Spui square

cultural books square

Originally a body of water, Spui became a square in 1882 when it was filled in. It is situated in the heart of the old city of Amsterdam.

spui

Picturesque Spui square in summer. Photo: PersianDutchNetwork [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Location

Spui square is located very centrally. You can easily go here on foot from Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein or Dam Square. Also many tram lines (tram 1 2 4 5 9 14 16 24 25) stop at or near Spui.

Spui provides entry to Begijnhof (via an inconspicuous entrance door), an enclosed courtyard dating from the early 14th century.

spui

Statue 'Het Lieverdje'

Books square

Today, Spui is the 'cultural books square of the Netherlands', with a high-quality weekly book market and a wide variety of book stores on or near the square, including 2 shops dedicated to English-language literature (American Book Center  and Waterstones ).

The book market is held every Friday, the whole year around. Old, rare, second hand and out-of-print books: all kind of books are brought to the Spui Book Market by some 25 booksellers from all over the Netherlands. There is also a weekly art market on the Spui, every Sunday.

Athenaeum

Another famous shop at the Spui is the Athenaeum Boekhandel  (book store) that is specialised in books on Amsterdam history. You can also find here a lot of cultural travel guides, dissertations on Amsterdam and restaurant guides.

Nextdoor is the Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum  (news centre) offering foreign and local newspapers and magazines from all over the world in current affairs, design, art, fashion, cooking, interior design.

Amsterdam Book Market at the Spui

The book market is held every Friday, the whole year around. Old, rare, second hand and out-of-print books: all kind of books are brought to the Spui Book Market by some 25 booksellers from all over the Netherlands. There is also a weekly art market on the Spui, every Sunday.

Statue 'Het Lieverdje'

A small statue for a street urchin, 'Het Lieverdje' (The Little Darling), stands on the square. The statue represents the youth of Amsterdam, always playing pranks, but with a heart of gold. The bronze statuette was unveiled in 1960.

Notable buildings at the Spui

Maagdenhuis 1780

the administrative centre of the University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Arti et Amicitiae 1841

an artists' society and art gallery at the corner of Rokin and Spui

Gebouw Helios 1895-96

Spui 15-19, in Art Nouveau style, nowadays a fish and seafood restaurant

Oude Lutherse Kerk Old Lutheran Church 1632-1633

Still used on Sundays for services by the Protestant Church in the Netherlands

nearby accommodation and restaurants
more impressions
Maagdenhuis

Maagdenhuis

Built between 1783–1787 as an orphanage. Today, it is the headquarters and main administrative building of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

esprit

Caffe Esprit's large outdoor terrace at Spui square

boekenmarkt

Spui Book Market

Weekly street market at the Spui with old, rare, second hand and out-of-print books

oudeluthersekerk

Oude Lutherse Kerk

A three-aisled gallery church, built between 1632-1633. Today, it is used as aula by the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

americanbc

The American Book Center

Family-owned bookstore in Amsterdam and The Hague. Writers can make and sell their own books in the shop with Betty the Book Machine.

spui

Picturesque Spui Square with the inconspicuous entrance door to the Begijnhof

spui

Entrance door to the Begijnhof

spui

'A Translation from one language to another' - a work of New York artist Lawrence Weiner at the Spui Square

Waterstones

Waterstones

The home of English language books in The Netherlands

helios

The Helios Building   Gebouw Helios

Built in Art Nouveau style by architect Gerrit van Arkel, who also built Café De Kroon at Rembrandt Square (Rembrandtplein). The 2 top floors were used as a photo studio, the ground floor as a tea room. The building won a bronze medal at the 1900 World Fair in Paris.

Athenaeum

Athenaeum Booksellers

Athenaeum book store (r) and news centre (l)

Westpoort Oud-West Jordaan Amsterdam Centrum Old Centre Oud-Zuid De Pijp Rivierenbuurt Zuidas Amsterdam Oost Amsterdam Noord Grachtengordel Jodenbuurt IJ Waterfront Buitenveldert Amsterdam Zuidoost Amsterdam Nieuw-West Amsterdam West