The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

On the eve of the legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands in the network surfaced historical photos of the red light district, showing the life of the city and "sex workers" as they are called in Amsterdam in the late XIX — early XX century.

The oldest and the largest of all the districts together forming a red-light district, a quarter of De Wallen is the typical architecture of Amsterdam the XIV century. It consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins with Windows, rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services for a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red light.

In the XIV century on the streets women from the Windows of houses touted passing men, mostly sailors. To distinguish the house, where it was possible to knock in search of carnal love, on the door hung a red lantern. From there, the name of the neighbourhood, who later became a household name.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The picture with the title "Queen street", made around 1900, shows the sex workers in long dresses on the sidewalk. Prostitution was legalized in Amsterdam after the occupation of the French in 1811, after which it remained legal for over 100 years.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Behind the curtains: the photo of 1919 — the floating bed one of the workers quarter. The picture was taken, to highlight the poor working conditions of sex workers after prostitution was made illegal in 1911.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

"Portrait of an unknown prostitute", taken around 1890. At that time in Amsterdam was opened and legally operated about 70 brothels.

Located near port De Wallen has historically been a quarter, attracting ladies of the night in Amsterdam, although prostitution for a long time and was outside the law: the Church believed extramarital sex is a sin. After 1810, the country was occupied by Napoleon, the ban on prostitution was lifted.

As the main clientele was French soldiers, the sex industry had to start handling primarily to introduce a compulsory medical examination for workers quarter to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the army.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

All this is just a business: advertising poster brothel "House of Weinthal" — one of the most prestigious at the time, institutions that had, among other amenities, a winter garden and interior.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

And this is the founder of the aforementioned brothel Madame Weinthal (full name is hard to pronounce Jurjentje Aukes Rauwerda). She founded the school had a "headquarters" for more than two hundred employees and was located in walking distance from the Royal Palace. According to rumors, she and king William III, was the illegitimate one.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Two women, accompanied by a pimp, sitting on the street waiting for customers, 1905.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Bloedstraat, or "Bloody street", in 1929.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Today, this street is famous because of her work mainly transgender — presumably, hence the solitude.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Family walking has not been canceled: a scene from the Grote Houtstraat located near the red light district in 1894, when the industry trade sex was in full swing.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The Grote Houtstraat today: cafes, coffee shops and food shops around the corner from the red light district.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The old Church square in the red light district in may 1894 — just a few years before the violent protests and campaigns for the criminalization of prostitution.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The same area today: the old Church gets on next to sin.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Building on the rear side of the street Varmos in 1905. After the criminalization of prostitution in this state appealed not one building.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

The oldest district of Amsterdam Odeid, circa 1890.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

Street Varmos — 1900.

The oldest profession in the free city: a history of the red light district in Amsterdam

On the channels: the part of the district of De Wallen. Recently, the city government passed a new law, according to which tourists this quarter will be fined if they are blatantly stare at the workers, and just obscene behave, including noisy drinking alcohol, on the streets of the area is not uncommon.

Keywords: Europe | History of | Quarter | Amsterdam | The world | Prostitution | Sex tourism

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