22 shoe shops at the Kalverstraat
5 April 2007 - In addition to the usual chain
stores, there are still about seventy five shops in Amsterdam that
are at least one hundred years old. Els van Wageningen dedicated
a website to these shops.
On 26 April, the Amsterdam Historic Museum will open an exhibition
on fashion palaces between 1880 and 1960. The exhibition will feature
material on Maison de Bonneterie (photo) and Metz & Co. These
shops can also be found at the Winkelstories website of Els van
How did it occur to you to create this website?
For years, I used to pass the Arnold van Tuyll chemist’s
when walking to my work, which has been at the Paleisstraat 13 since
1878. The chemist’s had a Royal Warrant and served not only
the palace, but also many journalists working at the Nieuwezijds.
At the end of the 1970s, the shop closed.
I was shocked when I saw the beautiful nineteenth century shop
interior ending up in a refuse container and the next owner nailed
strips of wood to the ceiling with flowers and angels painted on
I wondered how many nineteenth century shops with remains of old
interiors were left in Amsterdam. I started taking stock, and subsequently
described some thirty in the Ons Amsterdam monthly. These included
Maison de Bonneterie at its 100th anniversary in 1989 and Metz &
After that, I got involved in other topics. Now that I have a bit
more time free time again, I resumed the shops project. Meanwhile,
many well-known shops had disappeared. About seventy five shops
with their roots in the nineteenth century still exist in Amsterdam.
Only a few still have some old interior left, which makes sense,
for nothing is as much affected by fashion as a shop interior. A
book on this subject would be nice, but a website has the advantage
that you can add or change shop descriptions when necessary.
What is your favourite shop?
Patisserie Holtkamp at the Vijzelgracht 15. Not only for its delicious
cakes, but also because of the recently restored interior designed
by the architect Piet Kramer in 1926.
How do shop owners respond to your articles?
In general, shop owners like to collaborate, although they are
not over enthusiastic to advertise their ‘oldness’.
So they have mixed feelings.
It is sometimes said that shopping streets are now
dominated by dull chain stores, do you agree?
Last week, I counted in the Kalverstraat. There are some 139 shops,
including 72 clothes and 22 shoe shops! In addition, there are fifteen
jewellery shops, five telephone shops and five cosmetics shops.
Then there are familiar shops such as Perry Sport, Akkerman’s
fountain pen shop, Blokker, de Slegte, J.C. IJkhout’s cigar
shop of 1834, the Free Recordshop, a toy shop, Xenos and V&D.
And last but not least Roman Catholic church de Papegaai, although
that is not a shop.
(only in Dutch), Fashion
Palaces (click English)
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