Fodor's Expert Review Oudemanhuispoort
Landmarked by its now-famous pair of chiseled spectacles set over the Oudezijds Achterburgwal pediment—a sweet reference to old age—this passage led to an Oudemannenhuis, or pensioners' house, founded in 1602. Today bikes (not canes) are in evidence here, as this former almshouse is now part of the University of Amsterdam. One charming relic from its 18th century days is the covered walkway, which was once lined with traders selling luxury items, whose rents helped subsidize the elderly. Adorned with red shutters, the stalls now house an array of antiquarian booksellers. Atop the Kloveniersburgwal end stands a group of allegorical figures, sculpted by Anthonie Ziesenis in 1786, representing Mercy with the attributes of abundance (a horn), enlightenment (a lamp), and wisdom (a book) flanked by Old Age and Poverty.