Throughout 2013, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area will be home to many special celebrations. Besides marking the 400th anniversary of Amsterdam’s canals, many iconic institutions will also commemorate special jubilees. This fortunate coincidence will allow Amsterdam Marketing to draw special attention to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area throughout the entire calendar year, promoting festivities that will further strengthen the image and attractiveness of the region. In doing so, a varied programme will appeal to many different audiences – young and old, visitors and residents, passer-by and investor.

The jubilee organisations will work to connect the rich history of the city with the activities of modern Amsterdam in 2013. Of the extensive programme of festivities, ten key icons are at the core.

400 years of Amsterdam’s canals

2013 marks the 400th anniversary since construction began on Amsterdam’s world renowned Canal Ring. Because of this anniversary, and also celebrating the Canal Belt’s acceptance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, various activities will be organised on and around the canals throughout 2013.

Reopening Rijksmuseum

Following years of extensive renovations, the Rijksmuseum will reopen its doors on 14 April 2013. Once again, its world famous examples of Dutch art and beyond can be shared with art lovers from home and abroad.

125 years of the Concertgebouw

The world famous Concertgebouw, the concert hall on the Museumplein, is visited by more than 700,000 music lovers each year. Throughout 2013, both online and in and around the building, you can relive its former glories via audio and video segments. Additionally, a number of live performances will be beamed to external locations throughout the city, to be shared with Amsterdam’s residents and visitors.

125 years of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The renowned orchestra will celebrate its 125th anniversary with a world tour that takes in six continents. And besides visiting 65 cities around the world during 2013, the orchestra is scheduled to perform at 71 ‘home’ concerts. What’s more, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will take pride of place at the popular Prinsengracht concert in August.

175 years of Artis Royal Zoo

Artis is not only a famous zoo, but also a playground, a back garden and a park for families. The zoo can be experienced in many ways, and during its special anniversary year it will be more colourful than ever before, as thousands of flowers will bloom throughout the entire park.

150 years since the abolition of slavery

On 1 July 2013, it will be exactly 150 years since Dutch slavery was abolished in the former colonies of Suriname and the Dutch Antilles. The Stichting Herdenking Slavernijverleden will partner with the City of Amsterdam to programme a national commemoration on this date. This will connect the present with the past and provide an opportunity for various institutions and groups to celebrate freedom.

100 years of the Frans Hals Museum

To mark its centenary, a jubilee exhibition will present 50 key masterpieces by the Dutch painter Frans Hals, surrounded by paintings by peers such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian. During the centenary year, the museum will also present a new permanent multimedia exhibition.

The Netherlands and Russia in 2013 / Hermitage Amsterdam

2013 is also a special theme year, celebrating close ties between Russia, the Netherlands and Amsterdam. Ever since the Golden Age, the two countries have been important partners in trade. Moreover, Tsar Peter the Great was so inspired by Amsterdam’s canals that he began the construction of St Petersburg. Later, in the 19th century, one of the daughters of the Russian Tsar married a member of the Dutch royal family. In 2009, this special international relationship was cemented with the opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, and during 2013, the museum will host a major exhibition dedicated to Peter the Great.

225 years of Felix Meritis 

Opened in 1788, Amsterdam’s most affluent citizens who shared an interest in art and science were keen to visit this icon on the Keizersgracht. It became a true Temple of Enlightenment, and was a home to literature, science and music well into the 19th century. Today, Felix Meritis is a meeting place for art, culture and science from a European perspective. To mark its special anniversary, in mid-April 2013, the building’s unique Observatory will once again open to the public, with visitors invited to enjoy guided tours of the roof of this iconic canal house.

40 years and the reopening of the Van Gogh Museum

At the end of September 2012, the Van Gogh Museum will close its doors to the public in order to undergo renovations. For several months, the core of its collection can be viewed in the Hermitage Amsterdam. In May 2013, however, the world famous paintings will return to Museumplein, and special celebrations will mark the 40th anniversary of the Van Gogh Museum.

The above 10 icons already offer a wide variety of 2013 festivities in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. In addition to actively supporting these anniversaries and initiatives, Amsterdam Marketing will present a further programme, including a grand opening in January for all residents, visitors and businesses of Amsterdam. Besides the many activities on and around the canals, new initiatives will be presented, such as 24H Amsterdam – during which different areas of the city will be showcased for a whole 24 hours. Also, in the autumn of 2013, Chambres des Canaux will be unveiled – a direct link between the past and the present by means of a high profile exhibition of contemporary artists, hosted in and inspired by various canal houses.

In summary, 2013 promises to be a very special year for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Amsterdam, September 2012

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