Draped prettily around the epicentre of this most vibrant city like an ornate necklace is the delightful and fairytale-like Canal Belt District. Known locally as the Grachtengordel, it is made up of four majestic waterways – the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht canals. Constructed during the city’s 17th century Golden Age it boasts a unique elegance that is instantly recognizable to millions as quintessential Amsterdam. You are sure to be immediately enchanted by the beautiful architecture of the tall leaning town houses, bohemian house boats and unexpected wildlife to be found along these graceful iconic waterways. Be sure to explore the area at night time when you will notice many of the charming bridges are lit up prettily by little lights reflecting atmospherically in the water.
Amazingly, a large chunk of the district narrowly missed being demolished altogether in the 1970s when many buildings had run into disrepair following the war and controversial plans were made to build a huge road to connect the city with outlying areas. Thankfully following many actual street battles with local residents, politicians and police the area was saved and the road was not built. Sadly much of the nearby Jewish district, the Waterlooplein, was destroyed already to make way for the Metro development. The Canal Belt added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2010 since it is now considered to be of great architectural and historical importance.
Canal Belt Highlights
The city of Amsterdam boasts over 60 museums and art galleries and some of them can be found within the Canal Belt district. The Canal House Museum is a great place to kick off your cultural tour of the city. Located in a stunning canal side building itself, it tells the fascinating story of the Amsterdam canals, explaining how and why they were created. The exhibition incorporates interactive multimedia exhibits and takes you on a four hundred year old journey back in time. You will be amazed by the beautifully restored interior with its high ceilings and chandeliers as well as the ornate courtyard garden at the rear. The museum is located at 386 Herengracht.
To discover even more about the Canal Belt and Amsterdam’s rich historic past then call in at the Amsterdam Historical Museum, also now known simply as Amsterdam Museum. You will find the entrance on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, a few second’s walk from the most central canal ring, Singel.
Other museums in the area are the Bible Museum at 366- 368 Herengracht, the unusual Cat Museum (Kat Kabinet) at 497 Herengracht and the world famous Anne Frank House Museum at 263 Prinsengracht, the most visited museum in the Netherlands.
Our Canal Belt Apartments
We have a wide selection of outstanding properties of varying sizes available for hire within this most beautiful and unique district. To see their availability and location information simply state the date of your visit and click the search button. If you need further assistance or have any questions then please contact our helpful and friendly support team.
Note: This information was accurate at time of posting but often establishments change without notice. Please be sure to confirm details directly with the locations before making plans. Copyright 2012.
by James Fisher