Visit Holland - The Netherlands


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Term Definition
Westergasfabriek - Amsterdam

The Westergasfabriek is a former gasworks in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, now used as a cultural venue.In the 19th century the Imperial Continental Gas Association (ICGA) built four coal gas plants in Amsterdam: the Eastern Gas Factory, the Western Gas Factory, the Northern and the Southern. Westergasfabriek was ready in 1885 and was strategically situated between the Haarlemmer trekvaart, and the first railway line in the Netherlands. In 1885 it was the largest gas extraction plant in the Netherlands.[citation needed] The gas was extracted from coal and was used for street lighting. Because of the higher gas prices the City of Amsterdam took over the operation in 1898 and expanded the plant. The plant was perfectly situated between the water and the railway line but gas production was very successful. The big Gasholder was built in 1902. The gas factory produced gas for the city utill the late fifties. Amsterdam went over to gas from Hoogovens in IJmuiden, so the production of coal gas from the Factory decreased. In the sixties natural gas was found in Slochteren in the North of the Netherlands. This is why in 1967 the production of gas from the Factory stopped permanently. After the Western Gas Factory closed the Amsterdam Electricity and Gas Company (GEB) destroyed some of the buildings among them the gas plant itself and the water tower. The other buildings were used for storage and repair and as laboratories and workshops. The remaining buildings were recognised as monuments in 1989[1]. In 1992 the GEB left the buildings and they were taken over by the District Council of Westerpark. The gas works were re-opened as the "Culture Park Westergasfabriek" in 2003. It's television studios host programmes like "Pauw en Witteman" (a late night talkshow), "De wereld draait door" (an early evening talk show with Matthijs van Nieuwkerk) and Eva Jinek's sunday morning talk show. Six times per year there can be huge concerts organized on the main event field. Thousands of people visit the park and its activities every day.