Although now just a café, the Winkel van Sinkel was the first department store opened in the Netherlands. It's 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."
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 shitting.
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