Sarphatipark is a quaint, upscale park located on the south side of Amsterdam. This very clean and trendy park can be found south of Stadhouderskade and east of Hobbemakade, occupying eleven acres of land in De Pijp (The Pipe) neighborhood.
A Tough Fight
Back in the 1870’s, after Sarphatipark (named after Jewish physician and philanthropist Samuel Sarphati) was constructed, residents who built their homes around the park instantly resented it. They claimed it had a negative effect on the flow of ground water to the area, due to it being lower than the rest of the neighborhood. The park was not defeated, however, since a pump was added to correct this issue. In fact, areas of the park were raised higher, in the early 1900’s, in an effort to permanently eliminate this problem.
Where it Currently Stands
Up until World War II, a statue of Samuel Sarphati, surrounded by a beautiful fountain, was a treasured sight in the park. Once the war began, the statue was removed due to the doctor being a Jew and it was renamed after a Dutch philosopher, who happened to be under German influence. In May, 1945, less than two weeks after Amsterdam was liberated, the statue was returned to the park as well as the name Sarphatipark itself.
So Much for So Little
Sarphati covers only a two-block radius, yet locals and tourists alike never seem to run out of activities while visiting. There’s a designated area of the park just for dogs to roam as well as basketball courts, table tennis facilities, a volleyball court and enclosed playground. Though BBQ grilling is no longer allowed, due to the area being small and the smoke easily traveling to the houses nearby, many say it’s still a wonderful place to socialize or participate in more intimate events such as Cuban salsa dancing or sunbathing.
In the Middle of It All
Though the park itself is small, one of the best qualities of Sarphatipark is its proximity to so many other great establishments. Some say it’s the best park near a market – referring to Albert Cuyp Market. You can easily grab your lunch there and enjoy it on the grass, one area in particular where dogs aren’t allowed. Others suggest eating at Boca’s Restaurant nearby, where sharing dishes and platters with the whole table is encouraged. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and even drinks can be enjoyed here in their fresh, yet casual environment. Neither of these eateries grab your attention? There’s no need to worry. Dozens of restaurants and cafes, respectfully, have the park surrounded.
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