AROUND THE CANALS - FEBRUARY 2006
Some name Amsterdam "The Venice of the North". I think it’s a bit unjust, as Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and does have its own personality, without needing the reference to Venice to affirm its own credentials. Amsterdam’s canals, lined by beautiful mansions and old trees, divide the city into ninety small islands, linked together by more than a thousands bridges. This post is dedicated to a stroll around Amsterdam's canals!
"SINGELGRACHT, near the Rijksmuseum – The Singelgracht became the outer limit of the city of Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th Century. The glass-topped barges offer one-hour canal tours around town"
"SINGELGRACHT – American Hotel and Holland Casino International"
"SINGELGRACHT - Hard Rock Café; of course, there is one in Amsterdam! By the water"
"AMSTEL - According to Wikipedia, Amsterdam took its name from the Amstel river. The city developed out of a small fishing village called «Amstelredam», built in the 13th century alongside a dam at the mouth of the river, and was granted city rights around 1300. The Amstel Intercontinental Hotel is one of the best places to stay!"
"MAGERE BRUG (The Skinny Bridge), built around 1670, is a wooden bridge that connects the banks of the Amstel river at Kerkstraat, between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht"
"PRINSENGRACHT, with houseboats"
"PRINSENGRACHT, with beautiful houses"
"THE STOPERA houses both the city hall of Amsterdam and the Muziektheater, home to De Nederlandse Opera, Het Nationale Ballet, and the Holland Symfonia. The curved front façade of the theatre faces the Amstel River and encloses the 14 metre high open foyers. The exterior of the theatre is built of Friesian red bricks, partly clad in Carrara marble"
"HERENGRACHT (The Gentlemen's Canal) is the first of the three major canals in Amsterdam's city centre. This is the interesting bridge next to the Amstel River"
"HERENGRACHT also has some of the most beautiful mansions in Amsterdam's city centre"
"THE NETHERLANDS MARITIME MUSEUM, housed in the National Naval Depot, which is a former arsenal of the Dutch Navy, brings you back to the past times of the Golden Age and of the Dutch East India Company (VOC)"
"OUDEZIJDS VOORBURGWAAL (what an incredible name) is in the heart of the red-light district, but also has some typical Amsterdam town mansions built for wealthy merchants. The upper floors of the mansions were used as storage space for commodities, which were hoisted up and pulled inside"
"SPIEGELGRACHT – It seems that around the corner is the antiques boulevard of Amsterdam, and though it covers only a 4-block stretch, it's said to be one of Europe's finest antiques hunting grounds. At one end is the Rijksmuseum; at the other is Herengracht's Golden Bend, where Amsterdam's wealthiest burghers once lived in magnificent mansions that have been turned over to banks and embassies. Among the items you might see are old dolls, rare editions, Indonesian puppets, Persian tapestries, landscape paintings, candlesticks, music boxes, old Dutch clocks, and, of course, the little spiegels, or mirrors, that give its name to the canal"
"BLOEMENGRACHT, quite close to Anne Frank's house - now a museum - is one of the smaller canals, which is especially pleasant"
"HOUSEBOAT at night"