The Vondelpark is a large city park located in Amsterdam-Zuid. It is by far the most popular park in Amsterdam.
The Vondelpark is named after seventeenth century poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel, who lived most of his life in Amsterdam. A large monument to Joost van den Vondel can be found near the centre of the park.
In the summer months the Vondelpark is often host to concerts and theatre performances in several open air locations, such as the Vondelpark-openluchttheater.
The park also has several lunchrooms and small restaurants, ponds, fields, public art works, and a diversity of recreational spaces.
For children there is a paddling pool for sunny days, and of course a large variety of playgrounds to choose from.
The Vondelpark was built and opened in 1865 by a small private society formed especially for the purpose (Vereeniging tot Aanleg van een Rij- en Wandelpark). The main intention was freeing up space in the city for recreational walking and horse riding.
Originally the park was named "het Nieuwe Park", but after the statue of Vondel was placed there in 1867, locals started referring to it as Vondel's park. It was officially renamed to Vondelpark in 1880.
The Vondelpark would remain in private hands until 1953, when the society was no longer able to finance the park maintenance and donated it to the city.
The Vondelpark was thoroughly renovated between 1999 and 2010 to improve the drainage, the walking areas and overall conditions for plants and trees in the park.