Oudemanhuispoort

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Oudemanhuispoort

Landmarked by its now-famous pair of chiseled spectacles set over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal pediment—a sweet reference to old age—this passage led to a pensioners' house or "Oudemannenhuis," first built in 1754. Today, bikes, not canes, are in evidence here, as this former almshouse is now part of the University of Amsterdam. One charming relic from its founding days is the covered walkway, which would have been lined with tiny shops whose rents helped subsidize the 18th-century elderly. Adorned with red shutters, the stalls now house an array of antiquarian booksellers. At the Kloveniersburgwal end stands a statue of Mother Amsterdam protecting two elders, sculpted by Anthonie Ziesenis in 1786.

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