Some Interesting Facts about Amsterdam Canals

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Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities when it comes to scenic beauty. Why not, the city is crammed with amazing landscapes, pictorial bridges, canals, aesthetic architecture, etc. Needless to say, the tulip blooms in every nook and cranny makes the city look like a location from the fairytale movies. Hence, there will be hardly any traveler, who does not dream to explore this magical land.

When you hear about Amsterdam, the first thing that pops into your mind will be the picturesque canals over here. There are approximately 165 canals, 90 islands, and 1500 bridges in Amsterdam making the tag ‘Venice of the North’ justifiable. Some of the most significant canals in the Dutch capital are Keizersgracht, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Singel. All these canals come under the seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam. Unsurprisingly, UNESCO added this beautiful canal belt to its world heritage list in 2010, as their main objective is to preserve the unique and important natural attractions all around the world.

One of the best ways to float down the Amsterdam canals that offers a stunning backdrop to the historical sites here is to avail a canal cruise. In fact, this one of the top-rated activities in the city currently and you cannot wrap up your Amsterdam tours without enjoying one. Below are some interesting and funny facts about the picturesque canals in Amsterdam that are sure to make your Amsterdam tours even more exciting.

The City Got its Name from a River

Amsterdam was actually discovered as a fishing village in the 12th Century and it got its name from the famous Amstel River. In 1220, the citizens here built a dam in order to protect their village from floods from the south sea entering the non-coastal areas of the village. At that time, the place was known as Amstellodamus, which became Amsterdam in the following years.

There are 165 Canals in Amsterdam

There are around 165 canals in Amsterdam stretching over a length of 100 kilometers in the city. Over 1500 bridges cross these canals, which beautify these amazing canals too to amaze each and every visitor. These stunning waterways along with the bridges and some beautiful islands in between make the city nothing less than a mystical land.

One of the Famous Paintings of Claude Monet Was the South Church in Amsterdam

Claude Monet, a famous French impressionist painter, painted the South Church in Amsterdam about thirteen times during his trip to the Netherlands. Actually, the South Church or Zuiderkerk that was constructed in between 1603 and 1611 was the first church in Amsterdam. The painting of Monet, that exactly mimics the stunning South Church along with the waterways in front of it, is something that every artist yearns to recreate.

Dancing Houses in the Dutch Capital

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There are many tilted houses alongside the canals of Amsterdam. These buildings are known as dancing houses because of their unique structures. Actually, these houses were constructed for wealthy merchants and bankers here in order to serve as both their house and workplace. Since the soil in this area was really swampy, they had to construct their houses on the stilts making the buildings wobble and sink into the canals.

The Number of Bridges in Amsterdam is More than That of Venice

Most people have a misconception that the number of bridges in the Italian city, Venice is more than that of Amsterdam. However, the fact is that there are only around 409 bridges over the canals of Venice, whereas Amsterdam canals boast of around 1500 bridges. That is almost three times as many bridges as that of Venice.

The Popular Magere Brug Bridge

Out of around 1500 bridges in Amsterdam, the Magere Brug, also known as the skinny bridge is one of the most popular ones. The bridge got its name because of its narrow structure. However, it was demolished and reconstructed later because of its poor condition. It is located over the famous Amstel River and connects the banks of Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. This drawbridge opens almost every twenty minutes in order to let the giant boats pass through.

Houseboats in Amsterdam

There are approximately 2500 houseboats in Amsterdam and most of them have been floating on the canals for more than a century. There is a wide variety of houseboats available here that ranges from the simple ones to the concrete ones, which does not require frequent repairs, although these houseboats are repainted every three years as per the law in Amsterdam. There is even a houseboat museum in the city for all the visitors who are curious to know what it will be like to ride in one.