Canal Ring of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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. These were developed through the drainage and reclamation of land for new development. 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 maritime trade. The most famous trademarks of this new canal belt became the concentric loop of the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel canals.

Since 1999, the city’s distinctive canal landscape has officially been protected, and in 2010 the Amsterdam Canal Ring was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In 2013, the Canal Ring also celebrated its 400th birthday.

Amsterdam’s maritime success in the Golden Age not only led to urban expansion, but a boom in trade and architectural development. This was marked by the building of the city’s remarkable canal-side estates in the 17th and 18th centuries – most of which are still standing today. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to call one of these monuments your home, there are plenty of ways to experience life by the water in both museumsand special events in and around the canals.

Located inside an actual canal house, Het Grachtenhuis (Museum of the Canals) is a great way to learn more about the Canal Ring and its development over the centuries, with its multimedia exhibits bringing history to life. And for those looking to experience the present as well as learn about the past, events such as Open Garden Days and Amsterdam Heritage Days allow canal houses and city centre monuments to open their doors to the public.

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Founded: 17th century
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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tiago Mokwa (2 months ago)
Loved! I want to move here.
Ali Jabbar (3 months ago)
Amazing place for walking around
Diana Messah (5 months ago)
My Holidays
Leonardo Coneglian (7 months ago)
Worth have a trip trough the Amsterdam Canals wile you here. Nice to have a quick look at the paces then go around for better view walking.
VinCEBU Travel (7 months ago)
Lively place, safe downtown very accesible to train station.
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