Schot in de Roos - HEMbrug

Hembrug into view as the heart of the Defence Line of Amsterdam

Schot in de roos banner

The photo exhibition ‘Schot in de Roos ' is being held on the HEMbrug site to unite the forefront of the Defense Line of Amsterdam with the centre on the HEMbrug terrain. For strategic reasons, the location of the weapons and munitions factory on the terrain is not shown on any Defense Line map. The factory was in business until 2003 and had a strict secrecy policy as part of the Ministry of Defense. The forts of the Defense Line, however, have lost their military function since World War II due to developments in technology and aviation.

‘Schot in the Roos' also calls attention to the transformation of HEMbrug from a weapons and munitions factory and heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam to a new, free, creative city with its own style and character. A city blossoming on the shores of the North Sea canal directly connected to the canal banks of the Amsterdam IJ.

The 42 acre site is the largest industrial heritage cluster in the Netherlands. It includes 120 buildings, of which 50 with a monumental status protected by the state, the province of North Holland and the municipality of Zaanstad.

The redevelopment of the site has been on the agenda for a long time, but is only recently coming into fruition.

Making a clandestine relationship visible

To visualise the relationship between HEMbrug and the Defense Line of Amsterdam, photos taken by the photographers Gé Dubbelman, Luuk Kramer and Nicole Segers are being shown against the background of the industrial monuments at HEMbrug. The photos are displayed on the facades of buildings and on installations in the public space.
An exhibition route has been created that leads along the Defense Line of Amsterdam, the buildings of the former Artillery Institutions and the General Defense Park. The route starts at the quay of the ferry that connects Amsterdam with Zaandam and meanders across the terrain to the new entrance at the provincial road and back.

Schot in de roos kaartje

Exhibition Route

Walking around the terrain we are confronted with the photo exhibition
‘Schot in de Roos’ featuring the history of the buildings and the special relationship of the Artillery Institutions and the General Defense Park within the Defense line of Amsterdam. The forts and the engineering works of the Defense Line rest quietly 15 up to 20 kilometers away from HEMbrug. Storage of goods and the manufacturing of ammunition and weapons ended a long time ago and the Defense Line has for decades lost its status as a fortification. But the buildings and the landscape, not to mention the stories of eyewitnesses, remind us of the past.

Schot in de roos foto's


Nicole Segers captures the Defense Line of Amsterdam from a perspective of wellbeing and security. This theme is in line with her previous projects beyond the borders of Europe. Segers alludes to the world around the Defense Line, a world that partially never existed and is partially historical. She sees the Defense Line as a refuge in concrete, steel and grass. It recalls the presence of an enemy standing at the gates of the city.

Since the industrial activities of Eurometaal ended in 2003, photographer Gé Dubbelman has regularly visited the HEMbrug terrain to capture the beauty and tragedy of the decline, the traces of meanwhile defunct tradition; all this silently embraced by nature. With his camera he follows the demise of the industrial complex for many years until the decline hits rock bottom. Now, 13 years later, HEMbrug is developing rapidly and the full return of industry is only a matter of time. The buildings have a new purpose, they are home to numerous creative activities, but Gé Dubbelman’s monumental photographs are a lasting reminder of the origins of the buildings.

Landscape and architectural photographer Luuk Kramer documents the landscape of the Defense Line of Amsterdam where a threat is posed to an enemy that never arrived. He focuses on the cultivated natural landscape. The wall of forts, dikes and sluices embedded in the landscape, discreetly tucked away, but in sight, clearly show they are not to be trifled

Schot in de roos speurtocht

Treasure Hunt

  • Hidden letters can be found in the markings on the ground. Together, these letters form a word.
  • Follow the exhibition route, collect the letters and find the right word.
  • Find, search or ask for the meaning of this word.
  • Send the solution in via the website by clicking here!

If your answer is correct, you will receive a confirmation as soon as possible

General information

HEMbrug heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam
HEMbrug is closely linked to the history of the Defense Line of Amsterdam. The development of the industrial complex on the terrain would be inconceivable without the existence of the Defense Line. On site there were the General Defense Park of the Defense Line and the Artillery Institutions. The General Defense Park stored supplies and the Artillery Institutions delivered weapons and ammunition for the Defense Line. One can rightfully say that HEMbrug was the heart of the Defense Line of Amsterdam.

The Defense Line of Amsterdam

The Defense Line of Amsterdam is a defense system which, between 1880 and 1914, was built in a circle around the capital at a distance of 15 to 20 kilometers. The line consists of dikes, sluices, intakes, 42 fortresses and several batteries. It is not only a defense line but also functions as a waterline. It kept the enemy at a distance by flooding the forecourt, a process called inundation. The Defense Line of Amsterdam was the last refuge for the government and the army in wartime.

Hembrug Museum

The Hembrug Museum is a place where past, present and future coherently come together at Hembrug. The Hembrug Museum tells the story of how it all began, how it ended, continued and moves on. The museum guides, former employees of the ammunition and weapon factory at HEMbrug, follow the exhibition route 'Schot in de Roos' as part of their regular terrain walks and tell the stories behind the photos, what happened in the buildings on the site, how they experienced working in the factory and the function of the plant within the Defense Line of Amsterdam. The Hembrug Museum also offers photo-expeditions to the public. An opportunity for photographers to explore the terrain and the monumental buildings at HEMbrug


The Defense Line of Amsterdam build to defend the capital, is located at a certain distance, so that, at the time, the enemy’s bombshells could not reach the city.
The city of Amsterdam also has buildings that were once directly related to the defense and to a possible siege of the city. The Silo dam (Grain silo Korthals Altes) the military barracks along the Sarphatistraat and the dovecote in Artis Zoo.
From HEMbrug visitors can take the ferry, from the wharf at the Voorzaan, to Amsterdam Central Station
HEMbrug is located in the western part of the Defense Line Front where some forts are open regularly to visit: Fort South Wijkermeer, Fort at St. Aagtendijk, Fort near Veldhuis, Fort aan Den Ham, and Fort at Krommeniedijk. The Defense Line of Amsterdam has led an anonymous life for many years so wildlife had plenty of space to develop. This way a so called ‘green belt’ was formed around the capital. A perfect area for cyclists and hikers to visit.

Plan your trip to Hembrug

By car:
Hembrug offers free parking.
Ring A10, direction Zaanstad
Take the exit Oostzaan - Zaandam-Zuid - Twiske
Turn right onto N516 / Kolkweg direction Kolkweg North – Zaandam - Zuid
After 3 kilometers (after the Den Uyl bridge), turn left at the traffic lights towards Hempont
At the roundabout turn left onto the Hembrug terrain.

The Hempont:
All year round, 24 hours service between Amsterdam-Zaandam, Hempontplein. Departure times

The Zaan Boat:
Take the boat directly from Amsterdam Central Station to Hembrug.
Departure times

By bike:
HEMbrug is easy to reach by bike from Amsterdam and its surroundings
Plan bike trip.

With public transport:
From Zaandam railway station you can take the Connexxion Neighborhood bus 456 towards Assendelft.
The bus takes you from the station to HEMbrug within 10 minutes. At the Hemkade walk towards the east (canal on your left) and take the first or second entrance on your right.
Plan your trip.

The Hembrug Museum is located in the former Eurometaal building immediately on the left side of the second entrance at Hemkade no. 7. The entrance to the museum is located in the front of the building at the reception desk.

We keep our website as up to date as possible but we cannot guarantee that the above information is accurate..

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Passable part of an inundation in the form of elevated terrain, a road, (railway) embankment or waterway.

Collective term for projectile weapons.

Also called bulwark. An outward-projecting pentagonal structure, suitable for delivering flanking fire.

A storage site for military equipment. The parks in the Defence Line are spread out over sectors (sector parks) and groups (group parks).

A battery that is positioned behind armour plates.

A fort with one or more armoured artillery positions.

A number of artillery pieces combined into one group.

Shielded position from which defenders can harass the enemy.

A (low) defensive structure that extends into the moat and can be used to give flanking fire.

A space that is protected against enemy fire and is outfitted with a gun port, behind which a piece of artillery is placed.

An army division whose tasks include, amongst other things, the construction of temporary and permanent defensive structures. The term ‘engineer’ is derived from the French word ‘ingenieur’.

Also called covert way. A pathway that is protected from enemy fire by an earthen wall and can be used for transporting soldiers and military equipment.

Also called stop-log sluice. A temporary dam that stops the inundation water when beams are stacked up in its recesses.

Water purification system that improves the quality of drinking water by extracting iron.

Earthen elevation surrounding a defensive structure, featuring a breastwork.

A (wooden) shed where artillery and military engineering equipment were stored.

The part of a terrain that can be fired at.

Long-range flanking fire: fire support for the secondary forts. Short-range flanking fire: fire that covers the surroundings of the defensive structure itself.

Known in Dutch as ‘Vestingwet’. The act of the 18th of April 1874 that stipulated which forts would become part of the Dutch national defence system.

The side of a defensive structure that is facing away from the enemy.

In the Defence Line forts this is a casemate giving short-range and long-range flanking fire.

Undercarriage for a cannon or other heavy firearm.

Shell that is filled with highly explosive material.

The flooding of land to keep the enemy at bay.

Also called inlet sluice. A sluice that is constructed with the aim of letting water into a certain area.

An independent system of connected defensive structures.

Artillery that gives frontal fire over large distances, directly aimed at enemy positions.

A simple (temporary) defensive structure manned by a small number of soldiers.

An underground connecting passageway that is shellproof.

Known in Dutch as ‘Kringenwet’. Act of January 1853 that stipulates restrictions with regard to the construction of buildings in the vicinity of defensive structures, the so-called forbidden zones (‘kringen’), in order to guarantee a free field of fire.

A chart that is installed next to the gun port to give the operators of the artillery insight into the distances of targets and the corresponding firing angles.

A place of last refuge for the defenders of a fort, which can be defended independently.

A turret that is lifted up to give fire and is retracted and thus made almost invisible once the firing has stopped.

Position that provides shelter to retreating troops.

Battery that is situated in close proximity to a fort and performs some of the tasks that have been assigned to that fort.

The ability of a building to withstand gunfire thanks to brickwork, concrete or a bottom layer.

A shellproof depot for storing artillery and other essential military equipment.

A fort’s courtyard.


A turnable armoured artillery position.