The 5 most unexpected places in Vondelpark in Amsterdam
1) Centrum De Roos
De Roos is a centre for mindfulness and spirituality and was founded in 1984. Their patio or sun porch is a great place to stop for a coffee, a sandwich or a slice of freshly-baked apple pie. The centre is located near the park exit leading to chique Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat.
Architect Pierre Cuypers placed Vondel- kerk (Vondel church) right in the middle of Vondelstraat. The church was built in 1872 in a neo-Gothic architectural style. After WWII, it fell into disrepair. The diocese sold it to an investor for one euro. In 1984, squatters moved in, saving the church from demolition. It was later renovated.
The stork population reached a critical level several decades ago. To prevent the species’ extinction, environmental groups started breeding projects and helped the birds to find nesting sites. Vondelpark has an artificial nest. It’s fenced off for visitors, but they can’t be missed. You’ll easily spot them from the rose garden.
Not much is known about the atomic bunker under the bridge connecting Eerste Constantijn Huygenstraat and Van Baerlestraat. It was built in the 1940s and subsequently became a music centre for hippies and squatters. Even Pink Floyd performed here. It’s now a rehearsal space, bar, and an arts and debating centre.
5) Picasso's 'Figure Découpée (L'Oiseau)'
Pablo Picasso donated this statue of a fish-like bird to the city of Amsterdam, on the condition that the artwork would be permanently exhibited in the park. It was a gift to celebrate the centennial of Vondelpark in 1965. There were plans to sell the artwork in 1994 and to use the money to pay for the maintenance on the park, but these plans were withdrawn.
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