Visit the Netherlands’ smallest police station

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Sloten-politie

The smallest police station in the Netherlands is in Sloten, a 10th century village that today remains the oldest part of Amsterdam. Sloten was eventually integrated into Amsterdam in the 20th century and is now part of Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district.

Built in 1866 the station is apparently the source of some great stories. Until about 1965, constable Freek Raat would let the locals sleep off their hangovers in the station’s 4m2 cell. Even local youth that caused trouble were locked up for a few hours to teach them a lesson.

These days, the small station has been empty and slowly falling in disrepair since 2015. The City Restoration company and Sloten residents want to fix up, which is why they have set up some crowdfunding and as I write this, they have reached 88% of their 50,000 euro goal. Even though the deadline of 1 July has gone by according to the video, it could easily be a flexbile date.

Although the video is in Dutch, it’s about taking a virtual tour. The red fire brigade pole outside the station is said to be the only one left in the country. The goal would be to put a tourist office and shop there with local honey, slippers and what not. The flag of Sloten, which itself means ‘locks’, features golden ones and a cow or some say an ox, however not referring to neighbouring Osdorp (roughly Ox Town). In fact, Osdorp is actually derived from the name Oostdorp (East town) having to do with the fact that way back in the day Osdorp and possibly Sloten were culturally influenced by Haarlem, about 10 km further west, rather than Amsterdam.

(Links and photo: mijnstadsherstel.nl, Oud Osdorp)

2 Comments »

  1. There are actually still a few alarm poles left, one can be found in front of the Fire brigade station on the Hobbemakade in Amsterdam. The latter is incidentally the oldest fire brigade station still in use.
    The Alarm poles used to be a darker red and one side could be used to alarm & call the police, the other side for the firebrigade – very important in the early days when not everyone had a phone at home.

    Comment by Karin — August 22, 2017 @ 4:17 pm

  2. Good to know, thanks a lot!

    Comment by Orangemaster — August 22, 2017 @ 8:14 pm

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