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The Oosterpark neighborhood with as central point Oosterpark was given its present form at the end of the nineteenth century. The aim was to build an exclusive neighborhood but, due to cuts in expenditure, that aim succeeded only in part, specifically on the edge of Oosterpark where there are elegant villas. ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis’, a catholic hospital expanded and settled in this neighborhood. Not only Catholics, but also many Jews moved out of the city center into the new houses. In 1926 the Royal Institute for the Tropics was built on the ground of the Eastern Cemetery. The cemetery was relocated to Watergraafsmeer and is now called the New Eastern Cemetery. During the Second World War and particularly during the hunger winter of 1945 many of the original houses disappeared as firewood. In the 1970s the ‘gaps’ were sealed with more spacious houses and the neighborhood revived. Houses in the Oosterpark neighborhood are popular nowadays.

Oosterpark is the first major urban park that the Municipality of Amsterdam set up in 1891. Leonard Anthony Springer designed it in English landscape style. Throughout the park there are a number of sculptures and monuments to see including the following: ‘The Scream’ by Jeroen Henneman is a sculpture in memory of filmmaker and columnist Theo van Gogh, who was murdered in the neighborhood in November 2004 because of his public criticism of the Islam. The sculpture for this reason refers to freedom of expression. ‘The Little Titans’ is a sculpture that commemorates a famous Dutch writer, Nescio (pseudonym of Jan H.M. Gronloh, 1882-1961) and his book of the same name. ‘The National Monument for the Commemoration of Slavery’ based on a design by Erwin de Vries has stood in the park since 2002. On 1 July every year the abolition of slavery is commemorated here (1 July 1863). On 5 May every year Oosterpark hosts the Oosterpark festival that is free to all. Fans of world music can attend in June ‘Roots Open Air’, part of the ‘Amsterdam Roots Festival’ that is also held here every year.

Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT) [Royal Institute for the Tropics]

Linnaeusstraat 2 / www.tropenmuseum.nl

The Institute for the Tropics was completed in 1926 on what used to be the Eastern Cemetery. The Royal Institute for the Tropics focuses its attention on knowledge, transfer and collaboration in the area of the various world cultures. The Tropical Museum was a continuation of the Colonial Museum in Haarlem that was set up in 1864. When the museum was completed in 1926 its core collection consisted of the collection of the Colonial Museum and the anthropological collection of Artis. Today the collection includes some 150,000 photographs and 165,000 items and then specifically items in everyday use such as furnishings, tools and jewelry. There are eight permanent exhibitions and a continually changing programme of other exhibitions. The Tropical Museum also offers the widest range of world music and there is an extensive library and also a restaurant with a global menu.

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