FAR Illustrated

Medieval Heart, Amsterdam

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This old neighborhood in central Amsterdam is near the original dam from which the city takes its name. The area typifies medieval city districts. The broad street to the west marks a former city wall; the broad street to the east is the Damrak, Amsterdamís main street. Other streets in the area are rarely more than 10 m wide, and some of the steegjes (alleys) running roughly east-west are only 2 m wide. Much of this area is carfree, simply because the streets were not wide enough to permit significant traffic. Buildings are 3-5 stories high.

The blocks are built nearly solid, without interior courtyards. However, there are often setbacks and light wells in the interiors of blocks, so that many spaces have some light from the back. This is both a mixed-use area and a major commercial center.


Sint Jacobsdwarsstraat


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©2004 J.Crawford