A bike ride through Amsterdam’s former neighbouring municipalities

Exactly a hundred years ago, 5 neighbouring municipalities were absorbed into Amsterdam: Ransdorp, Nieuwendam, Buiksloot, Watergraafsmeer and parts of Nieuwer- and Ouder-Amstel.  After the sign off, Amsterdam was suddenly about 4 times bigger. That is why Open Monuments Day Amsterdam will shine a light on these areas this year. Until then, citizens can enjoy a taste of what is to come via 4 cycling and walking routes. In the first route people can get to know Nieuwer-Amstel.

The monuments citizens will encounter along the way are not yet open to the public, but the cycling and walking route are a fantastic way to get out and explore their surroundings in Nieuwer-Amstel, learning about the area’s history in the process.

Route 1: Nieuwer-Amstel
Via Vondelpark, through the district of Zuid, passing the former Town Hall of Nieuwer-Amstel (the former City Archives) and the Zorgvlied cemetery, the Riekermolen windmil, the Haarlemmermeerstation, and the former prison at the Havenstraat (the new home of The British School of Amsterdam).

The other 3 routes
In early June the city of Amsterdam will publish a route for people to explore Buiksloot, Nieuwendam and Ransdorp in the district of Noord. In July everyone can follow a route through Sloten, while in August the 4th route through Watergraafsmeer can be followed.

Why did Amsterdam absorb neighbouring municipalities?
In 1921, Amsterdam’s population and economy were growing rapidly. Lack of space to expand was the primary reason that Amsterdam decided to merge with neighbouring municipalities. Not everyone was happy about it at the time, and some municipalities put up fierce resistance. This part of the city’s history will be investigated by exploring the participating monuments that open their doors for free on Open Monuments Day Amsterdam, taking place on 11 and 12 September 2021.

More information about the Nieuwer-Amstel route and the ‘annexation’ can be found at amsterdam.nl/openmonumentendag.

More information about the other 3 neighbourhood routes will be made available in the coming months. Photo Jade Stephens for Unsplash