Canals and bridges of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the few cities in old Europe that boasts man-made canals and bridges. Their appearance is the result of successful urban planning.
If you look at Amsterdam from a height, you can see that the canals encircle the old part of the city with four concentric half rings. They form about 90 islands interconnected by bridges, the number of which exceeds 1500. Along the canals are the most interesting places in Amsterdam, attracting thousands of tourists here.
A bit of history
The very first channel – Singel, was originally dug in the years 1428-1450 as a defensive urban moat. Gradually, its shores began to be built up, and he ended up inside the city. For a while he was called Koningsgracht, which from the Dutch means the Royal Canal. The singel begins at the city bay and ends at the Amstel River.
Bridges and canals of Amsterdam – aerial view
At the beginning of the XVII century, with the growth of immigration and the number of citizens, a large-scale plan was drawn up for the construction of three more semicircular canals, resting their ends on the bay. Work began in 1612 and lasted fifty years with small interruptions. This is how Heerengracht appeared – the second of four half rings, Keysersgracht – the third channel, and Prinsengracht – the longest of all. They are now used to move around the city. It is also worth noting that Amsterdam canals are marked by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.
Amsterdam is a great choice for a romantic trip. To get to know the city better, it is recommended to take a guided tour of the canals, which is carried out on small pleasure boats moored at the waterfront. Such water activities are available to everyone and take about an hour. Tourists are shown the most iconic places of the city, as well as talk about the maritime and colonial past of Holland.
Tours of the canals of Amsterdam
During such walks it is impossible not to notice floating houses “parked” on the sides. Some of them are made from refitted old barges, others are installed on special platforms that can be towed using boats. They owe their appearance to the banal lack of housing, which was especially felt after the Second World War.
Houseboats in Amsterdam
This idea was so popular with the Dutch that floating housing flooded the entire coast and there was practically no free space. Moreover, to be its owner is very prestigious, because the cost of the boat is not inferior to the prices of decent apartments. Currently, in Amsterdam alone, over 2,500 floating houses are registered.
Tip: some barges are converted into floating hotels in Amsterdam, you can book rooms using popular Internet services.
Numerous canals and waterways forced to build bridges through them, but this does not mean that they are secondary buildings. They are beautiful during the day, but at night, some of them simply amaze with dazzling lighting, adding even more charm to the city.
Tip: if you stand at the intersection of the Reguliersgracht and Herenhracht canals (on the odd side), you can simultaneously catch a view of 15 bridges.
To enjoy the atmosphere of Amsterdam, you can rent a bicycle and ride around the city as entertainment, as the Dutch do. The most famous bridges include:
Amsterdam’s bridges and canals – worth a look
Skinny bridge (Magere Brug) – is one of Amsterdam’s iconic drawbridges. It is easily recognizable thanks to many films.
Torensluis Bridge – was built in 1648 and is the oldest bridge in the city, which has retained its original condition. The lattice windows below it serve as a reminder of the prison that was once there.
Amsterdam Original Bridges – Python Bridge
The Python Bridge (Python Bridge) – amazes with its unusual snake forms. It was built in 2001.
A trip to Northern Venice will greatly expand your tourist horizons and fill your vacation with vivid and unforgettable emotions.