History of the Jordaan
geschiedenisfotoThe Jordaan was build at the large expansion of the city in 1612, as a district for the working class and emigrants. This objective fulfilled the district reasonably up to the 19th century, then the impoverishment started. Because of the occupation of Germay in the years 40-'45 it became more terrible. So in the seventies a large modernisation was started. By then the district was discovered by a new generation occupants: artists, students, young entrepreneurs. But the old inhabitants moved other neighborhoods and cities. Partly by these new inhabitants the Jordaan has changed from a slum area to a district for the rich, with lots of boutiques, terraces, restaurants and pubs.

The construction of the Jordaan
noordermarktvroegerThe relatively tolerant Amsterdam has as from the middle ages an enormous attraction on strangers. Around 1600 Amsterdam bursts out its borders, more than fourteenthousand people knock annually at the gates. In one century time the population of Amsterdam increased from 50,000 to 220,000 inhabitants. In that busy construction period The town government needed many ground workmen, carriers, masons and carpenters and especially therefore reduced the gate fee.
The Jordaan in golden the age
westerkerkThe first occupants of the Jordaan had it rather good. The in 1602 set up VOC brought a lot of work. There is a demand for craftsmen, tailors, carpenters and other supplier, but also to officers and sailors. The Brouwersgracht is with its drawbridges easy accessible for the large cargo liners. In the warehouses a part of the colonial products is stored. Because of this there starts an industrial area with beer breweries, paper mills and little factories. The bakeries on the Anjeliersgracht (now Westerstraat) provides the trade fleet with rusk (scheepsbeschuit).
Rembrandt van Rijn
rembrandtThe in Leiden born painter Rembrandt van Rijn decided in 1631 to move to Amsterdam. There he met the mayors daughter Saskia van Uylenburgh (which was originaly from Friesland). In 1634 they got married and moved into a house in the nieuwe Doelenstraat. Five years later they bought a merchant house in the Jodenbreestraat, what now is known under the name 'Rembrandthouse'. But they where not able to enjoy eachother for a very long time, because in 1642 Saskia died, leaving the by then eight months old son Titus behind.
The impoverishment of the neighbourhood

looiersgrachtOfficially if was not allowed to built within farmyards, but this rule was frequently violated in the Jordaan. Landlords built small cheap houses behind the existing housing which could be reached via a corridor which where no more then 1 meter wide. These corridors are between the houses or under the staircases. In the 18th century the Jordaan has 972 corridors to 1690 backhouses, in which 3795 families lived.

The Jordaan during the second world war
razziaIn 1940, the Germans invaded the Netherlands and occupied the country. In the Jews neighbourhood from Amsterdam, many Jews were picked up or were molested. In 1941, Jewish boxing clubs started to form riot teams, which fought back. These teams had good contacts with clubs from the Jordaan and Kattenburg, which regular fought along.
The revival of the Jordaan
westerstraatWhen in the sixties the years of prosperity came, the civil servants thought it was time for large-scale replanning of the City. All the small impractical houses had to replaced by large blocks of new houses. Therefore the city council was also focussing on the Jordaan, a district which they had let ‘decay’ on purpose for many years, so that they could turn it down in one strike and replace it with new houses.