Amsterdam-Noord

Monday, 13 January 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

© Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0

Amsterdam-Noord is a borough of Amsterdam, Netherlands with a population of about 90,000. The IJ, the body of water which separates it from Amsterdam-Centrum and the rest of the city, is situated southwest of Amsterdam-Noord. The borough, which has an area of 49.01 km² (18.92 square miles), borders the municipalities of Zaanstad, Oostzaan, Landsmeer and Waterland to the north, all part of the province of North Holland like Amsterdam. It borders the Markermeer to the east.

Amsterdam-Noord is mostly home to families who prefer it to the expensive, touristy and crowded Centrum, West and Zuid boroughs. It remains geographically close to major city landmarks, including Amsterdam Centraal station, the Royal Palace and the Rokin. Amsterdam-Noord is best known for its typical wooden houses (mainly located in Schellingwoude and Nieuwendam), historical areas with a low population density (Landelijk Noord) and large open spaces (especially Durgerdam and Ransdorp).

Amsterdam north of the IJ originally consisted of the Volewijck peninsula, which the city was given control over in 1393 (right of craftsmanship; Dutch: recht van ambachtsheerlijkheid). Until 1795, Amsterdam-Noord was used as a gallows field, where the corpses of convicts were hung after the execution as a frightening example. In 1660, the digging of the Buikslotertrekvaart (literal translation: Buiksloter waterway) began just to the east of the Galgenveld, from the IJ north through Volewijck to Buiksloot, Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Edam and Hoorn. In order to complete this project securely, several areas of Amsterdam-Noord were surrounded by dams from 1662 onwards. To finance those works, a toll house was built, to which a small outlet was connected at the end of the 18th century.

The area that now forms Amsterdam-Noord has been intersected by the Noordhollandsch Kanaal since its competition in 1824, which on the south side via the Willemssluizen is connected to the IJ. The canal flows under the A10 motorway coming from Den Helder, and then goes through the Noorderpark (east of Buiksloot and west of Buikslotermeer) and Overhoeks. It was not until the 19th century that this area was urbanised; before construction began, the filling up of marshes with port sludge was necessary. That is how the Buiksloterham (1832–1851) and Nieuwendammerham (1879) came into existence.

Saint Augustine's Church © Gouwenaar/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 A'DAM Tower from 1971, one of Amsterdam Noord's landmarks © Slaunger/cc-by-sa-4.0 Affordable Art Fair in the Kromhouthal © Marion Golsteijn/cc-by-sa-4.0 Amstel Botel © flickr.com - FaceMePLS/cc-by-2.0 Apartment buildings Europa, Oranje and De Zeven Provinciën © Mojito/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Kell Kell/cc-by-sa-4.0 Nieuwendammerdijk © Jvhertum Nieuwendammerdijk © Ron de Muijnck/cc-by-sa-3.0
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A'DAM Tower from 1971, one of Amsterdam Noord's landmarks © Slaunger/cc-by-sa-4.0
After the opening of the North Sea Canal in 1876, the port of Amsterdam became accessible to steamers. The municipality of Amsterdam voted to begin converting northern rural areas into industry fields, a policy which was started by the establishment of the Stoomvaartmaatschappij Nederland, Koninklijke Nederlandse Stoomboot-Maatschappij (KNSM) and others. The Amsterdam Drydock Company, founded on their initiative, built a ship repair yard on the north bank, and the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM) established a new shipyard. In 1900, the municipal council decided to move the sulfuric acid plant of Ketjen, which caused a great deal of disruption in Overtoom (Amsterdam-Zuid), to a new facility in Amsterdam-Noord. In 1908, the Kromhout shipbuilding factory also moved north of the IJ. In 1910, descendants of the Zaanstad manufacturing families Duijvis and Verkade founded the Drakafabriek for low-voltage cables, necessary for the electrification of the Netherlands. Many ferry services were needed to serve the staff of these companies on a daily basis, and a need arose for housing over the IJ. Due to a border change in 1877, Amsterdam’s control was extended over the northern IJ bank to the Waterlandse Zeedijk. In 1900, Johan van Hasselt, the new director of the municipal Public Works Department, made a design for the development of Amsterdam-Noord. There was a lot of room for living and working in this design. It provided space for heavy industry and port-related activity. The construction of a new main canal even required clearing the way for the construction of a bridge over the IJ connecting the area with the inner city. Van Hasselt was not aware of modern insights in public housing, and this led to various conflicts with the management of the municipal Building and Housing Service. They wanted to break with existing practices in Amsterdam, such as high-rise buildings of four or five storeys to accommodate workers. The plan was considerably changed for residential construction in Amsterdam-Noord, but the area already attracted many companies. Those policies and Amsterdam-Noord’s geographical situation attracted Anthony Fokker to establish his aircraft factory after the First World War. In the Nieuwendammerham, the way had already been cleared during this period for the construction of the Vogelbuurt by housing associations. A few years later, the new Municipal Housing Service in Amsterdam took over the construction of the neighbourhood in the Buiksloterham.

In December 1981, Amsterdam-Noord and Osdorp became the first two districts of the municipality of Amsterdam to have their own elected district council and executive board. In April 2012, the EYE Film Institute Netherlands was officially transferred from the Vondelparkpaviljoen, Vondelpark to Overhoeks, Amsterdam-Noord following an inauguration by Queen Beatrix. This made the borough more culturally attractive, since the museum’s new location is only two minutes away from the Centrum borough by ferry.

The Vliegenbos (literal translation: fly forest), Amsterdam-Noord’s main urban park, is known to locals as a place of relax and jog. Other parks in the borough include the Baanakkerspark, Schellingwouderpark, Florapark and Volewijkspark. The two latter parks (located on both sides of the Noordhollandsch Kanaal) merged in 2014 to become the Noorderpark.

Read more on holland.com – Amsterdam Noord, Wikivoyage Amsterdam Noord and Wikipedia Amsterdam Noord (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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