In these days of international travel, it is sometimes said that all the world’s major cities are beginning to resemble each other. But Irish visitors to Amsterdam may find themselves stepping on a little piece of home; the city’s most exclusive shopping street has been repaved using Irish Blue Limestone.
C. Hooftstraat (known to locals simply as ‘The PC’) is named after Peter Corneliszoon Hooft, a famous Dutch writer and historian. Running through the southern part of Amsterdam’s old centre, it is home to some of the Netherlands’ smartest shops, including many famous names in fashion such as Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Dior. In a recent survey, it emerged as the public choice for world’s third-best shopping street, and even for those who cannot afford the eye-watering prices, it is a place where window-shoppers can be celebrity-spotters too – many international stars do their fashion shopping here.
C. Hooftstraat was repaved in 2016 by Amsterdam City Council using stone supplied by a Dutch contractor, Stone Base B.V., a natural stone company based in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, close to Rotterdam. For this most prestigious of locations, Irish Blue Limestone, with its reputation for durability and non-slip qualities, was a natural choice for the all-important kerbing.
The street, which is three hundred metres long, was closed temporarily during the renovation, which involved widening the pavement on one side and adding trees, seating areas, and parking bays. The new Irish Blue Limestone kerbs contrast beautifully with the traditional Dutch red brick used for the pavement. Naturally, this being Holland, a bicycle lane was added as well. The re-opening of the street, in time for Christmas shopping, was a major public event, and the street has continued to increase in popularity, with more and more exclusive shops deciding to open here.