from large gas holders to busy shops

Are you familiar with the Rotterdam proverb ‘as old as the road to Kralingen‘? Lusthofstraat is a perfect example of this. Some shops have been there for more than a century, such as Keurslager van Linschoten. But did you know that this street used to look very different? At that time there were two huge gas holders! We take you into the history of this Kralingse street.

Did you know that Kralingen didn’t really belong to Rotterdam until 1895? Before that it was a village in itself. Lusthofstraat was named after one of the forty country houses in Kralingen: De Lusthof. It served as a kind of summer residence for wealthy townspeople. To have fun and enjoy nature.

gas holders

Since the beginning of the last century, there have been two large gas holders in front of the Lusthofstraat. They served as storage for the gas factory at Oostzeedijk. The factory (one of three in Rotterdam) produced the gas for lighting streets, homes and businesses. The gas holders were used until the late 1960s, after which Holland switched to natural gas.

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Gas holders in Lusthofstraat in Kralingen. Photo: Rotterdam city archive

Cigar shops

Wim Taapken (87) grew up in Aegidiusstraat, just around the corner from Lusthofstraat. His parents had a cigar shop there next to the cafe opposite Van Baal. “And they weren’t the only ones with a lot of competition. At the time, there were many cigar shops in the area. Smoking was popular at the time. It was not easy for my parents.”

Wim often strolled through the Lusthofstraat. “The street was always busy, there were also many shops. For example, the hardware store, where you could buy skates or have them sharpened. We bought our first television in Begra 67 years ago. There were only two channels then. Incidentally, the device had already broken on the first night!”, laughs Wim. He lists several shops that he remembers from that time. Some still exist: Van Baal, Vos sko, van Linschoten, café van Schijndel and De Amerikaan.

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Butcher HP van Linschoten receives a cow as a gift from his uncle Piet van Linschoten on the occasion of the opening of his butcher shop at Lusthofstraat 29. Photo: Stadsarchief Rotterdam

Linschoten butcher shop

Keurslager van Linschoten has been located in Lusthofstraat since 1908, and has supplied generations of customers with homemade meat products. Hubert van Linschoten now runs the butcher shop. The shop was not always located at number 48A, Hubert: “Until 1916, the butcher was across the street. This was only the sunny side so ice blocks always had to be brought in when it was hot. When the opportunity presented itself, my grandfather moved to the other side.”

Competition used to be a thing too, because there were no fewer than 27 butchers in Kralingen! Hubert: “There were few supermarkets then, and they hardly sold any meat”. Hubert’s father visited the people twice a day: “In the morning for meat stuffing and in the afternoon for dinner. Most people didn’t have a refrigerator back then.

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Hubert van Linschoten, butcher with passion / Photo: Annette de Bus

Lusthofstraat in the elevator

Hubert is proud of his business. Still, as a 15-year-old, he had no intention of working for long in the family business. He actually wanted to become an architect, but his father convinced him. He has never regretted the butcher’s trade school; he still practices his profession with great passion. “I want to make tasty products of good quality. We do everything ourselves. Our topper is the grilled cheese sausage, that’s what people come to the store from afar for.”

Today, Lusthofstraat is one of the most famous shopping streets in Kralingen, with more than 65 shops. Hubert: “The street is now booming, and there is plenty of extra retail. Especially since new homes have been added.”

Source: Rotterdam city archive

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