Rozengracht, Amsterdam


The Rozengracht (Roses Canal) is a former canal from the 17th century in Amsterdam’s Jordaan neigh­bor­hood. In 1890 it was filled in (as one of 6 former canals in the Jordaan area) to counter­act the poor water quality and to create a main traffic artery to the west. The street runs between Prinsen­gracht and Singel­gracht, from where the De Clercq­straat leads further West. East of the Rozen­gracht the Raad­huis­straat was constructed in 1895 towards Dam square.

Rozengracht, Amsterdam, viewed from Westermarkt towards Singelgracht

Rozengracht, from Wester­markt seen towards Singel­gracht (June 2023).

The Rozen­gracht is currently being restruc­tured as part of the Orange Carpet project (Oranje Loper), started in 2019. After protests the city revised the original plans, where they first wanted to cut down all 33 trees on the street.

Rozengracht 1 to 9 (south side), Amsterdam, corner Prinsengracht

Rozengracht 1 to 9 (south side), corner Prinsengracht (June 2023).

The Rozengracht was initially popular with somewhat richer citizens, who wanted to combine a home with a business, something not allowed on the main canals. After 1890, when the Rozen­gracht canal had been filled in and became a busy road, many beauti­ful 17th century houses were demolished and replaced with larger buildings, first with the recon­structions for the Bols complex (1900), followed by the Rozen­theater (1912), Jesuit church De Zaaier (1928) and the parochial Root­haan­huis (1929).

Rozengracht, Amsterdam, still a canal in 1889, seen in the direction of the Westermarkt

Rozengracht when it was still a canal in 1889, seen in the direction of the Wester­markt (Stads­archief Amsterdam).

Like in many other parts of the Jordaan, there were once many dark, narrow alleys (corridors) in this area, which gave access to slumlike constructions in the court­yards behind the main streets. Between numbers 37 and 49 was the Rozen­gang (Roses Alley), better known as Vossen­hofje, with a stone­cutter’s workshop. Numbers 39A-H and 49A-D are inside. Between the numbers 75 and 81 was the Slagers­gang (Butchers Alley), formerly known as Maaiers­gang (Mowers Alley).

Rozengang (Roses Alley), Amsterdam, around 1940, between Rozengracht 39 and 47

Rozengang around 1940, between Rozengracht 37 and 49, with a stonecutter’s workshop (Stads­archief Amsterdam).

Slagersgang, Amsterdam, between Rozengracht 79 and 81

Slagersgang, between Rozengracht 79 and 81 (June 2023).

Rozengracht 81 – Three Piggy Banks

This house from around 1620 has a gable stone with three piggy banks. Inside the house was an indoor alley, between the numbers 81 and 89, the Spaar­potten­gang (Piggy Bank Alley), which led to a court­yard with 3 small houses, rented out by the owner, his three piggy banks. Around 1920 the small houses had become sheds, later transformed into a theater which did horror shows (around 1970-1980).

Piggy banks on a gable stone at Rozengracht 81, Amsterdam

Piggy banks on a gable stone at Rozengracht 81 (June 2023).

Rozengracht 75-91, Amsterdam, at number 81 the house with the three piggy banks

Rozengracht 75-91, at number 81 the house with the three piggy banks (June 2023).

Rozengracht 99-111 – Distillery ‘t Lootsje

Former liqueur distillery ‘t Lootsje (Lucas Bols) started here in 1649 (although the Bols company maintains it was 1575). The house at number 99 was redone in 1892 by architect H.P. Berlage, at Bols’ specific request in 17th century style. Around 1902 architect Eduard Cuypers then designed the adjacent buildings and from around 1912 Bols had a reception room here, decorated in 16th century style.

Rozengracht 99-111, Amsterdam, in 1890, buildings belonging to Lucas Bols, Rozengracht not yet filled in

Warehouses and liqueur distillery ‘t Lootsje (Erven Lucas Bols), on the still not filled in Rozengracht (Stads­archief Amsterdam).

The distillery moved to Nieuw Vennep in 1970 and the block was sold to the city in 1972. It then became a sports venue, youth hostel and community center. In 1994 the whole block was restructured to become studios and shops. Bols opened a tasting room on Paulus Potter­straat in 2007 and in 2014 their jenever production returned to Amsterdam on Pijl­steeg, between Dam square and Oude­zijds Voor­burgwal, in the old jenever distillery Wynand Fockink from 1679, which Bols owned since 1954.

Rozengracht 99-111, Amsterdam, in 2023, now shops and studios

Rozengracht 99-111 in 2023, now shops and studios (June 2023).

Rozengracht 107-115 – Dijkman Music Store

Dijkman Muziekinstrumenten is a well-known music store, located here since 1960, next to the Rozen Theater. The store was founded in 1958 by Willem Dijkman.

Rozengracht 117 – Rozentheater

The Rozentheater is a former cinema and theater from 1913. It changed names quite a few times (Asta, Capitol, Mickery) but in 1994 was renamed Rozentheater again. The building is a national monument, renovated in 2004. Since 2013 it is home to stand-up comedy venue Boom Chicago (previously at Leidse­plein Theater).

Rozengracht 111 to 139, Amsterdam, with Dijkman Music, Boom Chicago and Roothaanhuis

Rozengracht 111 to 139, Dijkman Music at 115, Boom Chicago at 117, Roothaanhuis and Pesca at 133 (June 2023).

Between the numbers 119 and 127 was the Donkeregang (Dark Alley).

Rozengracht 133 – Roothaanhuis

Former Catholic parochial building Roothaanhuis dates from 1929. Jan Philip Roothaan (1785-1853), born in the Jordaan neigh­bor­hood (Laurier­straat 62), became a Jesuit top dog in 1829 in Rome. After the Second World War the Roothaan­huis became a community center, where famous Jordaan singers Johnny Jordaan and Tante Leen were discovered in 1955. In 1971 it became a venue for student parties and band concerts. From 1981 (when Church De Zaaier on the other side of the Rozengracht became a mosque) there were many Turkish wedding receptions here. In 2000 it became Club More, now it’s restaurants and a night club. The building continues all the way to the parallel Rozen­straat.

The Roothaanhuis at Rozengracht 133, Amsterdam

The Roothaanhuis at Rozengracht 133 (June 2023).

Rozengracht 147-181 – Rozenhofje

In 1648 this was the location of theme park Het Nieuwe Doolhof (the New Maze). In 1744 it became the Rozen­hofje (Roses Court­yard), with 55 homes for Baptist elderly women. The façade is from 1884, the court­yard was renewed in 1890 and completely renovated from 1987 to 1990, with 28 homes. Architect Abraham Salm (who designed the Nienhuys mansion), was a regent of the courtyard. The courtyard is not open to the public.

Rozengracht, Amsterdam, seen towards Singelgracht, on the left the Rozenhofje

Rozengracht seen towards Singelgracht, on the left the Rozenhofje (June 2023).

Detail of the front of the Rozenhofje, Rozengracht, Amsterdam

Part of the front of the Rozenhofje (February 2023).

Between the numbers 189 and 205 was a nameless alley which led to a large factory, later a school called Rozenschool, demolished for a large clothes factory later.

Rozengracht 207-213 – Het Atelier

Former building De Harmonie from 1924 (now called Atelier, offices and a fitness center). Clothing company Berghaus was located here from 1960-1980. During the economic crisis of the 1930s, when the government lowered unemployment benefits by 12%, a protest meeting was held here on July 4th, 1934 — it started the Jordaan­oproer (Jordaan riots) which lasted for 4 days.

Building Het Atelier, Rozengracht 207-213, Amsterdam

At Rozengracht 207-213 the building called Het Atelier (June 2023).

Around 500 people participated, tore up streets and rained bricks and roof tiles on the police blockades. Police and army then used live ammo against the protesters and shot 5 people, 56 were severely wounded. Streets in the Jordaan were soon covered with asphalt, to prevent street bricks from being used in protests. To commemorate the Jordaan­oproer, a monument by Sophie Hupkens was placed in front of the Noorder­kerk in 1987, called Unity Is The Strongest Chain. Now this building houses Ultimate Performance, a fitness center and gym.

Rozengracht – Even Numbers

Let’s continue with the even numbers, starting on the side of the Westertoren. Between the numbers 16 and 22 was the Varkensgang (Pig Alley).

Traditional cheese shop Wegewijs at Rozengracht 32, Amsterdam

Traditional cheese shop Wegewijs at Rozengracht 32 (June 2023).

A house from 1636 at number 48 has the Noorderkerk on a gable stone, the façade changed in the 19th century.

Rozengracht 48, Amsterdam, house with the Noorderkerk on a gable stone

At Rozengracht 48 a house with the Noorderkerk on a gable stone, next to restaurant Long Pura (June 2023).

Rozengracht 38 – Van der Linde

An art supplies shop which has been here since 1898. After closing hours Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962) would come here with her ladies-in-waiting to buy painting supplies. Before that it was a police station (cells from the 17th century were found during a renovation).

Rozengracht 38, Amsterdam, art supplies shop Van der Linde

In the center art supplies shop Van der Linde at Rozengracht 38 (June 2023).

Rozengracht 58 – Van Arkel Shop Window

Shop window from 1907, designed by architect Gerrit van Arkel (1858-1918) for insurance company Eerste Hollandsche Levens­verzekerings­bank (tile tableau), pointing to their new head office (the Astoria building at the corner of Keizers­gracht and Lelie­gracht).

Rozengracht 54 to 62, Amsterdam, at number 58 a Van Arkel shop window

Rozengracht 54 to 62. At number 58 the Van Arkel shop window (February 2023).

Rozengracht 104 – Gable stone

At the side of Rozengracht 104 is a gable stone from 1704 called Het Huis Te Almelo, depicting a country home created in 1663 near the town of Almelo. The stone came from a building at Rapenburgerstraat 55 (demolished in 1881 for diamond factory Metz & Citroen) and was placed here in 2005. The alleys and back buildings disapeared when the warehouse was constructed there.

Rozengracht 106-110 – House from 1650

Small house and courtyard from 1650, revealed when the house on the Rozengracht in front of it was demolished. Restored in 1955. Previously this was the Lucas Bols Taveerne, now Salmuera Argentinian cuisine.

House and courtyard at Rozengracht 106, Amsterdam, formerly Bols Taveerne

House and courtyard at Rozengracht 106, formerly Bols Taveerne. Rozengracht 110 is a warehouse from 1671 (February 2023).

Rozengracht 106, Amsterdam, formerly Bols Taveerne, now Salmuera

Rozengracht 106, formerly Bols Taveerne, now Salmuera (June 2023).

Rozengracht 114 – Mazzo

Mazzo was a disco and conceptual art venue at this address from 1980 until 2004, in the 1980s famous for its New Wave and Punk nights, from 1989 on House and Techno. The club had quite a restrictive entrance policy, only allowing people in who were somehow linked to the audio-visual arts. Many famous artists and bands regularly hung out there after performing in Paradiso (on Weteringschans, near the Leidseplein). From 2010 until 2017 there was an Italian restaurant here, also called Mazzo. Now the building has been transformed into apartments with Brasserie Cannibale Royale on the ground floor.

Former disco Mazzo at Rozengracht 114, Amsterdam, in 1981

Former disco Mazzo at Rozengracht 114 in 1981 (Stads­archief Amsterdam).

Rozengracht 116-138 – Rijpenhofje

The Rijpenhofje (Rijp Courtyard) was founded in 1737 with money from an inheritance left by a man named Gerard van de Rijp. The façade shows 1747, the year it was handed over to the church. This was a Baptist courtyard for poor elderly women, which merged in 1965 with Baptist courtyard De Lely from 1872, located behind it on Bloemstraat. The city expanded the complex in 1830 with adjacent buildings, some from the adjacent Pijpen­makers­gang (Pipe Makers Alley).

The increased heavier traffic on Rozen­gracht caused many of the old buildings to sag. So in 1912 the old Rijpen­hofje was demolished and replaced in 1913 with the current building by architect A. Salm. Since 1968 the apartments are also available to men — currently 18 people live here. The court­yard was renovated in 1988 — it is not open to the public.

Façade of the Rijpenhofje, Rozengracht 116-138, Amsterdam

The closed façade of the Rijpenhofje, designed by A. Salm in 1913 (February 2023).

Rozengracht 152 – Fatih Mosque

The current mosque started out as socialist conference building called Constantia in 1890. In 1899 it was sold at an auction to a Catholic cheese shop owner, who had the building demolished in 1928. In 1929 the Catholic church St. Ignatius (De Zaaier) was constructed there, which then closed in 1971. It was a carpet shop before becoming the Fatih mosque in 1981.

Fatih mosque, Rozengracht 152, Amsterdam, former Catholic church St. Ignatius

The Fatih mosque, former Catholic church St. Ignatius (De Zaaier) (February 2023).

Rozengracht 160 – Former Café Struik

Corner Akoleienstraat, house from around 1775. Once a literary bar run by owner Theo Ruiter (1911-1965), a member of the Dutch resistance in WW2. He had saved a German officer from drowning in Haarlem at the start of the war and was therefore able to continue his bar and resistance work, freeing many people from German imprisonment. The building needed new foundations and Café Struik closed in April 2020. The back of the house is a separate home, with the entrance on Akoleien­straat.

Rozengracht 160, Amsterdam, former Café Struik, corner Akoleienstraat

At Rozengracht 160 the former Café Struik, corner Akoleienstraat (June 2023).

Rozengracht 168-178 – Edelweiss

This building from 1917 in Art Nouveau style formerly housed steam-powered laundry cleaners Edelweiss. The building, designed by architect J.H.C. Kröner, is quite deep and continues across the inner court­yards on to the parallel Bloem­straat 163-169.

Art Nouveau building Edelweiss at Rozengracht 168-178, Amsterdam

Former steam-powered laundry cleaners Edelweiss at Rozengracht 168-178 (June 2023).

Rozengracht 167-174 – Foil Beaters Alley

The Foelie­slagers­gang (Foil Beaters Alley) was located between the numbers 168 and 174. The foil beaters created waferthin sheets of metals (like tin, copper, silver, gold) by repeatedly hammering them. These thin sheets were then used on the back of mirrors and jewels, as well as on art objects.

Rozengracht 182-196, Amsterdam, at number 184 is Rembrandt's last home

Rozengracht 182-196, in the center at number 184 is Rembrandt’s last home (June 2023).

Rozengracht 184 – Rembrandt’s last home

Despite a cartouche from 1919 on the façade (above the middle window on the first floor), Rembrandt’s last home is not very interesting. The original house from the 17th century was first added to in 1876 (only the lower part was kept), then the front was completely modernized in 1909. Rembrandt lived here from 1658 until 1669, together with his second wife and former maid Hendrickje Stoffels, his son Titus and daughter Cornelia. After his bankruptcy in 1658 he was forced to sell his home and studio at Jodenbreestraat (the current Rembrandthuis, where he lived and worked from 1639 until 1658). The family then moved to this rented apartment.

The Jewish Bride, painting by Rembrandt van Rijn from around 1665-1669

Isaak and Rebekka, known as The Jewish Bride, painting by Rembrandt van Rijn, approx. 1665-1669 (Rijks­museum).

They opened an art dealer’s here, registered to his wife Hendrickje and son Titus — this meant Rembrandt could sell his works without his income being seized by his creditors. While living here he painted some of his best known works: the Staalmeesters (1662), the Jewish Bride (1665) and his later self-portraits (1669). Rembrandt was buried in the nearby Westerkerk on October 8, 1669.

Rozengracht 184-192 – Red Mill Alley

Between the numbers 184 and 192 (inside the former doorstep) was the entrance to the Roomolengang (Red Mill Alley), leading to two homes inside the courtyard. The building now has a tattoo shop on the ground floor.

Rozengracht 204-210 – Treacle Factory

From 1896 until 1919 this was a steam-powered factory called IJsland, producing treacle and coffee syrup. That name is still on the building and the wall anchor on top of the façade is shaped like a boy holding a treacle jar. In 1919 the heirs of Lucas Bols became the owners, they left at the end of the 1960s. On the front is a gable stone with three black felt hats which reads “In de Swarte Kasstoor” (a kasstoor was a hat made of beaver felt). The stone came from a 17th century hat workshop located here before. Between numbers 206 and 212 was the entrance to the Hoedengang (Hats Alley).

Front of Siroopfabriek Ysland at Rozengracht 204-210, Amsterdam

Front of Siroopfabriek Ysland at Rozengracht 204-210 (February 2023).

Front of Siroopfabriek Ysland, Rozengracht, Amsterdam, with years and gable stone

Front of Siroopfabriek Ysland with years and gable stone (February 2023).

Rozengracht 214

Part of a group of four shops from 1897. Number 212 was until 1901 a delivery house for the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij (Dutch Iron Railroad Company), where people could drop off goods to be sent, later it became a hat shop. Number 214 was a laundry for the Berlijnsche Stoom-Wasch- en Ververij (Berlin Steamwashers and Dyers), later a jeweler. The shop window of number 214A is still largely original. In 1898 this was a pastry shop. Now it’s a Surinam-Indonesian eatery.

Detail of the Jugendstil façade of Rozengracht 214, Amsterdam

Detail of the Jugendstil façade of Rozengracht 214 (June 2023).

Rozengracht 238 – Fire Station Rudolf from 1894

This auxiliary fire station in Neo-Renaissance style (called Rudolf) from 1894 had a man-powered fire hose pump, on a carriage drawn by two horses, meant to service the entire Amsterdam-West area. On the back is a small terrace with battlements. The station’s crew came from the parallel Rozen­straat. The building is a municipal monument and has a gable stone with the Amsterdam seal on the façade. This fire station closed in 1988.

Former Fire Station Rudolf from 1894 at Rozengracht 238, Amsterdam

Former Fire Station Rudolf from 1894 at Rozengracht 238 (February 2023).

Former Fire Station Rudolf from 1894 at Rozengracht 238, Amsterdam, from the side

Former Fire Station Rudolf from 1894, seen from the side (June 2023).

Rozengracht 224A – Fire Station Hendrik

This corner of Rozengracht and Marnixstraat was once the location of a former School for the Poor in 1877. In 1929 it became the Museum van den Arbeid (Museum of Labor). In 1952 it became the NINT museum (Neder­lands Instituut voor Nijver­heid en Techniek), demolished in 1983. The NINT museum then moved to former diamond factory Asscher at Tol­straat, before it became Science Center NEMO on top of the IJ tunnel in 1997.

Fire station Hendrik, Rozengracht corner Marnixstraat, Amsterdam

Fire station Hendrik, Rozengracht corner Marnixstraat (February 2023).

The location of the demolished school is now a fire station, official address Marnix­straat 170. It opened in 1985. A gable stone from 1685 depicting Saint Victor (the patron saint of corn millers) is attached to the front. That stone came from windmill The Victor, which stood on former bastion Rijk. A plaque in front of restaurant Moeders (Rozen­gracht 251, at the southern corner of the bridge across Lijn­baans­gracht) marks the location of the former bastion Rijk with the windmill on it.

Gable stone with St. Victor, fire station Rozengracht corner Marnixstraat, Amsterdam

Rozengracht corner Marnixstraat, gable stone with St. Victor on the fire station (February 2023).

Rozengracht 226 – Pet Doctors

Right next to the fire station is a half-timbered building from 1888 by the city’s Public Works department, now housing pet clinic Dieren­Dokters. Created for the city’s Genees­kundige Armen­verzorging (Medical Care for the Poor), the construction is a national monument. It was extended in 1902 and in 1939 the Armen­verzorging moved to Van Olden­barne­veldt­straat. In 1940 a pet clinic for the poor opened there, started by the Association for the Protection of Animals (Bond voor Daad­werke­lijke Dieren­bescherming). Since 1976 it’s a regular pet clinic.

DierenDokters (Pet Clinic) at Rozengracht 226, Amsterdam

DierenDokters at Rozengracht 226 (June 2023).


The Rozengracht continues after the Lijnbaansgracht, up to the Rijckerbrug bridge between Rozengracht and De Clercqstraat. On that bridge across the Singelgracht (designed by architect Piet Kramer) is a statue of a firefighter battling a fire-breathing dragon by sculptor Frans Werner (1879-1955), who also made one of the statues (Girl with Lamb) on the terrace near Muzenplein.

Rijckerbrug, Amsterdam, with statue of fireman battling a fire-breathing dragon

Rijckerbrug with statue of fireman battling a fire-breathing dragon (June 2023).

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