Vondelpark - History - 19th Century

19th Century

In 1864 a group of citizens led by Christiaan Pieter van Eeghen established the Vereeniging tot Aanleg van een Rij- en Wandelpark (English: Association for the Construction of a Park for Riding and Strolling). They bought several hectares of grass-land and marshes at the rim of the city of Amsterdam, in order to create the new park. They assigned the architect Jan David Zocher to design it, and in 1865 "Het Nieuwe Park" (English: "The New Park") was opened for members of the association and in exchange for a fee also for other citizens.

Two years after the park opened, in 1867, a statue of writer and playwright Joost van den Vondel was placed in the park. Sculptor Louis Royer created the sculpture and the architect Pierre Cuypers designed the stand. As a result people started to call the park "Vondelspark" (English: "Vondel's Park").

In 1873 a bandstand was built. In the same year, brewer Gerard Adriaan Heineken was denied to open a bar in the park, so he built the Bierhuis Vondel (English: "Beer House Vondel") in the street next to the park, what is now Vondelstraat 41.

The last part of the park was designed by Louis Paul Zocher, Jan David Zocher's son, and was realized from 1875 to 1877. The park now became its current size of 47 hectares. Also the English garden style design of the Zochers has been roughly maintained up to now, although in the late 19th century the elongated park had a stream of water from the beginning to the end and contained many small paths and small bushes.

In 1878 the Pavillon (English: "Pavilion") was built as a replacement of a wooden chalet built by Louis Paul Zocher. The Pavillon is currently known as the Vondelparkpaviljoen (English: "Vondelpark Pavilion"). The park's name was officially changed into "Vondelpark" (English: "Vondel Park") in 1880.

Already in the 1880s and 1890s the cycling in the park caused hindrance. First the park management tried to resolve this with restrictive measurements against cyclists, such as special bike paths, limited opening hours, and fines for cyclists that were going faster than a horse's trot. It was only after mediation of the Algemene Nederlandsche Wielrijders-Bond (English: "General Dutch Cyclists Union"), that helped fund the park, that a park guard was installed and cyclists were again permitted to cycle normally.

Read more about this topic:  Vondelpark, History

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