Why is the "XXX" sign so common in Amsterdam and does it have anything to do with adult entertainment?

By TravelWiseJan 1, 2024 20:28 PMNews
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Why is the "XXX" sign so common in Amsterdam and does it have anything to do with adult entertainment?
Three oblique crosses became the symbol of Amsterdam. Source: Pixabay

Tourists who first come to Amsterdam usually remain intrigued by the sign found on literally every street, consisting of three "XXX" crosses. Many foreigners associate it with adult entertainment, given the fame of the red light district.

But do Amsterdam's XXX really have anything to do with the city's reputation as the capital of the sex industry? According to Fodors, it is not. The history of this symbol is much deeper and more interesting, but it is undeniable that souvenir traders use it for their own purposes.

"XXX" became a symbol of Amsterdam back in 1505, and the oblique cross itself is a globally accepted designation of St. Andrew's Cross. St. Andrew is considered by locals to be the patron saint of the city.

Why is the "XXX" sign so common in Amsterdam and does it have anything to do with adult entertainment?
Three crosses became the symbol of the city. Source: Pixabay

According to one version, the three St. Andrew's crosses on the coat of arms of Amsterdam stand for "valor, firmness, and mercy." According to another belief, the symbol of St. Andrew protects the city from fires, plague, and other disasters. Three crosses also appear on the city's flag.

Why is the "XXX" sign so common in Amsterdam and does it have anything to do with adult entertainment?
Three crosses are also on the city's flag. Source: Pixabay

But that's not all. Attentive tourists might have noticed that literally every corner of Amsterdam is marked with this symbol. It's on buildings, posters, taxis, bus stops, road signs, and other places. This is how the residents pay tribute to their history.

Why is the "XXX" sign so common in Amsterdam and does it have anything to do with adult entertainment?
This sign is everywhere in the city. Source: Pixabay

Although the sign has religious origins, it is now often used on souvenirs, some of which do have a sexual message. However, you can also find white symbols on other trinkets.

Why is the "XXX" sign so common in Amsterdam and does it have anything to do with adult entertainment?
The people of Amsterdam are proud of their history. Source: Pixabay
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