Located between the Admiraal de Ruijterweg and Baarsjesweg we find a part of Amsterdam where time seems to have stood still: The Slatuinenweg. In contrast with the surrounding higher residential buildings, this street in Stadsdeel West has maintained its historical character. This area formerly belonged to the municipality of Sloten, which was annexed by Amsterdam in 1921. Fortunately the Slatuinenweg survived the rapid expansion of Amsterdam.
At the end of the 17th century, the Slatuinenweg was part of the Slatuinenpad, a footpath running from Amsterdam to the church of Sloterdijk. The name of this street referred to the many vegetable gardens in its surroundings. The rural area was popular among the people of Amsterdam who came here for hiking and fishing. With the growth of the city, the neighborhood slowly changed from a rural area to more vibrant district with houses and businesses.
The rural character came to an abrupt end when Sloten became part of the city of Amsterdam in 1921. Public gardens disappeared and the land was filled in with sand to facilitate expansion of Amsterdam. In 1927, the original Slatuinenpad disappeared beneath the sand, and the Willem de zwijgerlaan largely follows the trajectory of the original path. Only the part that since 1924 is known as the Slatuinenweg was retained. Because the terrain was elevated, the Slatuinenweg is still lower than the surrounding streets.
Natuurtuin Slatuinen (natural garden)
Despite the urban expansion, Slatuinenweg has survived. Today, the street is still flanked by characteristic old low-rise houses, which at night certainly creates a sense of finding yourself in older times. The street also contains the entrance to Natuurtuin Slatuinen, a little piece of wilderness in the city. The site was leased to a tree nursery until 1984, and in 1986 the municipality decided to cut down the trees without a clear vision of what to do with the garden. In 1991, the local residents took matters into their own hands and decided to build a nature garden with a social and educational function. The Natuurtuin, with the entrance between Slatuinenweg 43 and 47 is open for visitors at restricted times.
Next time you are passing through the area, take a look in the Slatuinenweg and be surprised by this beautiful part of Amsterdam.
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