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De Wallen

De Wallen, also known as Walletjes or Rosse Buurt, is the largest and best-known red-light district in Amsterdam, a major tourist attraction. It is a network of alleys containing several hundred tiny one-room apartments rented by female prostitutes who offer their services from behind a window. It also has a number of sex shops, sex theatres, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops offering various cannabis products.

De Wallen is located in the heart of the oldest part of Amsterdam, covering several blocks southwest of the church Oude Kerk[?] and crossed by several canals. The red light district has existed since the 14th century and formerly contained many distilleries, mainly catering to sailors.

Prostitution is generally legal in the Netherlands, however some of the working women are illegal immigrants. Health and social services are readily available, but the women are not required to undergo regular health checks. Condoms are used for all sexual contact. The sale of soft drugs in licensed coffee shops, while technically illegal, is officially tolerated; the (quite common) sale of harder drugs in the streets is illegal and prosecuted.

External links

  • The Walletjes (http://www.ignatzmice.com), contains a red-light district FAQ, photo tour, data base of prostitutes etc. Warning: this site contains some nudity.
  • Prostitution Information Centre (http://www.pic-amsterdam.com/index), located directly in the red light district, conducts tours and is involved in various other education endeavors about prostitution.



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