History of Arnhem Zuid
Arnhem Zuid is a district of the Gelderse capital of Arnhem. The district was established after the Second World War when expansion to the city was needed. Plans were already made in the 1930s for a new city extension to Arnhem. Because the green area in Arnhem North had to remain largely green, the plans were intended for the south side of the city. In 1935, after the arrival of the John Frostbridge (then Rijnbrug/Rhinebridge), construction of the first houses in the polder began.
Quiet Green District
Salomon de Monchy, then Mayor of Arnhem, wanted ‘South’ to become a quiet green district with many single-family homes. This was somewhat disturbed by WW2, which has largely destroyed the city, especially near the John Frostbridge. After the war, the plans of the city were reversed. In the South, the first apartment building was put up and by moving the city boundaries more southward, the district continued to grow. In the mid-60s, the neighborhoods of Immerloo and Het Duifje were formed, where large housing blocks were built next to many apartment buildings. A few years later, more luxurious homes and single-family homes were formed in the neighborhoods Holthuizen and Vredenburg / Kronenburg.
With all the extra traffic on the John Frostbridge there was a need for a new city bridge. In 1977 the second city bridge was build and was named Roermondsplein Bridge. Ten years later, the bridge was renamed the Nelson Mandela Bridge. The village of Elden bordered more and more at the new Arnhem district, and after the 80’s, it was surrounded by the Elderveld, De Laar and Rijkerswoerd neighborhoods. On the northeastern side of Elden, the multi-functional stadium Gelredome was built in 1998. In 2004 ProRail built the Arnhem – Nijmegen railway station Arnhem Zuid. Since 2002, west of the railway line is being built at the Vinex district of Schuytgraaf. This district will eventually have to accommodate approximately 6250 homes for around 15000 inhabitants.
Top 8 things to do in Arnhem Zuid
8 Go Shopping At Decathlon
Sporting gear shop Decathlon is located at the former concert and event hall ‘Rijnhal’ (1971). Many locals have fond memories of the Rijnhal: it used to be the location where ‘Holiday on Ice’ set up shop, well known bands would perform to an audience of 5 thousand people and a large Christmas market could be found at the beginning of December. Famous bands and singers also found their way to the small venue in Arnhem Zuid such as Genesis, AC/DC, Doe Maar, Dire Straits, Everly Brothers, Joe Jackson, Fats Domino, Frans Bauer, Golden Earring, Julio Iglesias, Extreme, Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Gloria Estefan and the Scorpions.
Since 2016 the large hall was changed into a budget sporting gear shop. They have almost anything you can think of when it comes to sports; camping, fitness, biking, hiking: you name it, they’ve got it! Even when you’re not into any sports you’ll find something in there that ‘you need’.
The parking lot now is used for annual carnivals and flea markets. The plan is to transform the parking lot in the near future. Rumours are Euroscope will build a large cinema with 10 screens. Because we need another cinema in Arnhem right? (The answer is NO!!)
Address: Olympus 1.
7 Rijkerswoerdse Plassen
Right in the middle of Park Lingenzegen you will find the Rijkerswoerdse Plassen. The area consists of two small lakes that have been created by sand extraction since the late 1970s and is named after the neighborhood that was located near the construction of the district of Rijkerswoerd. The lake is managed and operated by Overbetuwe Recreation.
The area is used for countless purposes such as swimming and water sports. One usually finds many sun worshipers during summer months. On the beaches there are sporting facilities, kiosks and toilets. In the area there is also a golf course and a mini golf course. The Rijkerswoerdse Plassen are a great place to walk your dog or to just go for a stroll.
Every year on January 1st you can take part in a (Dutch?) tradition at the Rijkerswoerdse Plassen as hundreds of people take a dive (of a quick walk-in-walk-out) in the lake. When you want to take things a step furthers you can go the the beach in Scheveningen and join thousands for a dive into the North Sea.
Up until 2000 music festival Plaspop brought people from all over Gelderland together. Popular 90’s bands such as Alice DJ, De Kast, Dilana Smith, Romeo and DJ Jean would perform. In 1999 one of the best singers in The Netherlands to date Anouk hit the main stage. When ticket sales dropped in 2000 Plaspop never returned to the Rijkerswoerdse Plassen again.
Another festival will take place at the lake this year: The Full House festival van August 30th. At four stages (earth, wind, water and fire) you’ll find different music styles like house and trance music. Tickets cost €30 and are on sale NOW via http://www.fullhousefestival.com.
6 Grote Koppel
Indoor swimmingpool the Grote Koppel is not far from the Rijnhal. Handy when you want to go swimming but don’t have a suit jet ;). At the pool you can find a large 20m long swimming pool, a pool with waves (it’s fun!) and a pool for the little ones. There is a huge slide, a whirlpool, and a great atmosphere.
Opening hours vary, you might want to check the timetable before heading to this indoor swimming pool. The prices for a ticket vary also but let’s say that an average ticket for a grown up costs €4,40 and for a child €1,30.
Address: Olympus 29.
5 Indoor Rock Climbing
Right next door to swimmingpool the Grote Koppel lies an indoor rock climbing hall. I must say, people who enjoy sports can really eat their hearts out in Arnhem Zuid, and we haven’t even finished our ‘8 things’ yet!
When you are not familiar with this branch of sports, no worries! You can start by taking a climbers chores. They also offer kids birthdays or bachelor parties.
After you finished the beginners chores and become a true badass climber, you can even book climbing vacations via the website. How cool is that!
Address: Olympus 27.
4 GelreDome Stadion
Have you been to the GelreDome Stadion yet? If not then you should probably put it on your to do list. Not just because the stadium is home to soccer club Vitesse but also because, when you go to the GelreDome it means that you’ll probably have a good time!
About 34 thousand people can be seated in this stadium but unfortunately not all seats are taken when soccer club Vitesse played it’s home games there for the past few years. This all could change rapidly now that Vitesse won the KNVB cup in June of 2017. The club celebrates it’s 125 birthday this year, making it one of the oldest soccer clubs in The Netherlands. Take a look here for tickets to attend one of the Vitesse soccer games.
Big names in the music bizz also know how to find their way to Arnhem. During a concert even 41 thousand people fit in the GelreDome. Soon Celine Dion will visit our city and in October the Rolling Stones can be seen on stage. In the past Tina Turner, U2, Sting and Justin Bieber took to the stage, to name but a few! I love it when a ‘big name” comes to town. It creates a real buzz and for me some stress to get my hands on a ticket!
Popular other events are the Climax dance event, the Christian Youth Day (EO Jongerendag) and flea markets. Another upcoming event is the Music Show Scotland. Info and tickets can be found here: musicshowscotland.nl/
Address: Batavierenweg 25.
3 Play ‘Boerengolf’
Not sure what ‘boerengolf’ is? Let me explain: It’s playing golf, the farmers way! This means that you’ll play the game in his fields, preferably amongst cows and geese and instead of hitting a small ball with a small club you hit a large ball with a clog attached to a stick. No I am not making this up! 😉
In 10 holes you’ll complete the 2km course and it will take about 1,5 to 2 hours to do so. It’s a great event for a group activity such as company – or family days or a bachelor party. Prices start at €5 for a child and €7,50 for an adult.
Address: Meginhardweg 5.
2 Kronenburg Shopping Center
With 50 thousand square foot the Kronenburg Shopping Center is quit big for this area. I was there last a few weeks ago and I was surprised by its size! You can find almost anything at one of the 110 stores in the mall in Arnhem Zuid. Of course clothes and shoe shops but also food courts, grocery stores, bakeries and butchers and GSM repair shops, a pet shop and a hairdresser. You can stroll around during rainy days or when the sun gets too hot. Just get something to eat and drink, find a bench and look at all the people that pass by.
Address: Kronenburgpassage 101.
1 Stadsblokken Meinerswijk
Number 1 on the list and for me the reason I visit Arnhem Zuid most are the Stadsblokken Meinerswijk.
The Stadsblokken can be found at the eastern part of the area, located between the Nelson Mandela Bridge, the John Frost Bridge and the Malburgen-West district. In this area there are three harbors: Van Workum Port, including the Watersport Center Arnhem, Coers Port with about 35 houseboats and the port of the former Arnhem Steam Trail. In the last port, the slope of the yard still reminds us of the past when large ships were built in this area. The Stadsblokken in Arnhem Zuid are also home to the annual Free Your Mind Festival and to foodtruck festival de Luie Hond.
The Meinerswijk area is perfect for long walks, no matter the season. On your way you might encounter Galloway cows and Konin horses. They are pretty used to people but don’t get too close to them as they still are wild animals.
Also on your route you might come across an old abandoned stone factory and some leftovers from the cold war.
In the early 1950s Meinerswijk was an important part of the ‘IJssellinie’. The IJssellinie was a defense line that ran from Nijmegen to Zwolle, put there for the threat of an attack by Russia. By sinking ‘stuwen’ in the Rhine and Waal, Defense could control the water, bringing it up to knee height, this to hinder the Russians.
On the route you’ll also find some ‘leftover’ tanks and an old castellum that dates back to when the Romans set up camp in this area. This makes Stadsblokken Meinerswijk a versatile piece of Arnhem that will only become more awesome over time. In the near future Meinerswijk will be made into the largest nature wild park in Europe. I just can’t wait!
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Arnhem Zuid Boring? Not at all! We made a list of 8 fun things to do in Arnhem Zuid. Have fun!