"Sinter Claes" in Amsterdam

Photo: Marten Mulder
Used by permission

This iconic Amsterdam image is on Dam Square, the central square Amsterdam's historical center. The Dam is the site of many buildings and important events. Each year when Sinterklaas processes through Amsterdam, one of the Piets places a wreath beneath the Sinter Claes image. The wreath remains all year.

Stone tablets originally identified houses in much the way numbers do today. They might show the occupant's occupation, religious conviction, name, or place of origin.

The "Sinter Claes" tablet, at Gevelsteen Dam 2-2A, has been on Dam Square since the 1600s. The orignal house, known as "Sinter Niclaes," became an ale-house in the latter 1800s, owned by H.J.Bisschop. The old house was demolished in 1899 and the new inn was called "De Bisschop" (The Bishop). When a new house replaced the inn in 1934, the Sinter Claes tablet was reinserted up on the first floor level. The building is now a branch of ABN - AMRO Bank N. V.

Photo: C Myers, St Nicholas Center
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