Booming Amsterdam De aanleg van de grachten in de Gouden Eeuw. Tentoonstelling in het Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 15 februari – 26 mei 2013          


Booming Amsterdam

In 1613, four hundred years ago this year, Amsterdam city council decided to build the canal ring. This ambitious expansion was a direct consequence of the city’s turbulent growth. From the late sixteenth century onwards, Amsterdam developed into an international commercial metropolis that surpassed most other European cities in wealth, power and population. It attracted people from all over the world. Amsterdam was truly booming.

Around 1585, Amsterdam had a population of 30,000. A hundred years later, that figure had increased by a factor of more than six, to over 200,000. In the Golden Age, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Amsterdam in search of work. They came from all over the Low Countries, from Germany, France, England and Scandinavia. A smaller number came from much further afield: from the Netherlands’ trading posts in North America, Brazil, West Africa and around the Indian Ocean. Amsterdam’s registers of intended marriages reveal that the majority of the city’s population had been born elsewhere. The city’s international character was decisive in propelling Amsterdam to prosperity in the seventeenth century.

The major expansions of 1613 and 1663 were gigantic urban development projects, bigger than the expansions of all other Dutch cities taken together. Maps show clearly the different stages in the city council’s decision-making process. They show how canals and districts now famous, from Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht to the Jordaan and the Plantage, were built. A new residential area was created along the main canals: houses overlooking grand, spacious canals, lined with rows of trees. The deep plots of land provided space for large gardens. Leading architects such as Philips Vingboons and Adriaen Dortsman designed monumental houses.

Booming Amsterdam uses original maps, architectural plans and cityscapes to tell the story of a unique period in the Golden Age, the era in which the city acquired the half-moon shape for which it has become famous.

Europe’s most pleasant city
Amsterdam served as a magnet to tens of thousands of immigrants, growing into one of the largest metropolises in Europe. It was the third most densely populated city, after London and Paris. Visitors were impressed by the canals and the dynamic atmosphere, as the French writer Marie des Jardins observed in 1688:

‘Amsterdam is a beautiful city. Its streets are wide and clean, and are crossed by canals lined by tall, handsome trees. … People flock there from all parts of the world, in such numbers and diversity that one is reminded of ancient Babylon. … Amsterdam is the most pleasant place in Europe, and there is not a single Persian or Armenian who would not feel at home there.’

15 februari t/m 26 mei 2013

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Public Transport tram 16, 24 en 25 stop Keizersgracht

Admission fees:
Adults €6
Children from 12 to 17 €4, Children under 12
free of charge.
Holders of CJP, Museumkaart €4. Holders
City Card Amsterdam free of charge

19 augustus 2012 | Filed under Tentoonstellingsinformatie and tagged with .


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