Orientation & Geography

Europe, Netherlands, Amsterdam

Waterlooplein is a square in the centre of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, near the Amstel river. The daily flea market on the square is popular with tourists. The Stopera city hall and opera building and the Mozes en Aäronkerk church are at Waterlooplein. Waterlooplein was created in 1882 when the Leprozengracht and Houtgracht canals were filled in. The square is named after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The square became a marketplace when the city government decided that the Jewish merchants in the nearby Jodenbreestraat and Sint Antoniebreestraat had to move their stalls to the square. The Waterlooplein became a daily market (except on Saturdays, the Jewish sabbath) in 1893. During World War II the Jewish quarter was emptied of its residents as the Nazis rounded them up and sent them to concentration camps. The Waterlooplein market had disappeared by 1941. After the war, the Jewish quarter was left deserted, and the Waterlooplein market became a flea market. The market currently has some 300 stalls and is open every day except Sunday. In 2005, the Jewish Historical Museum presented an exhibition of paintings and photographs depicting Waterlooplein. The exhibition included works by Wolfgang Suschitzky, Max Liebermann and Oskar Kokoschka. Waterlooplein is a stop on the Amsterdam metro line. Tram lines 9 and 14 and the Museumboot water taxi also stop at Waterlooplein. There is a taxi stand and parking garage. "Oh Waterlooplein" (to the tune of Joe Dassin's Les Champs Élysées) is a song made popular by Dutch performers Johnny Kraaykamp and Rijk de Gooyer.