherlands is complete without a visit to a windmill. Every year in mid-May, the country celebrates National Windmill Day when windmills throughout the Netherlands throw open their doors to the public. And with eight windmills located in and around Amsterdam, windmill spotting is a great way to see the city.

Celebrating windmills

Windmills (molens) were an integral part of Dutch life for centuries, employed for industrial purposes like milling corn or draining the lowlands of excess water. More than 10,000 windmills once dotted the Dutch landscape. In fact, they are even ingrained in the language – one Dutch expression to describe an irrational person says that they must have been “hit by a mill”. Windmills are still celebrated during National Windmill Day as well as on festive occasions and national holidays when they are often decorated with flowers, figures of angels or Dutch flags.




17th and 18th-century windmills

Most of Amsterdam’s 17th-century windmills are unfortunately not open to the public, but hunting for windmills is still a fun way to see the city. De Otter on the Kostverlorenvaart in the Amsterdam West is the oldest sawmill of its kind. You can also admire De 1200 Roe or the Riekermolen located on the banks of the Amstel River. Two later examples are d’Admiraal windmill in Amsterdam Noord and De Bloem on the Haarlemmerweg, which was actually moved from its original location. And De Gooyer mill is bound to go down well with those fond of a tipple – Brouwerij ‘t IJ next door serves a range of traditional Dutch beers brewed on site. The bar is open all year-round, and when the sun is shining you can enjoy your cold brew on the large outdoor terrace.

Open for visitors

Of Amsterdam’s eight remaining windmills, the only windmill regularly open to the public is the Molen van Sloten. The Molen van Sloten is a renovated, working windmill built in 1847 and is a popular wedding venue. Whenever possible, the miller demonstrates how he turns the mill’s blades into the wind. Another attraction at the Molen van Sloten is an audio-visual presentation about Rembrandt’s life, called “Rembrandt in the Attic”.

Outside Amsterdam

If you fancy checking out more windmills after viewing Amsterdam’s best, the surrounding area also offers some stunning examples. The Zaanse Schans is just a short trip away from Amsterdam – about 15 minutes by train. This picturesque open-air museum is free of charge and boasts eight windmills. And for a small fee, you can also visit a working industrial windmill. From here, you can also stop by the Windmill Museum, a relaxing 15-minute walk away.

More info:  I amsterdam


Julidans 2013 festival

Amsterdam |  On different locations in  july sets the stage for cutting edge performances by both leading and upcoming dancers and choreographers from around the world!

For more information about this 23rd edition of Julidans, see I am expat.

Position of housing markets

German Logo of the ECB.

German Logo of the ECB. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Begin this year publish CPB analysis of the consequences of the current financial position of Dutch banks in relation to the mortgage and housing markets and, following from that, for the current situation of the Dutch economy.

CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis to analyses the consequences of the current financial position of banks in relation to the mortgage and housing markets and, following from that, for the current situation of the Dutch economy. This study was to include both the economic and structural aspects of that relationship. CPB honors this request in so far as the questions can be answered on the basis of available expertise and research capacity. The conclusion is that the mortgage interest rates in the Netherlands, according to European Central Bank (ECB) statistics, are around 1% higher than in the surrounding countries.

For more information:

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Beethovenserie 2013/14

Gustavo Dudamel
From the New World

The Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel conducts Esteban Benzecry’s Illapa, named for the Inca god of thunder and lightning and suitably wild. The mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn is the soloist for Peter Liberson’s Neruda Songs, based on poems by the Chilian Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda.

Dvorák’s symphony nr 9, From the New World, will also be performed.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, June 5, 6, 7 and 8 (matinee).

Veronika Eberle in
the programme by Heinz Holliger

Veronika Eberle is the soloist for Alban Berg’s violin concerto. Also on the programme are two works by Heinz Holliger, who also conducts. Zwei Liszt-Transkriptionen is an orchestration of two of Liszt’s late piano concertos; Ardeur Noire is a new work and a homage to Debussy. The orchestra also plays Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Alagoanna.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, June 13 and 14.

More info on: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

“Save the housing, build rental housing”

Even before the Romans give a good handle: would you buy a healthy housing market, build a lot of good rental housing.

media_xl_1661888To prevent housing prices explode once again, the buyer can also rent decently. Now remember him that choice, says Rik Smits.

“Si vis pacem, para bellum,” said the ancient Romans: if you want peace, prepare for war. As the Romans knew little else than war, we can translate that wisdom very well: look beyond your nose. For example, in the housing market, because the report of the committee Verhoeven we shoot no nose length: housing prices have exploded – we already knew, everyone counted himself rich – old hat, there was madness credit sought and given – yawn, municipalities and real estate sector played a semi-fraudulent pyramid scheme on any other costs – what else is new? And as icing on the cake: everyone participated and benefited, so everyone has debt.

The latter is not true, now join the millions of tenants who pay for the damage exceeds example, no blame. But a lie is so safe, because if everyone has debt, one is called to account. It is glass and pee: PvdA and VVD already turning their equally worn as irrelevant mantras, while the dogs of the media in a cozy corner along the tear moribund mortgage.

Anyway, in guilt and punishment a man can not live. So let’s have it specifically about how the housing market can come without the risk that the same misery again arises. Feet
Even before the Romans give a good handle: would you buy a healthy housing market, build a lot of good rental housing. This seems paradoxical, but it is not. Neoliberals have had and at one point an iron right: a market can only function in consumer choice. They forget convenience only often that it is essential to that freedom that belongs to the choice of purchase to see off. Not purchase is the safety valve that prevents price bubbles arise.

When something like ordinary bread that works fine. Is one baker too expensive, then we go to another, and they are all too expensive, then we eat a while brioche. Or Dad or nasi if necessary. That will prijsopdrijvers learn! But to live there, you can not even temporarily waive. Well of purchase.

Pressure relief valve
The indispensable stabilizing pressure relief valve of the homes for sale market is a large, high competitive rental market. But there is knowingly not expected willingly or unwillingly, people should buy. That is fifty years old, still fanatically pursued Hague houses jihad that has caused all current misery. But is such a viable rental market? Can you build modern, good affordable rental housing for the middle class in a profitable way? It appears so.

Builders say that they already have put 90 thousand euros. Reasonable house down with modern tools and techniques Let’s not do screwy and there, including some foreground (in an apartment that does little to be) for a nice not too large middle-class example of making 200 thousand euros. That money we fund the same amount for another thirty years. Calculation of the total 15 percent for management and maintenance, and suppose that we want as a landlord exactly like a regular buyer at the end of the ride home free possession.

Pure profit
From that moment, every penny that the house still yields by rental or sale almost pure profit. The situation as we reach the tenant who pays the costs incurred thirty years of acquisition and maintenance, or the difference between the costs incurred and the value of the house. In this case, that a total of 260 thousand euros, say and write representing a rent of 722 euros a month.

It’s not about that for a nice house very affordable 722 euros, but the idea. To the order. I like to let me explain by an expert why the previous reasoning miserably wrong, irresponsible and even dangerous. But until that time seems a good and extremely affordable priced rental market feasible. The only requirements are that good will in politics, not too crazy land speculation by municipalities and a little awareness of their core by the corporations that control the rental market.

Translate from the newspaper Volkskrant

Year of Dutch-Russian relations

Hermitage Amsterdam | In 2013, the Netherlands, Russia, and the city of Amsterdam will celebrate their special relationship. The two countries have been major trading partners since the Dutch Golden Age, and their ties grew stronger in the centuries that followed. When Napoleon was defeated in 1813, Russian Cossacks advanced as far as the gates of Amsterdam. One Dutch prince even married the sister of a tsar. The year 2009 saw a crowning moment in Dutch-Russian relations: the opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, the only European satellite of the famous St Petersburg museum.


Belt plaque: battle between a monster and a horse, Siberia, 4th-3rd century BC, Chased gold. 12.3 x 8.2 cm.
© State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.


Peter the Great, an Inspired Tsar |until 13 September 2013

The exhibition will be based on the collection of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, with additional pieces from the collections of museums and institutions in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Naumenko & Fomin:

Russian Passion | Sunday 26 May, 14 pm Church Hall

An entirely Russian programme, performed by two top Russian musicians. In 2010 violist Alexey Naumenko and pianist Misha Fomin formed a musical duo. They play works of Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, among others.

For more information: Hermitage Amsterdam

Amsterdam Turns Green

Nice spring pictures of Amsterdam


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These are some photos I took – via Instagram – in the last couple of days just walking down the street (you may find them all on Instagram if you search for #amsterdamming).
It is simply impossible not to be charmed by the delicate arrival of Spring in the city!

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News for DutchNews

Tax cut has not boosted home maintenance, builders say

Friday 10 May 2013


A temporary cut in thevalue-added tax rate on building renovations has failed to produce the hoped-for increase in orders, according to construction sector magazine Cobouw.

The btw tax rate on building labour was cut from 21% to 6% in March with the aim of encouraging people to spend money on home maintenance. The building sector’s economic institute estimated it could lead to an extra €600m in orders.

But most builders report no effect from the change, Cobouw reported. ‘The trick does not work any more,’ one person is quoted as saying. A similar cut in 2010 did produce an increase in orders.


Expat Center Amsterdam

Official Expatcenters in the Netherlands

Schermafbeelding 2013-05-07 om 19.40.06

Catch all the latest news and developments from the Expatcenter, the one-stop-shop service for highly skilled migrants arriving and recently arrived in Amsterdam and Amstelveen.

Expatcenter Amsterdam
World Trade Center
F-Tower, second floor
Strawinskylaan 39,  1077 XW  Amsterdam

For more information: see also I amsterdam