This neighborhood was created in the 17th century when immigrants from Wallonia and France settled here. The city council encouraged this development, partly because many people were skilled spinners and weavers. This gave them an opportunity to establish their businesses in small buildings which also served as a residence. You also see here several courtyards and a former Walloon Orphanage. This simple neighborhood for the poor is part of a larger social housing project that was built simultaneously with the canals. The land between Spiegelgracht, Prinsengracht, Reguliersgracht and Lijnbaansgracht was offered for free to charities, which financed the construction of the houses. To keep costs low, Philips Vingboons designed the houses ina a uniform way. There were two storeys above a basement, which were often rented out separately.