Part of Amsterdam's long history
The historical naval dock on Kattenburg Island has existed for over 350 years. The island on which the Marineterrain is located was constructed to house a new wharf in the Golden Age, because many new large ships were needed for naval protection of the Dutch East India Company's fleet. Countless ships were built here, including those of the famous Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter. The first building in this historic part of Amsterdam arose in 1655: the arsenal of the admiralty, today's National Maritime Museum. Cannon, sails, flags and ship equipment were stored here. The imposing building was designed by Daniel Stalpaert, the same architect who designed the City Hall at Dam Square, now the Royal Palace.
Another of the few surviving 17th century buildings in the area is the historic archway; hundreds of labourers, carpenters, mast-makers and painters walked underneath here daily to or from their work. A bell hung above the gate signalling the beginning of the workday. This bell can now be found in the Maritime Museum.
The Marineterrein today
These days, the area is home to various innovative companies in the fields of media, sustainability, technology and social development. It still has a maritime function, too, acting as the link between water and land for events such as the annual arrival of Sinterklaas and the starting point of the City Swim.
Hosting the Council of the EU
In the first half of 2016, the Marineterrein is the location for the programme and all meetings of the Council of the European Union during the Netherlands' presidency.