Walk Amsterdam’s Marken & Kadijken
This week we invite you to be transported back to Amsterdam’s booming industrial past as you discover the neighborhoods of Marken and Kadijken. Since the middle of the 17th century, these areas of the city have been home to everything from vast warehouses to pumping engine rooms. Its fascinating history and industrious past lives on in the striking architecture and historic monuments that have been left in its wake, many of them having been repurposed as contemporary working, living and dining spaces. And if all that wasn’t enough to reel you in, how about the chance to spot some zebras and giraffes along the way? We thought that might do it. Enjoy your walk!
Enjoy your walk!
Total Walking Time: 43 min
FYI: the technology behind Google Maps is sometimes a bit shaky, so sometimes you need to click the link more than once, or zoom in to get the route view. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Best Roast en Route: Bakers and Roasters
Just around the corner from your first stop sits a well known destination for brunch and coffee enthusiasts, Bakers and Roasters. This is a lovely spot with a cosy interior, created by a Kiwi and Brazilian duo. And these guys seriously know their coffee! They also have a strong sustainable ethos, and proudly only partner with local, organic and ethical suppliers. So you can feel doubly great about your low-impact, deliciously brewed coffee!
Highlight A: Entrepotdok Gebouw (poortgebouw)
Welcome to your pretty impressive first stop! You’re looking up at the gatehouse to the Entrepotdok, constructed in 1830 by architect Jan de Greef. The gatehouse was erected to seal off the collection of 84 warehouses behind, which were used to store transit trade and designed to avoid paying import duties on the goods before they continued on their journey. After all, we Dutch are known for our industrious spirit! Can you spot the staff of Mercury, the god of trade, on the pediment? The 84 warehouses behind the gatehouse were therefore only accessible by water or this very gatehouse. In the 1980s the buildings were converted into social housing, winning the Europa Nostra prize. The gatehouse is a now protected national monument!
Highlight B: Oosterkerk
The Oosterkerk is a 17th century reformed church on the Oostelijke Eilanden, standing in the center of what used to be the booming heart of trade and shipbuilding. The Oosterkerk hasn’t had a clerical function since the 1960s, but the incredible acoustics of its circular central space make it perfect for community events, concerts and exhibitions. There happens to be a free concert every third Sunday of the month: something to keep in mind for rainy fall afternoons!
Highlight C: Molen de Gooyer
The De Gooyer windmill was built in 1609 and originally stood on the site of the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne. When the barracks were constructed the windmill had to be moved as they stole its thunder wind (sorry, wind, I mean wind, I couldn’t resist). It is the tallest wooden windmill in the Netherlands at 26.6m high. The windmill is the last remaining example of those that used to stand on the fortified city walls to mill corn.
The Ij Brewery is nestled just below the windmill in an old municipal bath house. Despite being referred to in common parlance as the windmill brewery, the two are unrelated. The beer is very tasty, and is not at all brewed in a bath.
Highlight D: Oranje-Nassau Kazerne
Construction began on the barracks (Kazerne) in 1810 after Napoleon ordered a building that would simultaneously house 2,400 troops and impose the magnificence of his empire on the citizens of Amsterdam. Ooh la la.
Each citizen of Amsterdam was ordered to pay 5% of the rental value of his house towards the construction of the barracks. Those who refused had to give room and board to French soldiers instead. A mon avis, it is likely the tax was more of a lasting imposition of the architecture.
The French left Amsterdam not long after construction of the barracks was completed in 1813, and the Dutch army took up residence. Henceforth, the Dutch Royal coat of arms is displayed on the building, which includes the French phrase Je Maintiendrai (I will preserve), I guess we can say the French have had a lasting impact.
Fun fact: between 2 periods when the building was used by the Dutch army, it housed animals from the Artis zoo across the canal. Today the barracks houses offices and apartments.
Check out the South and the North side to see the impressive emblems on the building.
Highlight E: Kalenderpanden
Each of the twelve warehouses which make up the Kalenderpanden bear the name of a month of the year, earning them the collective title of the calender buildings. In the 1990s, these huge spaces were squatted, and became integrated living and working spaces. Providing unusually affordable concerts, plays and workshops to the public, the Kalenderpanden were considered by many to represent an important social and cultural attribute to the city. Controversially, in the year 2000 the battle to evict the squatters and build luxury apartments in their place was won by the municipality, culminating in an aggressive standoff. Since then, the warehouses have come to symbolize the struggle over the future of Amsterdam and its affordability for its residents.
Highlight F: Kromhoutwerf
The spectacular Kromhoutwerf represents the only shipyard left in this part of the city, dating back to over a century when the country was at the very height of its Industrial Revolution. It is now open to the public as a ship engine museum, showcasing mainly the famous Dutch firm Kromhout. You can even watch the restoration process in action inside!
Fun story: one of our guides once fished out a boat from the canals to fix up for himself. Once this was all set and done, he claimed this boat as his own, which is actually legal. To finish off the project, he had bought some fenders (one of those rubber things so the boat doesn’t slam into the side wall) and had them pumped up at the Kromhoutwerf. The guy working there was so excited about our guide fixing up the boat, that he offered the space at Kromhoutwerf as free working space. He said that his first boat he also fished out of the canal and was the boat he loved the most. The sparkle in his eye gave away how genuine he was.
Highlight G: Nijlpaardenbrug + Artis
This beautiful bridge painted in bright primary colors has a name with a great backstory! You’re standing on the Hippo bridge, designed by Alexander van den Boogert. He imagined that hippos had to walk from the ships at Entrepot dock to their new home at the city’s zoo, Artis! His initial proposal to the municipality included sculptures of hippos wallowing in the canal below, which we’re sad to say was rejected. Boogert’s consolation prize was hippo shaped name plates on the bridge, a totally unique feature. Unfortunately, your chances of spotting hippos lurking in the waters below are low. But you might have caught an unexpected glimpse of zebras and giraffes across the water in the zoo en route! Built in 1838, Artis is one of the oldest zoos in Europe, and home to over 900 species of animals. Animal themed bridges clearly caught on, because there are now five bridges which surround Artis which are named after species! Look out for the Donkey, Pelican, White cat and Zebra bridges…
Your Fav Hidden Gems
The above highlights are just some of our favorite spots along the way. If something catches your eye while en route, share a picture with us so we can share with the group next week. Email is the best.
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