I’ve decided to add a new series of articles to this weblog about Amsterdam. There are several characteristic quarters in Amsterdam and they all tell a unique piece of history about Amsterdam.
The Jordaan is definitely the quarter which is the most romantic. There are all kind of songs and poems inspired by this romantic quarter of Amsterdam. The story of the origin of it’s name is a really nice one.
What’s in a name?
When the quarter was newly built, they gave it the name ‘Het Nieuwe Werck’ (ancient Dutch for ‘The New Work’). But in 1718 a poet called Robert Hennebo refers to the Prinsengracht as the Jordaan. Later on people referred to the quarter as the area next to the Jordaan. Eventually this became the Jordaan.
Another explanation is that the word is derived from the French ‘jardin’ (garden). The French immigrants in the 17th century named the district Jardin, because most streets in the Jordaan are named after flowers.
But a historian called Kannegieter said that the name comes from the French river Jordanne in the Auvergne. The historian explains that the French compared this polluted river with the Prinsengracht, which even for that time was filthy.
Where is it located in Amsterdam
The Jordaan is the area west of the canals. The district is bounded by the Lijnbaansgracht, Brouwersgracht, Prinsengracht and the Passeerdersgracht. It’s walking distance from Central Station, Dam Square or the Leidseplein. It is also easily accessible by public transport. The car isn’t recommended as transportation vehicle. This is because of the lack of places to park.
Transportation in the Jordaan
There is a bus which services the whole district. It is called the Opstapper. The bus doesn’t have any regular stops, but can be stopped to board anywhere along the route. You can use the bus on Monday till Saturday from 7:30 am till 6:30 pm. The bus starts his route every 15 minutes.
On the whole it’s a really nice district with a great story behind it. When your in Amsterdam, why not take a look in the Jordaan?