Around 1860 the Jewish community lived predominantly in the Penstraat. (straat = street)
In 1860 that area was hit by a tidal wave and most houses were flooded. “Never again” must have been the motto and most families bought land in the Scharlooweg. (weg = street). ‘Scharloo’ means higher grounds which must have been a good selling point at the time.
The back of The Ritz parking lot is 9 meters above sea level. For a Dutch owner who has lived most of his live in places below sea level that is quit a comforting thought!
As most villa’s in Scharloo were build in about the same decade you will see many similarities in design and finish. Some buildings are even identical twins. (Can you find them?)
In the 19 seventies and eighties the houses were left empty as the children of the wealthy families did not want to live in these ‘old’ mansions anymore. As a result many buildings felt in decay and stood empty for years.
In the eighties restoration started and one by one these beautiful buildings were brought back to their original glory.
Now they are all on the Unesco heritage list and protected. Take a walk in the Scharlooweg and enjoy this beautiful cultural heritage.
Now do not get over enthusiastic idea’s when you see a mansion that still needs to be done!
These buildings are not cheap ‘fixer uppers’. They needs serious money and care.
For example: These buildings were build with cement and….seawater!
The water left the walls but the salt stayed. That is why any plaster or paint will only hold for a year or so after which you can start all over again. These are high maintenance ladies