The old North is squeezed in between 3 waters: The Noordsingel, the river Rotte and the Noorderkanaal. Here you’ll find 2 small areas in the northern part, close to the center. Locals tend to refer to them both as Het Oude Noorden (the Old North). I’ve lived happy years in this buzzing multicultural area which is worth a visit for daily groceries, art and more.
A little introduction and historical facts: The Old North used to belong to a ‘manor’ till the 19th century. The ‘manor’ had a special Dutch name, ‘Ambachtsheerlijkheid’. This means that either some nobility or a city has ownership of a certain territory. They don’t ‘own’ the land, but have certain rights – a leftover of the feudal system.
Historic streets like Zwaanshals, now great for shopping, dating back to the 16th century, were known as both a small area and the name of a house (Swaenshals). Two typical houses were turned into a museum where you can have a glimpse of the past.
The Liskwartier (quarter) is named after Lischwater. What’s left is a small pond nearby. This area has grand houses, lanes and broad streets with the monumental Bergsingel church. The stately Rodenrijselaan, Bergselaan and Bergsingel are just a few streets to wander around for the architecture and the atmosphere.
There was a substantial Jewish community here but most didn’t survive the concentration camps during WWII.
Look up too! You’ll see contemporary murals by Rotterdam artists in several wall frames in and around Zwaanshals. Check also Rotterdamwoont.