The Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. It is named after the kalvermarkt ("calves market") that was held here until the 17th century.
The Kalverstraat is the most expensive shopping street in the Netherlands, with rents of 2200 euros per square meter (2007). In 2009 it was the 17th most expensive street in the world measured by rent prices. The Kalverstraat is also the most expensive street in the Dutch version of Monopoly.
The street begins at Dam Square and ends roughly 750 meters down near the Munttoren tower at Muntplein square. This tower was once a gate in the medieval city walls. After the walls were built, the street between the Spui and Munttoren came to be known as Byndewyck. This part of the neighborhood, from 1486 until 1629, had a veemarkt (cattle market). Later on the street got the name Kalverstraat, after the cattle market.
In 1345 a eucharistic miracle was said to have taken place in a home between the Kalverstraat in the Rokin. The event is commemorated by the annual Stille Omgang procession. A chapel, the Heilige Stede, was built on the spot where the miracle was said to have occurred. The Heiligeweg connected the Kalverstraat with this pilgrim chapel, and with Leidsestraat.
Painter Piet Mondrian lived at Kalverstraat 154 from 1892 to 1895. The first HEMA department store opened on the Kalverstraat in 1926. On May 7, 1945, drunk German soldiers shooting from the windows of a building at the corner of Kalverstraat and Dam square killed 19 civilians celebrating their liberation from the Nazis and the end of World War II. A fire in the Kalverstraat on May 9, 1977, claimed 33 deaths.
The Amsterdam Museum is located in a former orphanage between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal.