Nieuw-Amsterdam, Drenthe

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Van Gogh House in Nieuw-Amsterdam

Nieuw-Amsterdam is a village in Drenthe, The Netherlands, bordering the village of Veenoord. Tweelingdorp (twin village), a common name for both village, reflects this topographical relationship. For example, the train station was located in Veenoord, while its exit was in Nieuw-Amsterdam. Nevertheless, up to the restructuring of the municipalities in Drenthe, in 1998, both villages were separated by administrative structures. Since then, both villages are part of the municipality of Emmen.


In 1850, a group of investors from Amsterdam bought a tract of peatland and named it after their own city: Amsterdamscheveld ("field of Amsterdam"). The settlement that was built near these lands several years later was naturally called Nieuw-Amsterdam.

The settlement developed itself quickly because of the peat trade. Drenthe therefore acquired the nickname Drents California. The only difference was that there was no gold in the ground, but peat.

Important for the development of the village was that it is situated along the canal called the Verlengde Hoogeveensevaart.


Railway station: Nieuw Amsterdam

The village is located at the train track from Zwolle to Emmen. This track was opened in 1905 and was constructed by the NOLS. Before the train, Nieuw-Amsterdam already had two steam tram connections: the DSM station was opened in 1899 and the EDS station in 1903.


The "Hervormde kerk" was erected in 1873 by the architect H. C. Winters. The "gereformeerde kerk" with its paraboloidal roof was built in 1925, based on the design by architect W. van Straten. The names of both churches can be translated in English as "Reformed Church"

Vincent van Gogh[edit]

Most of the time Vincent van Gogh spent in Drenthe, in autumn 1883, he lodged with Scholte in Nieuw-Amsterdam. Today, Scholte's lodging house is known as the Van Gogh House (Van Gogh Huis). Recently, the municipality of Emmen planned to demolish the building, but at the last moment this decision was reversed. Today, it houses a restaurant and a museum.

The Drawbridge in Nieuw-Amsterdam is probably the most popular work Van Gogh executed during his stay in Nieuw-Amsterdam.

Even more popular is the oral tradition concerning Van Gogh at whatever place he stayed for a while. Thus, in Nieuw-Amsterdam he is said to have paid the rent with his paintings, but the landlord could not estimate their value and burnt them.


Initial version translated from nl.wikipedia



  • Dijk, Wout J., & van der Sluis, Meent W.: De Drentse tijd van Vincent van Gogh, Boon uitgeverij, Groningen 2001 ISBN 90-75913-18-4

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°43′N 6°51′E / 52.717°N 6.850°E / 52.717; 6.850