The Museum of Prostitution of Amsterdam, is the first and only museum in the world to deal with this subject. It is located, unsurprisingly, in the Red Lights District of the city of canals, a district where prostitution has traditionally been and still is practiced in Amsterdam.
The original idea of the windows where sex workers offer their services was to take them out of the cold streets of the city and give them a degree of protection. The red lights have more of an erotic connotation to attract the attention of potential clients.
Museum of Prostitution of Amsterdam, is located in the Red Lights District in the heart of Amsterdam.
The first thing that strikes you is its location of the Museum of Prostitution of Amsterdam and the Red Lights District. It is close to the Central Station and next to Dam Square, the most important square in the city, in the heart of the historic centre. Here you will find, among other buildings, the Royal Palace and a 16th century Gothic church and the National Monument, an obelisk in homage to the Dutch soldiers who fell in the Second World War.
This district is a true expression of how this activity is treated in the city, with transparency, respect and avoiding any kind of hypocrisy.
Red Lights District is also a very famous area of the city, very visited by all tourists because of the curiosity it arouses, an activity that is treated openly, unlike other cities, which are ashamed and try to hide what has come to be called the oldest profession in the world.
The Netherlands is the world’s first country to legalize prostitution
Holland is the first country in the world to legalize prostitution, having done so in 2000, and it is the only country that allows the consumption of marijuana and its derivatives in authorized premises.
But Amsterdam is not like the rest of the Netherlands. In the other cities, prostitution and drugs are not as evident as in Amsterdam.
All this implies the need for high levels of security. Let’s not forget that its 700,000 inhabitants welcome 19 million tourists every year. Any disturbance of public order is dealt with in minutes.
Notice that police presence in Amsterdam is very evident, serving a discouraging function.
The police act forcefully, as they are not prepared to allow this permissiveness to make the city a dangerous place for residents and visitors alike. Police presence is very evident in the city, serving as a deterrent.
Authorities, open-minded and practical about this and other activities, such as certain drugs, prefer to expose and regulate these practices properly, rather than ban and hide them, which leads to countless problems for society.
Dutch authorities prefer to bring these practices out into the open, in order to regulate them properly.
A visit to the Prostitution Museum can be very instructive, as it deals with the subject with the utmost respect for the people who practice this trade. It tells, through recorded testimony, what the daily reality of these women is like. It allows us to learn about the reasons why a person decides to make a living in this way, the problems they face and the advantages or benefits they obtain.
Far from a simple walk through a picturesque district, it is important to get to know through the museum the social reality of this group, the environment where they work and the protection, health and legal measures that exist around the profession. Learning about other social realities, often hidden, is also culture.
Given that prostitution is as old as mankind, in some periods it was more tolerated than in others, when it was persecuted. The subject matter has much more scope than the very local approach of the Prostitution Museum in Amsterdam.
It would be very interesting to know how the profession has been practiced in the different cultures of the world and in the different periods of human history. It would arouse great curiosity, provided it is treated with rigour and respect.
I consider that it would be interesting to know how the trade has been practiced in different cultures and times.
However, many societies would reject such a project, as they would confuse knowledge and culture, with promotion and encouragement and produce a hypocritical rejection.
Many self-described tolerant and open-minded societies would fail in the face of such a project.
Some people will visit this museum for morbid curiosity, but don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the people who work in this lucrative business, their social problems, their health care, their safety and the other advantages that come with proper regulation of the trade.
Take the opportunity to learn about the lives of sex workers.
But in order not to remain in the clichés about Amsterdam, as a destination for tourists looking for sex and/or drugs, it is interesting to know that this city, which does not deny these two realities, is actually much more and among other things the authorities want to promote other areas of interest such as cultural tourism. I invite you to watch this:
The city has two important museums, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, two institutions of international importance.