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Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 16-17 centuries
Date of Inscription: 2010
Location: Europe, Netherlands, Amsterdam
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Description: The historic urban ensemble of the canal district of Amsterdam was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries as a project for a new ‘port city’. This was a longterm program that shifted inland the city’s fortified boundaries, the Singelgracht, and extended the city onto drained swampland, using a concentric system of canals to the west and south of the historic old town to fill in the intermediate spaces, and allowing development of an urban ensemble that inclouded gabled houses and numerous monuments. This urban extension was the largest and most homogeneous of its time, and served as a reference and model of large-scale town planning until the 19th century. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  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 three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the grachtengordel. Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings. The 17th-century canal ring area, including the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan, are put on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Singel encircled the medieval city of Amsterdam. It served as a moat around the city from 1480 until 1585, when Amsterdam expanded beyond Singel. The canal runs from the IJ bay, near Central Station, to the Muntplein square, where it meets the Amstel river. It is now the inner-most canal in Amsterdam's semicircular ring of canals. The canal should not be confused with Singelgracht canal, which became the outer limit of the city during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th Century. Herengracht (Patricians' Canal or Lord's Canal) is the first of the three major canals in the city centre of Amsterdam. The canal is named after the heren regeerders who governed the city in the 16th and 17th century. The most fashionable part is called the Golden Bend, with many double wide mansions, inner gardens and coach houses on Keizersgracht. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center ( 2. Wikipedia.
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