Winkel van Sinkel


The Winkel van Sinkel was the first department store opened in the Netherlands. It is located along the Oudegracht canal and near the city hall of Utrecht. Winkel van Sinkel opened in 1839 and you could buy almost anything you wanted. The store was famous throughout the Netherlands and lasted more than fifty years. In 1898 a bank took up residence for over a century. Nowadays Winkel van Sinkel is a grand café and restaurant during the day and transforms into a club at night.

The statues of Winkel van Sinkel

Winkel van Sinkel is a striking building standing by the Oudegracht with its façade featuring four giant cast-iron statues which were fabricated in England, as nowhere else had the technology at the start of the 19th century to produce them. They were so large that they had to be transported to the store by water but unfortunately they were so heavy that the crane off-loading them from the boat collapsed under their weight, earning the statues the nicknames "these fallen English women" and "the English whores."

Songs about Winkel van Sinkel

The fame of Anton Sinkel's shop spread throughout the Netherlands, inspiring a song which (roughly translated) goes:

At the big shop of Sinkel's
All things can be bought
Sweeties and shandies
Undies for dandies
Needles for knitting
And tablets for ****ting.

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