Anne Frank Walking Tour
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Anne Frank's House
Anne Frank's House, the most prominent cultural landmark in Amsterdam.
For those who wondered about who Anne Frank is and why her so-called house is so popular, here is a bit of information for you to read. Anne Frank is a Jewish girl who was born on 12 June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. She and her family had to escape the persecution and anti-Semitism of the ruling Nazi regime in World War II by hiding in an Achterhuis, the secret annex at Prisengracht 263, Amsterdam. During her time in hiding, she writes about her experience, herself, and the events that happened during her hiding in her diary, which she just received on her birthday shortly before she exiles. After 2 years in hiding, Anne Frank and seven other refugees were discovered and sent to the notorious concentration camps, where unspeakable atrocities were conducted by the Nazis. Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, was one of the few survivors of such camp. After the war, he traveled back to Amsterdam in search for his wife and daughters, only to find that they were gone. He found Anne Frank's diary and become moved by her writings. His friends convinced him that the diary has such emotional and expressive power that it needs to be published. So people from all over the world would learn Anne Frank's story afterwards, and the secret annex or Achterhuis that she used during her hiding would be transformed into a museum that is known today as Anne Frank House.
Inside the museum, one can find many personal objects and document that belonged to the Frank family that have been preserved by the helpers and other people in the secret annex. These items can be seen in both the permanent displays and temporary exhibitions of the museum, which became the main attraction of the museum. By looking at the information on the displayed items, one can travel back in time to learn the story of Anne Frank by browsing through her collections. Many people were emotionally moved when lingering through the displays of the original manuscripts. One thing to note, be advised that visitors are not allowed to take any photos of some sort during their visit as it might disturb other visitors who are having an emotional experience. It also might have a harmful effect to the fragile artifacts that were being displayed. The most famed item in the collection is of course the diary of Anne Frank itself, a red and green checkered book filled with her handwriting. Other items includes a drawing made by Anne Frank during her school time, a piece of Margot Frank's (Anne Frank's eldest sister) bus pass ticket that was valid until 1933, and various letters. One such letter is a parting letter written by Fritz Pfeffer (one of the people who hid together with the Frank family at the secret annex) for his fiancée, Charlotte Kaletta, dated 15 November 1942. Some of the mementoes from various Anne Frank-related form of literature, such as stage plays, movie adaptations, novels, posters, and many more, are also put on display in the museum.
Another attraction that will surely take visitors through a journey back in time is via the surviving portraits and photographs of the Frank family. A fine selection of these pictures are often placed in a temporary exhibition in the museum. The pictures themselves were taken by professional photographers of that time in monochrome. From these photos, the visitors can re-imagine the life of Anne Frank and her family prior to their hiding. Other pictures includes the photographs of the people living together with Anne Frank in the secret annex, such as the van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer. The photographs of the helpers, the people who sheltered Anne Frank and the others, are also put on display at the museum. It tells us about their dedication and efforts during the hard times, as they are the only connection between the people in hiding and the outside world, and they were facing a death penalty should they be discovered providing shelter for Jews.
The secret annex, as translated from the original word Achterhuis, is a relatively spacious empty section of the building located on Prinsengracht 263. The property itself was owned by Otto Frank's company and is surrounded by many small companies. During the World War II, most hiding places are small spaces such as damp cellars or dusty attics. The secret annex in Anne Frank House was rather different as it holds enough room for two families. The entrance itself was hidden behind a movable bookcase, which was constructed by the warehouse manager, Mr. Voskuijl, to prevent the people in hiding from being discovered.
How to Get Tickets?
As of now, Anne Frank House requires all visitors to purchase an online ticket with a time slot prior to visiting. Every purchased tickets will be issued up from two months in advance until the same day. The demand for online tickets is often greater than the supply, especially during holiday periods and at weekends. Therefore, it is advised to plan your visit and purchase an online ticket beforehand.
What Should I Wear?
There isn't dresscodes and you may use your preferable attire at all time.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit is the first time slot available. In reality, there is no actual best time to visit as the experience may vary depending on the visitors and other situations. Since the visitors to Anne Frank House are limited as they have to book the ticket beforehand, you don't have to worry about being over-crowded. However, the city itself can be over-crowded so it is generally advisable to avoid holiday seasons such as summer holiday.
Will I Need a Guide?
No tour guide available at Anne Frank House. However, as it is relatively small, a visit to Anne Frank House usually takes around an hour and it's perfectly fine without any guide accompanying you.
How To Get There?
Anne Frank House is located at Prinsengracht 263, but the entrance is through Westermarkt 20. If you go by train, it would take a 20 minute walk from the Central station. Alternatively, you can take tram 13, 14, and 17 as they stop near the location.
Be advised that visitors are not allowed to take any photos of any sort during their visit as it might disturb other visitors who are having an emotional experience. It might also have a harmful effect to the fragile artifacts that were being displayed.