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NDSM Werf (Wharf)

a group of people holding a signFor a long time the north side of Amsterdam located on the other side of the IJ river, behind Central Station was an area where you just lived of passed through but didn’t go to if you did not need to be there. It has been for a long time the heart of the industrial part of Amsterdam. One of those big companies, actually the biggest company was the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (Dutch Yard and Shipping Company). A huge company that dates back to 1894, has been one of the most prominent companies in shipbuilding technics, of which its used techniques are still used till today. Unfortunately, in the ’70 the company hit rough financial and political weather. And in 1984 they had to close their doors. That left a large area free for a new purpose. While the city could have chosen to make it into a residential area. They decided to turn it in to an art area. With several offices for the creative industry (for instance the head office of MTV is located there), event locations, art exhibitions locations. And throughout the years it became one of the most trendy locations in Amsterdam.

The whole area is nice to visit but a few things definitely stands out. When you approach the area from the water one of the first things you will see is a huge crane. The crane was originally used to get things in and out of the boats. There used to be many of these cranes there. But in the end only one of them survived. And now when evening falls, the crane is beautiful aluminated. But if you have some money to spend you can also book a room in the crane itself. There are two rooms created in the crane on a nice high altitude, so you have an amazing view of the city. But as I said the rooms are not cheap.

Another thing which is notable on the premises is a huge wall decoration of Anne Frank made in a modern style. It has beautiful colors through the whole portrayal.

And something which is more known for the locals but has a great history. The harbor of the NSDM has a ship called Veronica located there. This ship is Dutch famous, because in the 50’s and 60’s all radio stations were controlled by the government. A few radio dj’s didn’t agree to that, so they started their own pirate station. But on the land the were picked up by the police constantly. They then decided to extend their horizon literally. They started broadcasting on a ship called Veronica out in the ocean in international waters. What made them impossible to catch by the Dutch government. That radio station was called radio Veronica. It became the most popular radio station between 1960 and 1974. In the end the Dutch Government was able to change the laws in a way that they could stop radio Veronica. The boat nowadays is located at the NDSM wharf and is a bar and event center.

The best and easiest way to get there is to take the free ferry, from behind central station. But is also easy to reach by car.