The Jodenbreestraat (Jewish Broad Street)
Where the Barmes family lived
The street was home to the painter Rembrandt. Philosopher Baruch Spinoza was born in a house that stood on the spot where the Mozes en Aäronkerk church now stands and some of the Barmes family lived there.
The street was originally part of the Sint Antoniesbreestraat. In the 17th century, many Jewish emigrants from Portugal and Spain settled in the neighbourhood, and in the second half of the century, the southern section of the Sint Antoniesbreestraat came to be known as Jodenbreestraat ("Jewish Broad Street").
The street served as a marketplace until the late 19th century. In 1893, the city government ordered the merchants to move their stalls to nearby Waterlooplein square.
During the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, most residents of the Jewish neighourhood deported to the concentration camps where they were murdered. Including many of the the family that Nathan and Sarah left behind. After the war, the neighbourhood was left deserted and many of the houses began to fall apart and were eventually torn down.
In the 1960s, the city government unveiled plans to build a highway through the Jodenbreestraat, as well as a metro line underneath the street. To prepare for construction, Jodenbreestraat was significantly widened by tearing down the remaining houses along the north side of the street. However, following heavy riots in 1975, the highway plans were abandoned.
Across from the Rembrandthuis is a sculpture bearing a poem by Jacob Israël de Haan. The Mozes en Aäronkerk church stands at the southern end of the street. Directly behind the Jodenbreestraat is Waterlooplein square with its daily flea market.