A walk thru the Red Light District of Amsterdam and adjacent areas (De Zeedijk, De Nes, De Nieuwmarkt and others) This was shot during the Lockdown; it was very quiet for Amsterdam standards. Normally its not allowed to film here, it can actually get you in trouble, but since everything is closed this was an opportunity to film the area and show you what it looks like.

De Wallen (Dutch pronunciation: [d l(n)]) or De Walletjes (Dutch pronunciation: [d lcs]) is the largest and best known red-light district in Amsterdam. It consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights and blacklight. Window prostitution is the most visible and typical kind of red-light district sex work in Amsterdam.

De Wallen, together with the prostitution areas Singelgebied and Ruysdaelkade, form the Rosse Buurt (red-light areas) of Amsterdam. Of these De Wallen is the oldest and largest area. It is one of the city’s major tourist attractions and the government of Amsterdam is examining ways to limit tourist numbers.

The Rokin and Damrak run along the original course of the river Amstel. These two roads meet in Dam Square which marks the spot where a bridge was built across the river in 1270. It had doors which were used to dam the river at certain times to avoid flooding. The Damrak then became a harbor and it was around this area that the red-light district first appeared. The walled canals led to the names De Wallen and Walletjes (little walls).

Historically because of proximity to the harbor the area has attracted both prostitution and migrant populations and these are the features it is best known for today.

From late Medieval times, the trade started to be restricted. Married men and priests were forbidden to enter the area. In 1578 during the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule a Protestant city board was formed with fornication deemed punishable. Sex workers were banned and forced underground. They would work for a madam who provided room and board, protection and advice. Often the madam and girls would venture out at night visiting pubs and inns to pick up clients. Parlours remained illegal but tolerated if kept hidden. Trade remained small-scale though spread across the city. Well-known areas were De Haarlemmerdijk, De Houttuinen, Zeedijk and around the harbor.

In the 18th century, wealthy men would meet prostitutes at gambling houses on De Gelderskade and Zeedijk. The women would then take the men back to the parlors where they came from. However, these were often unappealing to a gentleman of means. A solution to this problem was for the gambling houses to provide board for the women. This suited everyone including the authorities. The gambling houses invested in luxury furnishings and gradually they became brothels employing up to 30 women. Famous brothels included De Pijl in Pijlstraat, De Fonteyn in Nieuwmarkt and Madame Therese on the Prinsengracht. For those who could not afford entry to these houses, there were still women to be found around Oudekerksplein and unofficial policies of tolerance remained, although prostitution was technically illegal.

In 1811 the ban on prostitution was lifted. In this Napoleonic period, French soldiers were the main customers of prostitutes in De Wallen.[4] Regulation was introduced and there were compulsory health checks to protect soldiers from venereal diseases. They were given a red card which was a permit to work. If found to be infected the card was taken until they could prove they were disease free. Because there was no reliable treatment for syphilis at this time this led to dangerous treatments such as mercury baths to ease symptoms.

In the early 20th century religious organizations ran campaigns to try to end prostitution. In 1911 a law was passed banning brothels and pimping, but prostitution was not outlawed. Once again it was driven underground and tolerated as long it did not cause a disturbance. With the closure of many parlors in De Wallen some women moved to De Pijp. In 1935 it was estimated that there were around 150 disguised parlors. Fronts included massage, pedicure, manicure, and beauty treatments. Sex workers continued to work around the Oudekerksplein. Instead of being visible as they are today they would stand behind closed curtains and peer through a small crack looking for customers. If they stood in the doorway they would be arrested.

The area also has a number of sex shops, sex theaters, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell cannabis

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Wallen

NB none of the opinions voiced in this video are necessarily mine

Equipment used:
Camera: GoPro Hero Black 9
Audio: Mediamod
Gimbal: Zhiyun Crane-M2
Edit software: Premiere Pro


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