The historic urban ensemble of the canal district of Amsterdam was a project for a new “port city” built at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. The canals used to stink. This was the how Amsterdam’s famous ring of canals was formed and how the city acquired its familiar half-moon shape. The origins of the city lie in the 12th century, when fishermen living along the banks of the River Amstel built a bridge across the waterway near the IJ, which at the time was a large saltwater inlet.Wooden locks under the bridge served as a dam protecting the village from the rising IJ waters, which often flooded the early settlement. Apparently some of these bikes get lost though; each year the city removes close to 10.000 bikes from its canals. The ring of canals in Amsterdam is dotted with many unusually narrow houses. The canal system is the result of conscious city planning. History We tried out four of the best ways to experience Amsterdam from the canals and can confirm that there’s a boat tour to suit every type of traveller. Warehouses were built alongside the canals and goods were shipped to anywhere. Before Amsterdam's canals & houses were built, the area was mostly swampland. Amsterdam thanks her name to the dam that we now know as The Dam, which was built in 1270. With immigration at a height, a shortage of houses and lack of space was created. The combination of preservation and renewal of four centuries of rich history has made the Amsterdam Canal belt to dynamic heritage of world format. Amsterdam’s concentric canal system is among the most iconic landmarks in the world and attracts millions of visitors every year. It forced the City Governement to a comprehensive plan that would make the city five times as big. © Copyright - Amsterdam Canal District ⓦ Webdesign & development - MYMAP / Concept & Creatie. Yet what was initially a practical feature, allowing the city to grow beyond its fortified boundaries, subsequently evolved into the area’s characteristic gabled canal-side estates and spectacular monuments thanks to financial enrichment from the booming mariti… It comprises a network of canals to the west and south of the historic old town and the medieval port that encircled the old town and was accompanied by the repositioning inland of the city’s fortified boundaries, the Singelgracht. Amsterdam has more than one hundred kilometers of canals in Amsterdam, about 90 islands and 1500 bridges. History. Nowadays, however, they are extremely popular especially when they are located near the city center. Why are Amsterdam canal houses so narrow? No wonder the city’s nickname is: ‘Venice of the North. The Amsterdam City Swim. There's no city on earth with a higher density and a broader variety of floating homes than Amsterdam. Trade exploded in the 17th century, Amsterdam’s Golden Age. In the lead up to the swim each year, Waternet closely monitors canal water quality for the presence of two "guide" bacterias: E. coli and enterococcus. Go for dinner at one of the canal restaurants or book a night in a historical canal house hotel for a complete canal experience. Where in Amsterdam are the canals? During the ‘Dutch Golden Age’, in which the Dutch Economy flourished more canals were built to transport goods. In 2010 the canal ring was recently placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The city’s canal ring and its design is an early example of large-scale, … Although the first canals were built as early as the 14th century, the main network of canals was expanded significantly in the 17th century. Its canals and harbors fill a full quarter of Amsterdam’s total surface. The Amsterdam City Swim, launched in 2012, demonstrates the potential of clean canals.That year then-Princess Maxima took the plunge (and survived), swimming two kilometres to raise money for charity. The lavish interior of the Amsterdam canal houses and their architecture reflect the financial and societal success of the merchant families in 17th century Amsterdam. Amsterdam canals during the middle ages. READ all about the construction of the canals HERE ⭐ Due to two canal houses on either side the house is barely noticeable. The plots of land along the three main, 17th-century canals (Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht) were … With the plan, in which utility and beauty were combined, a cautious start was made at the end of the 16th century. It is named after Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. Amsterdam has over 100 kilometers of canals, which surpasses the amount of canals in Venice considerably. Today, a subway line is being built in the old riverbed. ‘Aeme Stelle Redamme’ is Medieval Dutch for: ‘Dam in a Watery Area’. Canal belt In addition the canals are one of the city’s most touristic attractions. A new neighbourhood at the west of the canals was developed, the Jordaan. Amsterdam’s main canals – the Singel, Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht – form a crescent around the city centre. In 2013 the Amsterdam “Grachtengordel’ celebrates its 400th anniversary. The Amsterdam canals The three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, know It is now the inner-most canal in Amsterdam’s semicircular ring of canals. Amsterdam has close to 800.000 inhabitants who together have an estimates 900.000 bikes. Four massive ditches were dug around the Dam, with each connecting the currents flowing between Amsterdam’s main sources of water; the river Ij and Amstel.These new constructions were designed to encourage water traffic and meant that goods … Read all the reviews of Amsterdam Boat Events! Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings located from the 17th and 18th centuries. The walls were torn down in the 19th century, but remains can be seen when cruising the canals. Paris is often described as the city of love. The Herengracht (Gentleman’s Canal) is is the first and the most elegant of the three major canals in the city centre of Amsterdam. Are you excited to explore Amsterdam and its canals? Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has been called the "Venice of the North" for its more than one hundred kilometres of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges.The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the grachtengordel. In 1612 the municipality started a plan to expand the city which made Amsterdam … Book a dinner cruise through Amsterdam! Please click here, Facts and figures about the canals of Amsterdam. Over the years they have continued to define the city’s landscape. Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, is for those abroad known for its canals in the center of the city. The canals were dug to use as a way of transport through Amsterdam. The Amstel is a river, but what defines a canal? The first canals were dug for water management and defence. That’s why a trip to Amsterdam is not complete without an Amsterdam boat tour through the canals. History. Built during the Golden Age of the 17th century, Amsterdam’s Canal Ring, known locally as the Grachtengordel, is comprised of a network of intersecting waterways. The swamps were systematically drained one section at a time which created islands surrounded by canals. The Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal) is the second and the widest of the three major canals in the city centre of Amsterdam, in between the Herengracht and the Prinsengracht. With a ride on a classic saloon boat or with the Canal Bus, the city can be admired from the water. How Venice’s canals were built: how was built on water? You can find Amsterdam’s smallest house nearby the canals of Amsterdam at Oude Hoogstraat 22. Once created, they could sell shares and buy land, bringing in widespread investment, not just local. People used to pour their waste into the canals giving them a … To be fair though the whole of Amsterdam was apparently pretty ripe at the end of the 1800s, before the advent of the city’s second golden age. Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings located from the 17th and 18th centuries. to be found? Amsterdam has a long and eventful history. Unescco world heritage Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities of the world, mainly because the narrow streets are best navigated by bike. The façade of the house is a mere 2.02 meters wide, and the house itself is six meters deep. There are, however, a certain fact you probably didn’t know (yet)…. Nowadays they are the home of many festivities such as the Gay Pride or Kingsday. Read all about where they're situated HERE ⭐ But when they were first built in the 17 th century, they weren’t meant for inspiration – they were critical to the survival of the city. Built in the Middle Ages, the walls of Amsterdam were meant to defend the city against an attack. Throughout the year canal tours show tourists the amazing historical canal houses of the city from the water. The canal runs from the IJ bay, behind the  Central Station, to the Muntplein square, where it meets the Amstel river. In addition, Amsterdam has approximately 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1500 bridges. The three canals were given an exclusive residential function, they were ‘urban palaces’ of wealthy merchants bankers, administrators of the city and other wealthy people of Amsterdam. The Singel encircled the city in the Middle Ages. Canals stimulated new ways of raising capital, as the majority of canals were built as joint stock companies, with each company having to apply for an act of Parliament. The ring of canals in Amsterdam is dotted with many unusually narrow houses. The group over the years has expanded with numurous shops and The Spiegelkwartier. Houses along this … The reason Amsterdam has so many of these narrow buildings is because at one point in its history, the government charged homeowners based on the front width of their home. Being  a remnant of the Golden Age the Canal belt forms the heart of Amsterdam and offers a diversity of cultural highlights Know Before You Go As the city expanded in the Middle Ages, successive defence moats ended up inside the walls and lost their function. You can find Amsterdam’s smallest house nearby the canals of Amsterdam at Oude Hoogstraat 22. The famous canals of Amsterdam were a result of good city planning (to keep our Dutch friends’ heads above water), and easily serve as additional streets for transportation. Three major canals were built around the old city, one after the other. The canals of Amsterdam were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010 as an example of town planning that influenced the world for centuries. The canals of Venice are among the world’s most romantic places, but before the atmospheric waterways we know and love today came into existence – before the grandeur of the city’s opulent palazzos and piazzas – there was only a marshy, muddy lagoon with little going for it beyond a smattering of 124 small islands. The impressive mansions along the Amsterdam canals were built during the Golden Age of Amsterdam. Throughout the centuries, the phased expansions of the city of Amsterdam were thoroughly planned. In the middle ages, the first canals were built for water management purposes, defense mechanisms and as transportation routes. Why were they built? Nowadays the Canal District area forms the vibrant heart of Amsterdam with its shops, restaurants, hotels,  museums, theaters and cinemas. This city built on water is known for its fascinating history, iconic architecture and sights that date back to its Golden Age beginnings. Which were constructed first? Image: Amsterdam Municipal Department for the Preservation and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Sites (bMA) The canals have a rich history starting 400 years ago and were part of the economic and cultural boom during the 17th Century. Enjoy each other’s company while strolling through the city’s narrow streets and dining at the most exquisite restaurants or experience the beauty of Amsterdam together during a romantic canal cruise. You probably already know a few facts about these canals. The most fashionable part is called the Golden Bend, with many double wide mansions, inner gardens and coach houses on the Keizersgracht. The three canals which comprise the canal belt are the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and the Keizersgracht. Fact 2: Most Amsterdam canals date back almost 500 years. It’s a well-known fact that most locals get around by bike but did you also know that the city has more bikes than inhabitants? It served as a moat around the city from 1480 until 1585, when Amsterdam expanded beyond the Singel. Although these charming waterways are certainly easy on the eye, they were built in order to fulfill several civic functions and have played a … In the same year a number of hotels, restaurants and musea, located at those canals, decided to work together under the name of Amsterdam Canal District. The 17th-century Amsterdam canals are a world renowned location of cultural and historical significance with a rich history spanning 400 years of development, expansion, innovation and engineering. The first canals were dug for water management and defence. The first canals were dug during the medieval times and were just for transport of goods and people. Leiden and Delft were also designed with canal transportation in mind. The difference between these two is that a canal is man-made and a river isn’t. Do you want to leave a review as well? Amsterdam is the most watery city in the world. “Within 50 years, the 3 main canals of the city were dug and the houses around them were built. Some people however enjoy this view every day from their floating home. The famous Amsterdam canal system dates from the 17th century, which, due to the cultural, economic and political prosperity, was also called the golden age.