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Forgotten Places

(June 19–27, 2010)

Lucile Doré

Rock Pole

Arie P. de Ruiter


Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Saturday, June 26, 2010, 13:05 pm (local time)

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© 2010 Arie P. de Ruiter, All Rights Reserved.



Asterdorp (Aster Village) was built in 1924. It was a small neighbourhood in an isolated, remote area, specially built for antisocial people and their maladjusted children. The village was like a prison, surrounded by high walls and with only one point of entry: the gatehouse in this panorama. The gates were closed after ten o'clock every night.

The living conditions were miserable and fighting and quarreling were a daily occurrence. The optimistic 'Woonschool' ('Domestication School') ideas underlying the foundation of Asterdorp and similar 'villages' in Amsterdam and elsewhere, e.g., the 'Zomerhof' ('Summer Court') in The Hague, failed utterly.

The original residents eventually moved to other neighbourhoods in Amsterdam-Noord, and after the bombardment of Rotterdam in 1940 people who had lost their homes found a temporary place to stay here. After they had returned to Rotterdam, the Nazis forced several hundred Jews from Amsterdam to live in the village. Not for long, after less than a year they were deported to Westerbork.

Asterdorp has a sad, ugly history. The village was demolished in 1955 and the 'Poortgebouw' (Gatehouse) is all that remains.

(The above text is largely based on Buurt en Stad.
(in Dutch only)
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye + Nodal Ninja 3
Photoshop CS5 + PTGui Pro 8.3.10 + Pano2VR 2.3.4

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