Westerpark is a district of the municipality Amsterdam with about 35.000 inhabitants. It has a surface of 10,96 km² whereof 0,76 km² are covered by water. The Westerpark area is close to the centre of Amsterdam and easy to reach either by bicycle, boat or walking. In this area lies a unique urban park on the former Westergasfabriek (Gas factory) area where a lot of cultural activities take place. .
When strolling along the Westerpark area you will encounter many art expressions and particular architecture. Examples are the old Westergasfabriek itself, museum Het Schip (The Ship), which is the pearl of the Amsterdam School architecture and the Silodam.
Meanwhile there also exists a variety of attractive bars, restaurants, theatres and cinemas. It is very nice to recreate at Strand West (Beach West) for example, where you can lie in the sand with a cool beer in your hand. We suggest Heineken or Amstel…If you want to spend an exciting night in Amsterdam, go to the Tulip & Tulip Inn hotel, the Art hotel along the Spaarndammerdijk, and let the night become day! You could also enjoy a very intimate night at the smallest hotel of Amsterdam called The Windketel.
When following the road a little bit further the ladies are able to totally relax at the Moroccan bathhouse the Hammam in the Zaanstraat.
This is only a little overview of all the things the Westerpark has to offer.
In short: The Westerpark area is definitely more worth than only one visit!
The Westerpark is within a 15 minutes walking distance from the Central Station of Amsterdam. While walking you will pass through the lovely Haarlemmerdijk with numerous shops. The tram lines 3 and 10, bus lines 18, 22 and 48 easily get you to the Westerpark area.
You can park your car in the car park Westersluis, which is situated along the Haarlemmerweg. Since 2005 it is also possible to reach the Westerpark by boat and to moor your boat beside the municipal office. Tourist organisations and wedding parties often make use of this marvellous possibility.
The Westergasfabriek was constructed in 1883 by the British Imperial Continental Gas Association. At the time it was the largest gas works in Amsterdam. During the first decades the gas was used principally for public lighting. Most of the Westergasfabriek buildings were designed by Isaac Gosschalk, in a variation on the ‘Dutch Renaissance’ style. Te Gashouder was designed by engineer Klönne.
After the discovery of natural gas in the 1960′s at Slochteren, in the north of the country, gas production was terminated. Part of the buildings were demolished, amongst which the beautiful water tower. Until the early 1990s the municipal energy company used the premises for storage and repairs and as a garage for utility vehicles. In 1989 the remaining buildings were officially recognised as industrial monuments and saved from demolition.
After the municipal energy company had abandoned the premises in 1990, they were used temporarily for creative and cultural activities, an approach that proved very successful. An inspiring mix emerged of art and daily life, of permanent and temporary rental for all sorts of events, such as festivals, commercials, fashion shows, opera and circus performances.
As a result the Westergasfabriek became known as a cultural epicentre in Amsterdam and far beyond Dutch borders. This temporary definition of the use of buildings and of the conceptions of park, culture and activity were the basis for drawing up the development project for the Westergasfabriek in 1996. In the year 2003, the park was opened. After that, one by one, the buildings are being renovated and put back in use.