Terminus

When the gateway still functioned as a city gate, the connection to the terminus of the first Dutch railway to Haarlem ran underneath here. The station was roughly on the spot where the present entrance to the Westerpark lies. The gate opening is in line with Haarlemmerstraat (street), which explains the slightly turned position.

 

The decorations on the Haarlemmerpoort honor the coronation in 1898

Corinthian pillars

The Willemspoort was the last Amsterdam city gate to be built and was designed in Neo-Classical style. The wide and narrow passageways are separated from one another by high Corinthian pillars modelled on Roman temple-building.

 

Neoclassical ornamentation on the portico, 1999

Sole access

The passageways led onto a bridge over the Singelgracht (canal), which until around 1875 constituted the only access to this side of the city. After that time the bridge was moved to the south side, resulting in the gate losing its role as entrance to the city.

 

The Haarlemmerpoort as captured by Jacob Olie, 1894

Fire station

Once the role of excise collection house lapsed, a police station was established in the gateway. From 1877 the building was used as a fire station and the fire engine was posted in the lower passageway.After 1889, when a new fire station was built right next to the gateway, the city council considered having the building demolished on several occasions. The plans were never implemented. Between 1983 and 1985 the by then very dilapidated gateway was restored and apartments were created inside.