The name Bankras is, for what is known, originating from a small lake that used to be between Amstelveen and Ouderkerk. This part of the website is about the background of this name.

“In 1308, fishing in the Legmeer (Leg lake) is being leased out, together with the Pancrasmeertje (small Pancras lake) in the Middelpolder, by then still called the Papenmeertje (small Papen lake). For a long time there used to be a small lake of ± 50 acres within the borders of the Middelpolder. In 1399 it is for the first time named Banckenmeer. Later on the lake is called Bankrasmeer and even later Pancrasmeer. It is unknown when the lake originated, neither in what way. The basin was located in the south-eastern corner of the polder, too far from the Amstel river, to be the result of a dike breakthrough. Probably, the lake is the combined result from mining of moorland and damage to the banks. No polder costs have been paid by the owners of the water. After the construction of water mills, the lake had a certain value for water storage.” Source: [translated from] Een eeneiige tweeling, Van Schaik.

1300: Amstelland around 1300

1575: Map of the “Hollands Noorderkwartier”

1608: Reprint of the 1575 map

1616: First printed wallchart of Rijnland

1650: Blocking of Amsterdam by troops of Willem the 2nd


1650: Map … with indications of troops of Willem II

about 1650: Rhenolandiae et Amstellandiae

about 1650: Vltraiectvm Dominivm


about 1650: Rhinolandia, Amstelandia

after 1681: Rhenolandia (Rijnland) and Amstelandia (Amstelland)

after 1681: Ultraiectini (Utrecht)

1686: Map of the famous trading city Amsteldam and surrounding areas

18th century: Weekend cottages along the Amstel river

1745: Map of the Haarlemmermeer by M. Bolstra

1749: New map of Amstelland

about 1750: Carte von Utrecht


1770: Handwritten map of all polders of Amstelland

1773: General map of the “VII Vereenigde Nederlandsche Provincien” and detailed map 30 with an unnamed lake

1787: Map of the defense of Amsterdam at the end of September 1787

1800: Handwritten map of Amstelland with an unnamed lake near Ouderkerk

1818: Overview page and section page I of the municipal of Nieuwer Amstel

1823: Partial map 4 (Zuiderzee) of 9 overview maps


1826: Map of the farmstead named Vismeer and of the Bankras lake

1860: The Round Moorlands

1865: Map of North-Holland, designed and drawn by J. Kuijper

1865 – 1870: Nieuwer-Amstel

Nowadays, the name Bankras can be found on several places in Amstelveen, near the location where the lake used to be. There is the Bankras district, the Bankras road, the Bankras path and the Bankras courtyard. Also, the Bankras sports hall, the pharmacist Bankras and the (now closed) Bankras public library are located in Amstelveen.

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