Schaaper Reflection – KS

To me, the most fascinating part of Amsterdam’s development is how it encompassed various influential sectors of Dutch society, from engineering to economics to agriculture to politics. The notion that the subject of urban planning became the site of “a serious ideological battle” that determined the trajectory of the Netherlands for years to come shows how significant these polders were to the lives of the Dutch people. While this idea is explored in parts of Delta Urbanism, Schaaper talks about some of the more cultural aspects of the ideological battle in the Netherlands, especially the religious divide. The Netherlands was a major site of the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism. This conflict was exemplified by the 80 Years War between the increasingly Calvinist Netherlands and Catholic Spain, in which the Netherlands eventually won independence from Spain and Protestantism gained a critical symbolic victory over Catholicism. Though religion was only one of the several ideological battles taking place in the Netherlands during this century, the conflict and its effects on Dutch culture and politics illustrate how pivotal this period was in the formation of a modern Dutch identity.

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One thought on “Schaaper Reflection – KS

  1. The themes of Amsterdam’s architecture seem to correlate directly with how quickly or slowly the city was expanding. In the earlier days of Amsterdam’s development, when reclaiming land was the main priority and land was scarce, buildings had a diverse array of architectural designs that reflected the personalities of their owners. As the city began to grow, specialized buildings such as churches, town halls, and offices were built with style and grandeur, intentionally eye-catching and dominating. In the height of Amsterdam’s expansion, when housing was running low but land was widely available, there was a distinct shift from fashion to function, and simple, uniform, spacious residential complexes covered the outer regions of the city. Now, with most of the shallow water and surrounding land already claimed, there is a return to luxurious style, with modern, expensive buildings replacing older buildings within the inner city.

    After having seen all four videos, I would be curious to know how the diverse religions, backgrounds, and cultures of the people of Amsterdam influenced the city’s architecture.

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