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Outside De Waag at NightThe Waag rises up from Nieuwmarkt square like a baroque castle that somehow lost its way. Dating back to the late 15th century when it was part of the city's fortifications, it became a weigh house after Amsterdam expanded eastward, filling in part of the Kloveniersburgwal canal to form a marketplace.

Inside De WaagLater, the upper floor was given over to the Surgeon's Guild, the new central tower becoming an anatomical theatre (where Rembrandt painted The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulip).

In recent years it served as a fire house and city archives. For a while it housed the Jewish Historical museum, which seemed quite appropriate as the area just east had been the city's main Jewish quarter before the war.

And, by the way, Louis Napoleon used it as a site for his public executions.

Outside De WaagBut on a sunny day, when the air is fresh and the sky is blue and the marketplace is in full flower and the Waag sets out rows and rows of tables, it's the place to be. And historical memory fades to insignificance as you savour some of the best food in Amsterdam at the most favourable vantage point to relish the Nieuwmarkt scene.

The Waag
Nieuwmarkt Square



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