1. Plenty of gold leaf decorates the entrance to Artis – this to symbolise man as the caretaker of God’s creations. © Henry Salman 2. Artis is not only a zoo (or a ‘people’s zoo’), but it is also a flower garden. © Artis Ronald van Weeren
institute’s mission – to promote a love and regard for nature – meant that some of the animals had to go. Polar bears, for example, which require a natural habitat of polar ice, have disappeared from the zoo. Why a people’s zoo? Why is Artis so emphatically referred to as a ‘people’s zoo’? Professor Erik de Jong’s answer is just as logical as it is appealing: “In accordance with our mission, it is essential that people are also given a central role. Our park, with its diversity of animals, exhibits the entire scope of nature’s forms and beauty. Because of this, those who loves nature – and that includes almost everyone who comes to Artis – can fully enjoy what they like, or consider interesting or peculiar. When it comes to achieving that goal, our animals are the incentive for the most varied ways of experiencing nature. Artis is a popular park, with playgrounds for even the youngest of visitors. But, Artis will never become an attraction park. We place a lot of emphasis on style and class.” alternative museum neighbourhood Foreign visitors are primarily preoccupied with the entertainment and hustle and bustle that often takes place in the heart of Amsterdam. Yet
the neighbourhood that surrounds Artis, and is situated in the eastern part of the city centre, is just as attractive. With places such as the Hermitage, the Tropenmuseum (Tropics Museum) , the Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch Theater), the Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum) and the Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden), this area also boasts plenty of historical flair. It is “out-of-the-ordinary”, as the professor calls his neighbourhood: less busy, even though it has quite a few nice cafés. Consequently, it is a challenge to get to know and experience the city in a different, less hectic, way. park for all seasons In 2013, it is exactly 175 years since Artis came into existence. And should you think that old things wear out and get rusty, than Artis will prove the opposite. Amsterdam’s zoological garden is blossoming like never before. All of the animals enjoy the attention from the visitors, and appear calm and content. The more than 80,000 donors who support Artis (both materially and financially) visit regularly and enjoy themselves every time anew. In all seasons, the park has an undeniable beauty – one which visitors experience in their own unique ways.
www.artis.nl 63 www.cityrush.nl
magazine for the hotel guests from the 4 an 5 star hotels in and around amsterdam