The Noordermarkt is an outdoor market held every Saturday in front of the Noorderkerk in the centre of Amsterdam. It is located at the Prinsengracht end of the Westerstraat, which is a lively street with many shops, cafés and restaurants.
The Noordermarkt can be divided up into two main parts:
- The northern is made up of stalls selling antiques, art, textiles, accessories, curiosities and second hand goods.
- The southern part is often referred to as the farmer's market (Boerenmarkt), and consists mainly of stalls run by ecological farmers selling biologically produced foods and products. The biological farmer's market on the Noordermarkt square started in 1987 and was the first of its kind in the Netherlands.
The history of the Noordermarkt goes back almost four centuries, making it one of the oldest market locations in Amsterdam still in use. It's name is derived from the Noorderkerk church located on the square where the market is held. Most of the square was originally in use as a burial ground around the church.
In 1623 the Noordermarkt started of as a small local market for household pottery and utensils. It would soon grow and diversify as can be seen in some of the paintings of the seventeenth century painter Rembrandt van Rijn who regularly shopped here for all sorts of props and requisites for this artwork. Around 1688 the Noorderkerk cemetery was moved elsewhere, giving the market more space to grow.