Amsterdam-South

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The area ‘New South’ is part of the major urban expansion ‘Plan-Niew-Zuid’ that was realized between 1917 and 1940 under the direction of the architect H.P. Berlage (also known from his stock exchange building on Damrak at Central Station). The area described here embraces the Beethovenstraat area in the east between north and south Amstel canals and stadium district in the west. This part was planned for occupation by better-off Amsterdammers, who still for the most part live here. The section that is designated ‘RAI’ on the CityMundo street plan was originally the eastern section of ‘plan south’.

The stadium in the west was built in 1928 for the Olympic Games. In this stadium the Olympic flame was first lit and then by an employee of the Amsterdam gas utility. The stadium was completely renovated in 1995.

Along the North Amstel Canal, Olympiaweg runs from west to east and then continues as Apollolaan, along which substantial villas are situated, many with large gardens adjacent to the water, mooring jetties and luxurious and often antique yachts. Halfway along Apollolaan the Amsterdam Hilton is located on a spacious, parklike square. Together with the Amstel Hotel this is one of the two most prestigious hotels of the city. Many anecdotes and events are connected to this hotel. In 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono held here their ‘bed-inn for peace’; in 1983 the godfather of the Amsterdam drugs mafia, Klaas Bruinsma was shot to death in front of this hotel.

From the Hilton hotel Minervalaan runs southwards emerging at the largest square of Amsterdam. This square too is part of the plan-new-south, but it can be clearly seen from its style that this section was built later than major sections of New South that are constructed in the style of the Amsterdam School. Minervaplein is constructed on a very large scale with stately residential blocks that are tall and austere. The window frames are not timber, but rather steel.

ArtZuid – From August 16 through October 26, 2009 you will find a fantastic sculpture route in the park-like Apollolaan and Minervalaan:

Not far from the Minervaplein is the stylish Beethovenstraat. In the nineteen-thirties many Amsterdam Jews moved from the center to these new neighborhoods in South and in 1940 forty percent of the Jews were living in the vicinity of the Beethovenstraat in Amsterdam South. One of the many books that have been written about the vicissitudes of the Amsterdam Jews during the Second World War is the gripping book by the writer Grete Weil, the novel ‘Tramhalte Beethovenstraat’ that is based here.

In the Beethovenstraat there are many fashion boutiques and shops with in the main luxury products.

This neighborhood is easy to reach from Schiphol via the railway station Zuid-WTC from which tramline 5 runs via the Beethovenstraat to the city center, the Leidseplein and Central Station.

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