The Kalverstraat is a large shopping avenue in the centre of Amsterdam. The Kalverstraat runs from the Dam Square up to the Muntplein square. It is accessible for pedestrians only. The Kalverstraat is one of the most popular shopping locations in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
Although the Kalverstraat exhibits a diversity of shops of all shapes and sizes, the street scene is nowadays dominated by larger chain stores. The majority of shops on the Kalverstraat specialise in fashion and fashion accessories.
Most shops on the Kalverstraat are open seven days a week, although they close earlier on Sundays.
The Kalverstraat has a large number of side alleys and streets, several of which are also host to a diversity of shops, lunchrooms and cafés.
One of the entrances to the Amsterdam Museum is also located on the Kalverstraat.
The earliest known historical mentions of the Kalverstraat date back to the 14th century, and even then the street was known as a place of trade and commerce. The name Kalverstraat is derived from the Dutch world "kalf" which literally translates to "young cow". For centuries the Kalverstraat area was home to the "kalvermarkt", Amsterdam's cow market, and several other centres for trading cattle.
In the year 1345 the Kalverstraat was also the site of the legendary "Miracle of Amsterdam", which would secure Amsterdam's position as an important centre for catholic pilgrimage during the centuries that followed.
The "kalvermarkt" cow market was regularly held on the Kalverstraat until the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century the street life of the Kalverstraat would be increasingly dominated by cafés and pubs frequented by the many traders active on the nearby Amsterdam trade and exchange institute (Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser).
It wasn't until the early twentieth century that the Kalverstraat would slowly transform into the shopping street it is today. The first shops that opened there mainly targeted the richer residents of Amsterdam, but later in the century the street became populated with shops catering to all layers of Amsterdam society.