Amsterdamse Bos is a forest area / city park located in Amsterdam-Zuid and Amstelveen. Although the city of Amsterdam is the official owner and maintainer of the Amsterdamse Bos, most of its terrain is located in Amstelveen.
The Amsterdamse Bos spans across about 2300 acres, and crosses the municipal borders of Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Aalsmeer. Amsterdamse Bos features a large diversity of recreational facilities and activities.
For adults the Amsterdamse Bos offers scenery for long walks, exercise, sports but also several cafe's and restaurants and an open air theatre. The Amsterdamse Bos is also frequently host to a diversity of cultural events, parties and manifestations.
Although ideas for an artificial forest on the South border of Amsterdam were first conceived around the end of the nineteenth century, the official plans to construct the Amsterdamse Bos were signed by the municipality in 1928.
Actual construction didn't start until 1934, when the worldwide economic crisis had also reached Amsterdam. A lot of unemployed men were obliged to work on the Amsterdamse Bos construction site for their dole money. Prison inmates where also put to work in the area.
The second world war saw a grimmer type of forced prison labour: Jewish men interned in a nearby labour camp were forced to work digging ditches on the Bos construction site. Most of these labourers were later deported to concentration camps.
After the war the construction of the Amsterdamse Bos continued until the early 1970's when the last trees were officially planted.