Amsterdam is a busy city, so at times it’s necessary to escape somewhere for a bit of peace and quiet.
In such a densely populated country, space is at a premium and solitude is a rare and treasured thing.
The city planners of the 1930s were perhaps a little prescient in this regard, and so in 1934, in anticipation of the growing population and the increasing need for open space, they set about building the Amsterdamse Bos.
The project also served as an employment scheme to provide work for unemployed labourers, and from 1934 to 1940 some 20.000 people were employed in its construction.
Inspired by English country house landscaping and German “volksgarten” Jakoba Mulder and Cornelis van Eesteren designed, engineered and built what is now one of the most popular and vital public spaces in the city.
The size of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, or roughly 2 1/2 times the size of Central Park in New York City, it is one of the few places where you can still wander alone for a while (albeit if you get there early in the day).
I think, when you live in a city, that trees and wide open green spaces become more important to you.
Hemmed in as we are, among bricks and concrete and traffic, oases such as this can help restore calm and peace, and help you cope with the noise and bustle of city life.
I guess it sounds pretty trite to say such a obvious thing, but nevertheless, I for one am glad that I have a place like this to retreat to every now and then ….