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Tourboats at Rokin, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rederij P. Kooij is one of several popular tour boat companies in Amsterdam, providing trips through the city’s canals.

Kooij is situated in the Rokin, or what’s left of it. This water used to run from the river Amstel to Dam Square. Remember, Amsterdam = Dam in the river Amstel. At the time, the water came up to the buildings at the back of the Kalverstraat (to the left, but not seen in this picture).

Tour guides often claim the name Rokin is a reference to the word ‘rak’ — which means straight canal or straight river.

But that is not how Rokin got its name.

In the 16th century, the houses in the Kalverstraat near Dam square were to be shortened — a procedure at that time referred to, in Dutch, as ‘inrukken’ (krimp or withdraw). The street thus created was at first called Ruck-in, later Rock-in, and most recently Rokin.

In 1936, 2/3 of Rokin — the part between tour company Kooij in this picture and Dam square further north — was filled in.

The yellow contraption in the picture is a piece of equipment used in the building of a new metro subway line — yet another assault on the city by clueless politicians trying to find ever more creative ways to spend taxpayer money while screwing up the city.

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