The serene Westelijke Eilanden of Amsterdam reside to the west of the city center, yet seemingly a world apart the hustle and bustle of it. Made up of artificial islands, reclaimed from the ocean during the seventeenth century, this neighborhood is linked to the rest of Amsterdam by wooden bridges. The series of bridges transport people over the waterways and to a distinct side of the Dutch capital.
It is one that is populated with warehouses, cobblestoned lanes and quaint wharves, secret gardens, laidback water communities, and roaming chickens. The area has an old-world charm, making you feel as if time stood still over the years. It is one idyllic place to visit during your private day tours Amsterdam. To enjoy the trip to Western Islands to the fullest, make it a point to explore the neighborhood on foot.
The islands were born during the 17th Century mid as part of Amsterdam port’s expansion. It took place long before the West India Company started building warehouses in order to store goods, comprising grain, wine, herring, tar, cat skin, and salt.
The islands were actually named Vooreiland, Middeneiland as well as Achtereiland but were ultimately accredited better thought out names Bickerseiland, Realenisland, and Prinseneiland. They were named after the Bicker family, after Jacob Reael and three of Orange’s princes.
After two centuries of heyday, the Western Islands ultimately fell out of favor during the early twentieth century when Eastern Islands of Amsterdam took over as the main maritime hub of the city. Abandoned and neglected, the warehouses and residences of Westelijke Eilanden stood dilapidated until the 20th Century mid, when they were discovered once again and revived by those who moved in and became part of the still-existing bohemian community.
People brought back the derelict old buildings in the islands and converted them into apartments. The neighborhood is considered one of the desirable places for habitation anywhere in the capital city of the Netherlands. If you are here as part of a tour Amsterdam program, also make it a point to explore restaurants in Westelijke Eilanden. You can find one rustic-looking modern restaurant named Bickers aan de Werf with a terrace that overlooks the water, the Blaauwhooft that is coveted for its dish named fondue, and Gouden Reael named after a 16th Century Spanish coin.