Old-West

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Oud West (Old West) is part of the 19th century urban expansion. It was built as a neighborhood for manual workers. It is within walking distance of Vondelpark and Leidseplein. This urban district has an intimate, compact and small-scale character while being also lively and urban. It is not a tourist district.

Old-West contains three major streets that run approximately from east to west: Overtoom, Kinkerstraat and De Clerqstraat.

Overtoom runs parallel to Vondelpark. This road was laid in the Middle Ages in response to the Miracle of Amsterdam. This miracle allegedly took place on 15 March 1345 in a house on what is now Kalverstraat (close to Dam Square), when a sick man received the Eucharist from a priest. The man threw up and his vomit was thrown into the lit fireplace where however the communion wafer refused to burn. At the location not long after the miracle a chapel was built: Heilige Stede (Holy City). For the many pilgrims who visited the chapel at the Holy Way, as Overtoom was then called, was laid between 1360 and 1370. Even to this day a procession continues to be held around 15 March in the center of Amsterdam, the Silent Procession, which thousands of people attend.

Between Vondelpark and Overtoom there is something really special. A nondescript entrance in Vondelstraat gives you access to one of the most beautiful city riding school of Europe, ‘De Hollandsche Manege’. It is the oldest riding school in the Netherlands. The building has been there for 125 years, but De Hollandsche Manege goes back to 1744. In the foyer, with its decorative woodcarving and plasterwork, you can enjoy a cup of coffee.

On the other side of Overtoom is the WG site, at the place where the Pesthuys (plague hospital), the Buitengasthuis and until the 1980s the Wilhelmina Gasthuis used to be located. The site provides accommodation to living/working spaces for artists, various studios, a gallery and an exhibition area for contemporary art. What used to be the Pathological Anatomical Laboratory is to be converted in the next few years into an area where there will be exhibition areas, three cinema auditoriums, a media café/restaurant and a bookstore.

On Kinkerstraat, a working class area and shopping street, you will find every day the friendly and inexpensive Ten Kate market where you can buy fresh fish, vegetables, flowers, clothing and household items.

If you walk through the Ten Kate market you will arrive in the Bellamy neighborhood with its friendly, village character. This neighborhood contains many historical buildings and at various points the original low polder level is still visible. There are also nowadays many small businesses with premises in the neighborhood.

At Bellamyplein is the former tram depot. From 2010 you will find here the Hallen Theatre.

In Bilderdijkstraat is the building of Lettergieterij Tetterode. Designed and built in 1950 by architects Merkelbach/Elling, it is one of the best examples of new business architecture in Amsterdam. Currently it houses studios for artists and the Asschenbach gallery.

Accessibility of Old-West from Central Station:
Tram 17 goes to Kinkerstraat
Tram 1 goes to Overtoom
Tram 13 goes to De Clerqstraat

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