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This Is What Amsterdam Looked Like in 1951

Posted on: August 17, 2016


Amsterdam in Pictures: Leidse Square

10x Amsterdam in Pictures: 66 Years Ago

The picture above shows two American soldiers on a tandem bicycle 6 years after the end of WWII. It was taken on 6 September 1951 at Leidse Square – next to the city theatre. The front soldier had a single yellow chevron on his left sleeve, meaning he was a private first class (6th grade).

As true history nerds we love old pics, especially when they were made in the city we love most – Amsterdam! We are fascinated in knowing how things were in the past and how they are nowadays.  Some people say “In the past everything was better”, but is that really so? Maybe these pictures will answer that question. Let’s have a look.

This is what Amsterdam looked like in the year 1951

Amsterdam in Pictures: Dam Square

Amsterdam in Pictures: Dam Square 1951
Amsterdam, Dam Square, 10 September 1951. 

This photo shows a man carrying a puppet show decor. In the back is the shopping mall The Bijenkorf and the Hotel KrasnaPolsky. Did you know that since 1893 there has been a puppet show on Dam Square; Every Sunday, there is a show – nowadays performed by Wim Kerkhove. The puppet show tells the story of a Dutch legend: Three centuries ago there was a man called Jan Klaassen, he was a trumpeter and the bodyguard of Prince Willem II. When he passed away Jan Klaassen lost his job and moved to Amsterdam. To earn some money he performed behind the puppet show, with himself and his wife – Katrijntje Pieters – as the main characters.

Puppet show on Amsterdam’s Dam Square. Every Sunday till October 2nd. Showtimes: 1, 2, 3, & 4 pm. Go check it out!
More info: https://www.facebook.com/PoppenkastopdeDam

Amsterdam in Pictures: Canals

Amsterdam in Pictures: The ferry
Amsterdam, Leidsekade, November 1951. 

This picture depicts a man on a ferry for pedestrians and bicycles on the Leidsekade. People had to pay a small amount to get to the other side;The Nassau-kade. Back in the day Amsterdam had fewer bridges than it does nowadays. Instead ferries where used. The man on the ferry pulled it forward by using the manual-mechanic which he had in his hand.

Amsterdam in Pictures: Streets

Amsterdam in Pictures: Young women on Mobylettes
Amsterdam, 3 September 1951.

A few decades ago, Mobylettes were quite popular in the Netherlands. They were also known as Moby’s – a French moped manufactured by Motobecane. It was launched in 1949 and made until 1997 with peak production during the 1970’s. The Mobylettes displayed on the picture had a 2-stroke petrol engine. The City of Amsterdam recently decided that mopeds which are older than 2010, will be banned from 2018.

Amsterdam in Pictures: Lindenstraat
Amsterdam, Washing Day at the Lindenstraat, 2 Augustus 1951. 

The photo above shows a boy who is being washed outside on the street, probably by his mother. The picture raises some questions: Did this little boy have to washed on the street because it washing day? Was he punished? Or maybe did they just have some fun on a hot summer day?

Amsterdam in Pictures: Jordaan

Amsterdam in Pictures: Jordaan District
Amsterdam, Jordaan, 1951.

The Jordaan is a neighborhood in Holland’s capital. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam’s city centre. The area is bordered by the Lijnbaansgracht canal to the west, the Prinsengracht to the east, the Brouwersgracht to the north and the Leidsegracht to the south. The former canal Rozengracht (now filled in) is the main traffic artery through the district.

The picture above shows a little fair and Amsterdam’s beautiful houses in the background. When visiting Amsterdam, make sure you go to the Jordaan! You’ll love it.

Amsterdam in Pictures: Red Light District

Amsterdam in Pictures: Red Light District Winter
Amsterdam, Red Light District, Winter of 1951.

The pic above shows a beautiful winter view of the Red Light District (a.k.a. “De Wallen”) in Amsterdam. Was the guy in the picture looking for some warmth perhaps?

Amsterdam in Pictures: Streets

Amsterdam in Pictures: Tram
Amsterdam, Tram Line 9, February 1951. (click on the pic to enlarge it)

Some people waiting for the tram. Although it’s February, that little guy in the middle of the photo is wearing shorts, while the man on his left is wearing a long winter jacket.

Amsterdam in Pictures: Beach Prins Hendrikkade
Amsterdam, Prins Hendrikkade, 1951.

65 years ago there used to be a little beach on the Prins Hendrikkade, close to central station. Unfortunately, there is now no more beach at this location.

Amsterdam in Pictures: The Zoo

Amsterdam in Pictures: Artis The Zoo in 1951
Amsterdam, Zoo Artis, 1951.

Oh nothing special… Just an ostrich reading his caretaker’s newspaper.

Others who read this article also read 20 Pictures of Amsterdam’s Red Light District  and Amsterdam on May 7th 1945 – The Shooting

One Response to This Is What Amsterdam Looked Like in 1951

  1. mar selderijk says:

    Just Great Thank you so much…My Hometown born in 1936 in the Jordaan

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