Eastern docklands

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Eastern docklandsThis area comprises Oostelijke Handelskade and the peninsulas to the east of Panamalaan and to the west of the mouth of the Amsterdam-Rhine canal, with in the north the KNSM [Royal Dutch Steam Packet Line] island and in the south Zeeburgerpad. With the construction (1881-1889) of Central Station on three artificial islands in the River IJ, the old harbor front that had occupied the area between the city and the new station disappeared. As a result of this, and to accommodate the growing trade with the East Indies the Eastern commercial docks were constructed, as new and much larger location for the Amsterdam harbor, to the east of the station. At the same time the area to the north of Zeeburgerdijk that consisted of barren marshland, was reclaimed.

A modern port was built with warehouses, railway lines and steam cranes for loading and unloading. Apart from goods this area was also where passenger ships departed and arrived and there was also a cattle market and slaughterhouse. The decline of the area as port started in the late 1930s. There was during the war no port activity in the area. The Nazis used the KNSM island to place Jews on transport to the concentration camps. After the war the demise of the East Indies resulted in diminished passenger traffic. In the context of the General Expansion Plan the Western Port Area was from the 1950s onwards radically expanded. The Eastern Port Area lost more and more its function and was at the beginning of the 1990s turned into a residential neighborhood.

During the major renovations at the end of last century an abandoned and desolate outpost of the city was transformed into a lively new urban district with its own unique atmosphere. The area has become a residential neighborhood where often boldly designed new building work is combined with renovated existing buildings such as warehouses, silos and port buildings and where houseboats are moored at the quays and freighters are converted to residences. Apart from it being a true island environment the architecture also reflects this watery landscape, from buildings that are silhouetted as ships against the sky to water reflecting facades and an entire neighborhood (Java Island) that portrays a modern variant of the old center with canal houses, canals and bridges.

Levantkade on the KNSM island is in de summer a perfect spot for sitting in an outdoor café and enjoying the view of the warehouses and sparkling new building blocks of Sporenburg and Rietlanden on the other side. In the old port control building from where once all the cranes were operated, there is now Club Panama, a nightclub and restaurant. Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant Fifteen opened in 2007 in what used to be the Asia warehouse. Further west, in the direction of Central Station, the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam on Piet Heinkade was opened for cruise ships in 2000. The quay is 600 meters long. Annually about one hundred cruise ships and several hundred Rhine cruise ships berth here. Next to it is since 2005 ‘Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’ with its concert hall for contemporary classical music and attached to it Bimhuis, a concert hall for jazz and improvisation.

Tramline 26, called the IJ tram, runs east from Central Station and has three stops in the area: Passenger Terminal, Kattenburgerstraat and Rietlandpark. The line then continues via Piet Hein Tunnel to the new neighborhood IJburg that is being built to the east of Amsterdam. Tramline 10 bisects from KNSM island via Rietlanden the area vertically.

Accessibility:
From Central Station:
-tramline 26.
-bus line 41, 42,43

From Sarphatistraat:
-tramline 10.

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