Vondelspark. AMSTERDAM. 40. Route. 275
was founded at Monnickendam in 1784 by Jan Nieuwenhuijzen, a
Baptist preacher, but transferred to Amsterdam in 1787. Its object is
the promotion of the education and moral culture of the lower classes.
Members subscribe 5Y4 fl. annually, and eight or more subscribers
residing in a provincial town or district constitute a sub-committee,
whose sphere of action is called a department. There are upwards of
330 such departments, comprising 17,400 members. The principal
board of control is at Amsterdam, where the general meeting of the
society takes place annually on the second Tuesday in August.
The society endeavours to attain its objects (1) by promoting the
education of the young, even after they have left school, training
teachers, publishing school-books and educational literature, found¬
ing libraries, Sunday-schools, etc.; (2) by promoting the enlight¬
enment and culture of adults, publishing popular and instructive
literature, instituting public lectures, founding reading-rooms,
savings-banks for widows, orphans, etc.; (3) by bestowing rewards
and honours on persons who have distinguished themselves by acts
of humanity or generosity.
Religion. The complete religious toleration which has long pre¬
vailed in Holland has led to the formation of numerous different Sects,
an enumeration of whose churches will afford the best idea of their
respective numbers. The oldest and most interesting churches are the
Reformed, 10 in number, embellished with the tombs of celebrated
Dutchmen. The following are also Protestant places of worship: 2 Walloon,
1 English Episcopalian, 1 English Presbyterian, 1 'Remonstrant' (a sect
without definite creed, but which regards the Bible as its sole guide;
see p. 304), 2 Evangelic Lutheran (a sect which professes to adhere to
the spirit rather than to the letter of the Augsburg Confession), 1 'Re¬
established Lutheran' (differing slightly from the 'Reformed' church),
1 Baptist, 3 Reformed Christian, formerly named 'Christian Seceding'.
Then 19 Roman Catholic, including 2 Jansenist (p. 293). There is also a
Biguinage here in the style of those at Ghent and Bruges (see pp. 25, 46),
which has been in existence since the 14th cent, (in the vicinity of the
Kalverstraat, near No. 18 of our plan). Finally the 10 Jewish synagogues
(p. 273), and the meeting-house of the Free Brethren, built in 1880.
To the S., outside the Leidsche Barriere, where the prison rises
on the left (E.), lies the pleasant "'Vondelspark (PL D, 7), which
covers an area of about 75 acres. In the middle of the extensive
grounds rises a statue, erected in 1867, of Joost van den Vondel,
the most distinguished of Dutch poets (d. 1679). He was born at
Cologne in 1587, and afterwards went to Holland, with his parents,
who were Mennonites. His principal works were tragedies with
choruses, one of which, Gysbrecht van Amstel, founded on the tra¬
dition of the destruction of the city of Amsterdam in 1296, is still
occasionally performed. Near the monument is a cafe, and farther
on is a dairy, where fresh milk is sold. — Tramway, see p. 251.
Travellers interested in horticulture should visit the 'Linnaeus
Garden', a botanical garden, with an agricultural and horticultural
school, situated about 1 M. to the E. of the city, outside the Muider
Poort (p. 273; PL I, 3).