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Open Garden Days in Amsterdam

Submitted by on June 18, 2010 – 4:45 amNo Comment

Open Gardens AmsterdamEvery year, the Amsterdam Canal Museums organize Open Garden Days (“Open Tuinen Dagen” in Dutch) in the third weekend of June — and, this year, it’s June 18, 19 and 20, 2010. Some 30 private canal gardens will be open to the public on each of the days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s theme is ‘Courts and Community Gardens’.

Canal houses face the street and have no front garden. Behind them, however, there are surprisingly large secluded gardens. These gardens create a vast green space inside each block of houses, enclosed on four sides and invisible from the street. When established in the 17th century, they were intended to be decorative gardens — meant to be looked at not, to sit in or to work in.

The flowers, plants and trees had to look their best in the winter months, because this was the time of year that the owners lived in their town houses. (The rest of the year they retreated to their countryside manors). Many of the big trees in the gardens are hundreds of years old and listed as heritage monuments (meaning they cannot be chopped down!). Today most canal house gardens have maintained the original layouts, but are now intended to look good both in winter and summer.

Your €15 ticket (called a passe-partout) grants you access to all the participating gardens, and is valid for three days. You can buy tickets here:

* Bijbels Museum, Herengracht 366-368
* Huis Marseille, Keizersgracht 401
* Museum Van Loon, Keizersgracht 672
* Amnesty International, Keizersgracht 177
* Museum Willet-Holthuysen, Herengracht 605

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