Canals of Amsterdam, The "Venice of the North"

Amsterdam has been called the "Venice of the North" for its more than one hundred kilometres of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The canals of Amsterdam have been part of the city's landscape since the early 14th century. However most of the current canals were built during the Dutch golden age in the 17th century. There are three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht.

The Herengracht canal runs from Leidsestraat to Vijzelstraat, is known as the 'Golden Bend.' The most beautiful and most magnificent of all canal houses are located in this curve of the canal. A lovely example is the house on the corner of Leidsegracht: it features a beautiful Dutch classicist clock gable. The house is named after the plaque featuring four knights on horseback (Vier Heemskinderen). Several of the other houses show family coat of arms.

At the Prinsengracht section some of the houses on this canal are very old indeed. The Papeneiland pub at number 2 dates from the 17th century! Holland’s first professional school for nurses, the Prinsengracht Hospital, is also located along this canal. The Wallon Orphanage stands at the corner of Vijzelgracht. The building’s wing on Prinsengracht dates from 1726.

Four warehouses where once 100,000 liters of cod liver oil were stored can be seen at Keizersgracht 40-44. Warehouses form an important part of Amsterdam’s industrial heritage. Number 123 is the “House with the Heads.” Legend has it that the maid caught six burglars red-handed and beheaded them with an axe. Number 546 boasts one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful clock gables. 

The Amsterdam canals is a "must see" in Amsterdam tourism. There is just so much to admire and experience. 

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