Jewish Quarter   Jodenbuurt

stunning synagogues, striking buildings and impressive memorials

Jodenbuurt, the former Jewish Quarter, is the neighbourhood in Amsterdam where - from the late 16th century to the period of the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War - many Jews lived.


Statue 'De Dokwerker' on the Jonas Daniël Meijerplein, erected in memory of the February Strike of 1941

For more than 350 years, Amsterdam was a centre of Jewish life, and its Jewish community was a major contributor to the city's vitality and prosperity. The Waterlooplein area was their neighborhood, where they held their market and built their synagogues.

In 1593, Sephardic Jews from Portugal and Spain settled in this neighbourhood. In the course of the 17th century Ashkenazi Jews from Central, Eastern, and partly Western Europe also moved into the district.

In 1602 the Jews started to build their first synagogues. And in the centuries that followed, the neighbourhood was enriched with many more synagogues.

Diamond factories

Initially, the Jews were not permitted by the guilds of Amsterdam, so the only occupations that were open to them were street trading, financing, book printing and diamond cutting. In the 19th century many Jews worked in the flourishing diamond trade and industry.

Nowadays there are about a dozen diamond factories in the city left, five of which offer guided tours.

map of the Old Jewish Quarter
nearby accommodation and restaurants

Main attractions, buildings and sights in the Jodenbuurt


Portuguese Synagogue

The place where Spinoza was placed under the ban by the Sephardic Jewish community in 1656.



An impressive old fortification tower of Amsterdam from 1512


Jewish Museum

former Ashkenazi synagogue complex


The Rembrandt House

The house in which Rembrandt lived and worked from 1639 till 1658. Nowadays Museum Het Rembrandthuis

Huis De Pinto

Former city mansion inhabited by the leading Amsterdam family dynasty of Portuguese-Jewish merchant bankers.

uilenburger sjoel

Uilenburger Shul

Built 1766 in the Louis XV-style (rococo)


Gassan Diamonds

A steam-driven diamond cutting factory from 1878


Hollandsche Schouwburg

Former theatre used as a deportation centre during WWII.



Famous Amsterdam flea market around the City Hall and Opera building


National Holocaust Museum

Building used by resistance workers during World War II to smuggle some 600 children out of captivity and get them to relatively safe hiding places.


Auschwitz Memorial

Auschwitzmonument of 'broken mirrors' at the Wertheimpark