The Amsterdamse Bos came alive in a remarkable time and a remarkable way – all the trees were planted by hand during the crisis years. Spanning an impressive 1,000 hectares, at three times the size of New York’s Central Park the Amsterdamse Bos is among the largest city parks in Europe. When designing the Amsterdamse Bos, one thing was certain. The forest was to be used by all the people of Amsterdam. Until then, parks in the Netherlands were primarily intended for a Sunday stroll.
Between 1934 and 1940 alone, the forestation project provided work for more than 20,000 unemployed people. Using no other technical means than wheelbarrows and metal dump carts on rails, the labourers created a forest from scratch using shovels as their main equipment.The planting of the forest progressed nicely and the Bos was set to be completed in 1948. However, the outbreak of the Second World War interrupted the work and the last tree wasn’t planted until 1970.
The Amsterdamse Bos has become a perfect mix of natural landscape, recreation and relaxation. The Grote Speelvijver and Grote Speelweide are good examples of this, this lake and playground are not only intended as visual treats, but also to be used. They even made a bird island! You have to look for it, but this part of the forrest is so beautiful.
Nowadays in this park you can walk with your dog, visit the goat farm Ridammerhoeve, relax or do other sport activities like canoeing. Last few years the space of the Amsterdam Forest has been used for all kinds of different activities, including many festivals, from food events to electronic music! ‘Het Bostheater’ might also be fun when you’re around during warm weather months. It’s an open-air theater where you can also enjoy live performing art!
Enjoy the beauty of the Amsterdam forrest!
Check for more info and events: Amsterdamsebos.nl