Hidden Working-Class Gem
Behind the stately buildings of the Oudegracht canal you can find the hidden Zeven Steegjes (Seven Alleys), one of the last working-class neighbourhoods in the city. The 19th-century back-to-back labourer’s houses and the narrow streets characterise this neighbourhood.
The labourer’s houses in the Zeven Steegjes were built behind brewery De Boog by the Oudegracht in 1843 and 1860 on the orders of the Roman-Catholic alms hall. A cigar factory and a sugar factory were also nearby. The houses were intended for the workers of the factories, but were also used to house large families that were dependent upon charity. The church kept a close eye on them. The houses were restored in the ’90s, but the cosy character has been preserved.
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The Kockstraat, the Brouwerstraat, the Boogstraat and the Moutstraat form the nucleus of the Zeven Steegjes. The streets owe their name to beer brewery De Boog, that was also the property of the Roman-Catholic alms hall.