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't Gasthuys

't Gasthuys (The Guesthouse) is one of Amsterdam's favorite brown cafes.


Popular with students, tourists and others, the Gasthuys is known for serving good food at a remarkably decent price.


Few people suspect that the Guesthouse is named after the erstwhile hospital across the canal.


Fewer people still (Amsterdam locals included) will be able to tell you what 'Grimburgwal' -- the name of the street on which the cafe is located -- means.


Grim = a muddy ditch, burg = a castle or fortress, and wal = wall.


During the 14th century, and up to the year 1425, the Grimburgwal marked Amsterdam’s southern-most boundary. There was no castle, but a rampart had been built along the natural water way.


The alley next to the cafe is called "Het Gebed Zonder End," which means The Neverending Prayer -- a tongue-in-cheek reference to the many monasteries that long ago used to be located in the area.

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Taken on August 25, 2007