Diemen

Diemen is a municipality of the Netherlands, situated in the province of North Holland. It is an independent town of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with around 24.000 inhabitants and an increasing number of foreign visitors and several non-Dutch speaking inhabitants.

History

The old town of Diemen is situated in an urban area surrounded by some major motorways. Nevertheless, it is a very green village. One third of the total area is in use for recreational purposes.

Like many other places in the Netherlands, Diemen is named after a river nearby. Geographically, the village is situated near ‘the Diem’. This was originally a stream, connecting the historical ‘Bijlmermeer’ with the small river the ‘Gaasp’. Archeologists found proof that the first signs of life in Diemen date back to 1033. Therefore, Diemen is one of the first settlements in the area and is even older than Amsterdam!

The pioneers who settled here came from the area of Utrecht. They lived in ‘Oud Diemen’, the reconstructed historical part of the town, now Diemen North. There was a cemetery and a small wooden church. The fundaments of the earlier stone church have been made visible again. These date back to the 15th century.

After the construction of the canals Muider- en Weespertrekvaart in 1638 en 1640, village life was concentrated near the bridge ‘Diemerbrug’, the area near the ‘Hartveldseweg’. This is where churches, shops, businesses and houses were build. The historical shelter church ‘De Hoop’ (1787) is a reminder of those days gone by.

Diemen today

In the seventies and eighties, Diemen-South was planned and built to accommodate an ever growing population. The North was developed even later, in the nineties.

Situated in the direct vicinity of Amsterdam, Diemen is very easy to get to from all sides of the country. The motorways A1 (Amsterdam-Amersfoort), A2 (Amsterdam- Utrecht), A9 (Gaasperdammerweg) and the A10 (ring road Amsterdam) provide easy access.

Public transport is taken care of by the bus services Connexxion (line 177) and a night bus service. Tram 9 from and to Amsterdam also stops in Diemen. Diemen has two train stations, on the Amsterdam / Amersfoort / Lelystad rail road. From train station Diemen Zuid there are connecting trains to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport / The Hague / Lelystad and Hilversum.

About one third of the total town area (total: 1432 ha) is in use for recreational purposes. Near Diemen North you can find natural park De Omloop. Other green and natural areas are: PEN-bos, Diemerbos, Diemer Vijfhoek and Overdiemerpolder. These areas can easily be explored on foot or bicycle.

Diemen also has a multi-functional sports centre with a swimming pool, a sports hall, a social cultural centre and a few community centres. There are also a number of comfortable bars and restaurants.

Where to shop

The town hall, shopping area Diemerplein and Social Cultural Centre De Omval are all situated in the centre of town. The Shopping centre ‘Diemerplein’ has two large supermarkets and many other shops. Although not very large, nearly every type of retail can be found here. In the direct area of this shopping centre a post office and four banks are located.

Other shopping centres can be found in the Arent Krijtsstraat, Kruidenhof and in the residential area Diemen-Noord, but with about fifteen shops each, these are quite a lot smaller.
The weekly outdoor market on Wednesday offers fruit, vegetables, cheese, clothing and many other items. The market is held on the square in front of shopping centre Diemerplein.