HEMbrug into view as the heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam.
Making a clandestine relationship visible.
Landscape, security and the beauty and tragedy of the decay are the main themes of the exhibition route ‘Schot in de Roos’. This route brings together the Defense Line of Amsterdam, the buildings of the former Artillery Institutions and the General Defense Park on the HEMbrug terrain. The front of the Defense Line is united with HEMbrug as the heart of the Defense Line, bridging the distance of 15 kilometers.
For strategic reasons, the location of the weapons and munitions factory on the terrain is not shown on any Defense Line map. The factory was in business until 2003 and had a strict secrecy policy as part of the Ministry of Defense. The forts of the Defense Line, however, have lost their military function since World War II due to developments in technology and aviation.
Meanwhile, both the forts of the Defense Line of Amsterdam and HEMbrug are in the process of redevelopment. The images used in the exhibition ‘Schot in de Roos’ illustrate the emptiness, tranquility and abandonment, where transition is taking shape.
Along the exhibition route
Follow the markings on the ground. Background information on exhibition route www.stellingvanamsterdam.nl/schotinderoos
Nicole Segers captures the Defense Line of Amsterdam from a perspective of wellbeing and security. This theme is in line with her previous projects beyond the borders of Europe. Segers alludes to the world around the Defense Line, a world that partially never existed and is partially historical. She sees the Defense Line as a refuge in concrete, steel and grass. It recalls the presence of an enemy standing at the gates of the city. www.nicolesegers.com
Since the industrial activities of Eurometaal ended in 2003, photographer Gé Dubbelman has regularly visited the HEMbrug terrain to capture the beauty and tragedy of the decline, the traces of meanwhile defunct tradition; all this silently embraced by nature. With his camera he follows the demise of the industrial complex for many years until the decline hits rock bottom.
Now, 13 years later, HEMbrug is developing rapidly and the full return of industry is only a matter of time. The buildings have a new purpose, they are home to numerous creative activities, but Gé Dubbelman’s monumental photographs are a lasting reminder of the origins of the buildings. www.gedubbelman.nl
Landscape and architectural photographer Luuk Kramer documents the landscape of the Defense Line of Amsterdam where a threat is posed to an enemy that never arrived. He focuses on the cultivated natural landscape. The wall of forts, dikes and sluices embedded in the landscape, discreetly tucked away, but in sight, clearly show they are not to be trifled with. www.luukkramer.nl
HEMbrug, heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam
HEMbrug is closely linked to the history of the Defense Line of Amsterdam. The development of the industrial complex on the terrain would be inconceivable without the existence of the Defense Line. On site there were the General Defense Park of the Defense Line and the Artillery Institutions. The General Defense Park stored supplies and the Artillery Institutions delivered weapons and ammunition for the Defense Line. One can rightfully say that HEMbrug was the heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam.
The Defense Line of Amsterdam
The Defense Line of Amsterdam is a system of fortifications which, between 1880 and 1914, was built in a circle around the capital at a distance of 15 to 20 kilometers. The line consists of dikes, sluices, inlets, 42 forts and several batteries. It is not only a defense line but also functions as a waterline. It kept the enemy at a distance by flooding the foreland, a process called inundation. The Defense Line of Amsterdam was the last refuge for the government and the army in wartime. More information: www.stellingvanamsterdam.nl
Built to defend the capital, the Defense Line of Amsterdam is situated at some distance so that, at the time, the enemy’s shells would fall short of the city. The city of Amsterdam also has buildings that were once directly related to the defense and to a possible siege of the city, as were the Silo dam (Grain silo Korthals Altes), the garrisons along the Sarphatistraat and the carrier pigeon dovecote in Artis Zoo. From HEMbrug, visitors can take the ferry from the quay at the Voorzaan to Amsterdam Central Station. www.zaanboot.nl
HEMbrug is located in the western part of the Defense Line Front, where some forts are regularly open to visitors: Fort Zuidwijkermeer, Fort aan de St. Aagtendijk, Fort bij Veldhuis, Fort aan Den Ham and Fort bij Krommeniedijk. The Defense Line of Amsterdam has led an anonymous life for many years, so wildlife has had plenty of space to flourish. A so called 'green belt' was formed around the capital this way: A perfect area for cyclists and hikers to visit.
• Hidden letters can be found in the markings on the ground.
• Together, these letters form a word.
• Follow the exhibition route, collect the letters and find the right word.
• Find, search or ask for the meaning of this word.
• Send the solution in via the website: www.stellingvanamsterdam.nl/schotinderoos