This small park was laid out in the British landscape style in 1812 and was the first park in the city that was open to the public. It was therefore simply called The Park. It is what remains of the original Plantage, where well to do residents of Amsterdam could rent gardens.
The park hall in the Wertheimpark. Drawing: Cornelis Springer, 1854.
A party hall for the then Amsterdam society was located at the back (near the Plantage Doklaan). As a music hall, the Parkzaal (1849-1881) was the predecessor of the Concertgebouw (concert hall). The only reminder of the later Parkschouwburg (1883-1911) is the monumental entrance gate with sphinxes (design by A.L. van Gendt). The theatre made room for the present-day sports fields in 1911.
Entrance Wertheimpark. Photo: Marien van Os.
The Jewish banker and philanthropist A.C. Wertheim died in 1897. This park was named after him out of gratitude for his many merits. His virtues are listed here along the edge of the monumental fountain, which was erected here in his honour based on a design by architect Jonas Ingenohl (1898): Der armen hulp (helper of the poor) / Der zwakken staf (officer of the weak) / Der menschen vriend (Man’s friend) / Een wekstem tot leven (A voice that evokes life) / Den kunst’naar tot steun (Supporter of artists) / Den tragen tot spoorslag (Impetus for the sluggish) / Door stad en land betreurd (Mourned over by city and country).
The momumental fountain, built in 1898 and designed by Jonas Ingenohl.
Nooit meer Auschwitz
The Auschwitz-monument, based on a design by Jan Wolkers (1925-2007), acquired a permanent place in the park in 1993. The monument was formerly located at the Oosterbegraafplaats (cemetery) as from 1977. The broken mirrors represent the heavens that are irrevocably cracked since the murder of six million Jews in extermination camps. More than 104,000 Jews were taken away from the Netherlands and killed. An urn with ashes from the crematoria of Auschwitz is placed under the monument.