Amsterdam the ‘Venice of the North’?

UNESCO Heritage

Amsterdam has more than one hundred kilometers of canals and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht are dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age. They form concentric belts around the city, known as the ‘Grachtengordel‘.

Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings. The Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010, contributing to Amsterdam’s fame as ‘Venice of the North’. Do you want to know more about the history of the canals in Amsterdam? Check our blog ‘A brief history of the canals in Amsterdam’

It’s truely amazing to cruize or wander around on the canals and we highly recommend doing it, especially on sunny days.

Bridges – Canals UNESCO Heritage

There are around 500 bridges to see in the centre.  Nicest are the arch bridges and the draw bridges but of course there are also simple beam bridges, cable stayed bridges, suspension bridges and truss bridges.

Draw bridge, view from Amstel River

Draw bridge on the Nieuwe Herengracht, view from Amstel River

 

Prinsengracht crossing with Reguliersgracht

Arch bridges at Prinsengracht crossing with Reguliersgracht

 

Amsterdam from a different perspective –

Canals UNESCO Heritage

When boating the canals you see many things you haven’t seen before. Even the locals see new things from the water like bikes hanging over the railings of the canals, hidden street/canal art, swans and their breed or a boat to park your bike on from the water.

A bike hanging over the railing at the canals

A bike hanging over the railing at the canals

 

A boat to park your bike on

A boat to park your bike on

Swans on the canals, next to Central Station

Swans on the canals, next to Central Station

Stand Up Paddling on the Canals of Amsterdam

Stand Up Paddling (SUP) on the Canals of Amsterdam

Street art – Canals UNESCO Heritage

Street art can be found anywhere in Amsterdam and some people do not know that you may even find it along side the canals.

Street Art at the back of the Flower Market

Street Art at the back of the Flower Market

 

Amstel Dam – Canals UNESCO Heritage

Most guides will tell you that Amsterdam is called Amsterdam because they built a Dam into the River Amstel around 1270 AD. Historians are opposing this now because decades earlier there was a small settlement in the Amstel Delta which was already known as Amstelledamme. In this version of the story Amsterdam would mean ‘people who have settled at the dike along the river’.

One thing we know for sure: the Amstel River was and still is of great significance to the city of Amsterdam.

Boating the Amstel River

Boating the Amstel River

6 thoughts on “Amsterdam the ‘Venice of the North’?

  1. Dominique says:

    I was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and can totally understand why the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010!

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