Amsterdam is located in the estuary of the IJ river, at the junction with the Amstel, which gives its name to the city, the Amstel dike, “Amsterdam”, divides it into the south and north zones.
The Venice of the North
Amsterdam is often called the Venice of the North, For that characteristic physiognomy with its 160 canals that calmly travel the city and are crossed by more than 1200 bridges. An original image of the city, an emblem for many who dream of visiting it or who finally get to know it.
From the elegance of the Canal de Lords “Herengracht” or the Emperor’s “Keizersgracht” to the modesty of the smallest canals, in all, it is possible to find the charm of the water flowing through the city.
The first canals
The first canals began to be built at the end of the fourteenth century, due to the need for space and the growing trade traffic that was turning the small fishing village that arose a century before in a great capital of merchandise.the first belt of the town is constituted by the “Geldersekade” and “Kloveniersburgwal” canals to the east and Singel to the west, other great axes to guide us in the city
The first belt of the town is constituted by the “Geldersekade” and “Kloveniersburgwal” canals to the east and Singel to the west, other great axes to guide us in the city.
The Singel canal, the first ring, is the oldest of those that surround the city, and in certain sections offers a less elegant or noble image than other canals, since it was for a long time boundary and mooring port and the buildings were warehouses.
“Singel” means “a stroll that borders the canal” and was the boundary between the medieval city and the urban expansion carried out in successive centuries: numerous extensions and urban remodeling would modify the urban landscape, but always maintaining the channels as a delicious feature of the city.
In contrast to the simplicity of the Singel canal, we have the ostentation and grandeur of the Canal de Lords “Herengracht”, built after 1585 as a mainly residential area, with elegant and spacious houses that alternated with some other warehouse. More than 400 facades of private buildings follow each other splendorous, with special richness in “the Golden Curve”, a sample of the Dutch elite.
Sometimes sided by pedestrian walks, streets or roads, sometimes with the same unequal facades of delicious typical houses peeping without vertigo to its waters. Surfed by boats, skates, and barges with curious tourists enjoying the scenery, or by its citizens who give themselves a break with a few beers and the sound of music, riding their bicycles as just a real Dutch citizen could do it!.
It is essential to look for a quiet bench in which to contemplate the life to pass through some canals, and, why not, also to cross Amsterdam in one of the boats that make walks by the canals of the city.
In any case, the canals are an image closely linked to the Dutch capital and the one that will be engraved in our retinas when we close our eyes and we rest of the intense day by the streets of Amsterdam.
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