Walk the Amsterdam Apollo neighborhood
Take a walk through the Apollo neighborhood and learn about its fascinating history and architecture. You will get to see a lot of the Amsterdam School architecture, see the old headquarters of the SS, and walk along some of the nicest streets of Amsterdam. This route will take you one step closer to getting to know the city even better.
Enjoy your walk!
Total Walking Time: 31 min
Directions: Link or click the top right corner of the map to open full screen in Google Maps
FYI: the technology behind Google Maps is sometimes a bit shaky, so sometimes you need to click the link more than once, or zoom in to get the route view. Apologies for the inconvenience.
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Apollobuurt Route Highlights
Highlight A: Apollo Neighborhood
Most of the buildings in this neighborhood date back to the ’20s and ’30s of the last century. One of the most iconic is called the Apollo house, built between 1937-1939, designed by Dirk Roosenburg as a national insurance bank. The two statues were added later in 1954 and symbolize the protector of social-care and justice (left) and the protector and enforcer of social-legislation (right).
Highlight B: Beethovenstraat
The architectural style is called Amsterdamse School, which is an expressionist style that uses lots of brick including decorations in the facades (in brick or sculpted in natural stone). This street contains a lot of shops and used to be super busy (before the pandemic). The street ends at the business center of the city: the Zuidas.
Highlight C: Hilton Hotel
This hotel was one of the first European locations of Hilton. This is the hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono protested against the Vietnam War, via their Bed-In for Peace [Wikipedia link]. The hotel is also famous for the death of Herman Brood, a famous Dutch musical artist, who took his own life by jumping from the 10th floor in 2001.
Highlight D: Amsterdam’s Lyceum
The Amsterdam Lyceum (high school) is another example of the Amsterdam School architectural style. When the school opened, many students were Jewish as was the principal/founder, Christiaan Gunning. During world war II, he was deported to one of the Dutch camps. He survived the camp and wrote ‘Memorial 1940-1945 of the Amsterdams Lyceum’.
Highlight E: Sport and Recreation – Sportpark Olympiaplein
Amsterdam Zuid, has a lot of high schools. Since their buildings are rather small the high schools don’t have gym halls. Therefore, most high schools go to Olympiaplein for gym class. If you visit during the day, you’ll see all the kids running around. Or, as teenagers do, take Snapchat pictures.
Highlight F: Former SS Headquarters
Originally a school, the building functioned as the SS headquarters during World War II. The basement was used to keep and interrogate resistance fighters. After the war, this street and this building had a bitter aftertaste. The street and school were both renamed in honor of one the resistance fighters, named Gerrit van der Veen, who had been held captive here.
Highlight G: Gerrit van der Veen
Gerrit van der Veen was a leader of one of the main resistance groups during the war. He was responsible for the destruction of the population registrar in Amsterdam and a robbery of an important printing house in The Hague. He was also responsible for creating thousands of fake IDs. Van der Veen was arrested in May 1944 and executed in June 1944.
Highlight H: The Regenerator
Here, you’ll find some interesting artwork. A big, copper, checkered disk lies on one of the street corners. The disk is divided into separate segments, each containing a different type of mineral. The minerals supposedly all have different powers. Sitting on the minerals should help you to calm down.
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