This is an old-timey shot of our new island home on Amsterdam’s Western Islands. We are not exactly sure how old our building is, but it is registered as a State Monument and the oldest neighbouring building dates back from 1648. It was once a warehouse for the shipping industry, then bought in 1953 to store textiles before being converted into apartments many years later.
The Western Islands are comprised of Prinsen, Realen and Bickers islands. Together these form the western islands of the ‘Gouden Reaal’.
These islands were build in the 17th century by pouring sand in the IJ river. During Amsterdam’s Golden Age, the islands were a bustling centre of world trade, filled with warehouses and shipping companies. The islands mainly served the needs of the WIC (West India Trading Company), in contrast with the Eastern Islands, which focused more on the VOC (United East India Company).
Now the islands feel like a very different place than the rest of Amsterdam. They feel like a village in the heart of the city. The warehouses have been preserved beautifully and it is nice to amble through the cobblestone streets, see the lovely houseboats or find a little, hidden gallery or pub.
I found this (not amazing) video of the area - it also features some of Haarlemmerstraat shopping district, which is part of the area called The Jordaan.