Stunning synagogues, striking buildings and impressive memorials grace the streets of Amsterdam's old Jewish quarter. In the heart of the neighborhood, an area of less than one square kilometer, is the Jewish Cultural Quarter. Here you can learn about Jewish culture, history and traditions -- all with one ticket.
The Jewish Historical Museum is housed in four monumental synagogues and offers a unique look at Jewish life in the Netherlands, past and present, in all its complexity. The museum has a large multimedia collection, ranging from paintings to films, everyday objects and 3D presentations, and always offers one or two temporary exhibitions. Especially for children, there's the Children's Museum: set up as the home of a Jewish family, a playful way to learn about Jewish life.
The Portuguese Synagogue was built in 1675 and is still used as a house of worship, but it's also open to the public -- also for the (almost) monthly candlelight concerts. The seventeenth-century interior is still fully intact. Inside the Treasure Chambers visitors can admire a unique collection of silver ceremonial objects made of silver, gold, silk and brocade. The oldest still functioning Jewish library in the world is also here: Ets Haim-Livraria Montezinos, which is included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.
The Hollandsche Schouwburg is the National Holocaust Memorial: a former theater that was turned into a deportation center during World War II. Tens of thousands of people were held here, not knowing what fate awaited them, until they were deported to concentration and extermination camps. This is now a memorial site with a Wall of Names, an Eternal Flame and a small exhibition.
Currently, the future National Holocaust Museum (in its first developmental stage) is open to the public. Temporary exhibitions and events give a glimpse of the museum to come.