City stories

There are surprisingly many tracks on our new route that were left behind from important, disruptive events in the history of the city. We’ve put five of these places in the spotlight. These special city stories are told by architectural historian Irmgard van Koningsbruggen.

MAP

No tubes, but homes!

Post-war Amsterdam wanted to modernize; a tunnel under the ‘IJ’, a metro line and even a highway all the way up the Central Station. When in 1975 good houses were to be demolished for the metro line, the bomb burst. With the slogan “no tubes, but houses!” activists are fiercely opposed to the evacuation of the houses. Read more

Shadow on a beautiful canal

The leaf pattern in the fencing around the Hermitage Museum of Amsterdam (designed by Michael van Gessel) gives this canal a lovely appearance. However, a dark shadow clings to this canal. There, in the stone edge of the quay, and directly opposite the houses from which they were taken during the Second World War, are the names of the Jewish inhabitants, with their age, date and place where they were killed. Read more

Eureka!

Nothing is as disruptive as science; with it’s search for new methods and solutions. At the end of the seventeenth century, the plots of the Plantagebuurt were difficult to sell. Instead of investing in bricks and stones, the area became the green heart of the city, a place to recreate, and a place where science blossomed. Read more

Squatters on the Entrepotdok

The highlighted bridges are typical for the Entrepotdok, just as the warehouses. These houses form an almost continuous wall of half a kilometer. In the 19th century these warehouses were used as tax-free storage for foreign goods. King William I hoped these would boost the economy of Amsterdam. In the nineteenseventies, a councillor planned to turn the warehouses into expensive owner-occupied properties. For decades, these properties were occupied by squatters and the inhabitants rose up in protest. Read more

From shameless pride to historical awareness

The Eastern Docklands used to be in direct connection to the sea. In the 17th century, hundreds of ships set off from here every year to sail to all corners of the world. The idea that the Dutch Golden Age, in addition to pride, ought to also invoke a sense of shame is a very recent concept. Read more