Amsterdam Favorite Tips by codrutz
Amsterdam Favorites: 948 reviews and 1,030 photos
Scanned by George M. Welling from the Blaeu Atlas
Favorite thing: First appearance of the name of the city - Amsterdam was in the Middle Ages in the official documents. There is only a legend about its foundation, accordindg to which two fishermen, surprised by a violent storm while fishing at sea with their dog, were shipwrecked and built a refuge in the swamps, where the River Amstel flows into the estuary of Zuider Zee. This settlement, founded by the two fishermen and their families who joined them later, is said to be the origin of what was to be Amsterdam. They built a village at the mouth of Amstel River and also made a dam to protect their homes from the stormy waters. Therefore the name .. Amstelledamme (dam on the Amstel), which later became Amsterdam.
Favorite thing: The dutch word for canal is "gracht". Therefore, the name of the canals ends in "..gracht".
Singelgrachtl - The Singel, Amsterdam's innermost canal, the narrowest circle of the half-moons of canals. Its name means ring or belt and it marked the boundary of the medieval town. Before 17th century, the Singel was merely a ditch separating the town walls from the gardens and lawns of Amsterdam's immediate outskirts. This wide, windy canal was heavily urbanized as from the second half of the 17th century.
Herrengracht - The Gentlemen's Canal, like the other canals called the Keizergracht and the Prinsengracht, dates from 1612, when it was decided too dig a concentric series of canals surrounding the centre of the city. On the sides of the Herrengracht are the aristocratic dwellings of the richest families in Amsterdam who once favoured this part of the city. The richest merchants competed with another for the most beautiful or largest house. Over 400 houses on Herrengracht are considered national monuments. They are mainly banks or offices as their maintenance is too expensive for private ownership.
Keizergracht - The Emperor's Canal owes its name to the Maximilian I, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Keizergracht connects the Amstel to Brouwergracht. Its houses are not as impressive as those on the parallel Herrengracht, but still they keep the charm.
Prinsengracht - It is the most popular of Amsterdam's main canals and the outermost ring of its semicircumference. In fact, Princes Canal marks the outer boundary of the centre of Amsterdam.
Canal houses in Amsterdam
Favorite thing: About 20.000 buildings make up the historical city centre on 800 hectares. One third was built before 1850. Many of this buildings are carefully preserved and declared national or municipal monuments. Moreover, the city centre is eligible for a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Amsterdam is not a city of churches and palaces, but of monumental mansions along the canals. The only two palaces in Amsterdam are the Royal Palace and the Trippenhuis, but even this was not the home of any royalty.
The long rows of narrow houses are the main feature of the buildings in Amsterdam. And this form was because the city's building taxes were based on house frontage, so the narrow the facade, the less tax. Nevertheless, the depth of the house compensates, making them bigger from inside the seen from the outside. One should enter a 'narrow' house to see the real space inside.
The typical 'step gable' houses features many big windows with shutters all over the facade, allowing as much sunlight as possible.
Another interesting feature of the row canal houses is the pulley on top of 99% of the houses. This pulley is necessary in order to bring the large furniture inside the house. Because of the narrow facade, the entrance door and more over, the space for maneuvering the furniture inside, the stairs and everything, do not permit the furniture to be introduced like in a normal house. Than, the furniture is lifted with the help of the pulley and introduced trough the big windows.
Fondest memory: Narrow facade, big windowed, and not one missing the pulley canal houses.
© Municipal Dept. for Monuments of Amsterdam
Favorite thing: Amsterdam grew along the banks of the Amstel River and learnt to live and draw its livelihood from water. Its fortunate geographical position and the hard work of its people made the fishing village to became a large trading center, during the era of the famous West India and East India Companies.
In the course of the 17th century the crescent shape of Amsterdam grew, because people formed more semi-circular canals, making the city wall and the city gates further and further on the outskirts.
The city is known also like the Venice of the North, because of its 100 kilometers of canals, linked by about 400 stone bridges, and its about 90 islands.
More Reviews (30)
codrutz's Related Pages
Amsterdam Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "MY BIRTHPLACE"
- "Amsterdam - I love it!"
- "God made the Dutch, but the Dutch made Holland"
- "Amsterdam, is it real?"
- "Amsterdam, where the Dutch money is spend"
- "Amsterdam! The most liberal city in the World"
- "dila's new Amsterdam Page"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Amsterdam
- Hotels in Amsterdam
- Transportation in Amsterdam
- Nightlife in Amsterdam
- Restaurants in Amsterdam
- Shopping in Amsterdam
- Warnings and Dangers in Amsterdam
- See All...
Explore the World
- Pulau Sibu Kukus Hotels
- Yamba Hotels
- State of Rajasthan
- Port Clyde Hotels
- Littlerock Hotels
- Providenciales Island
- Quezon City
Badges & Stats in Amsterdam
- 34 Reviews
- 51 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 21 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (27)
Have you been to Amsterdam?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Amsterdam
- Posted in Travel Bucharest Forum "Re: Gas cartridge"
- updated a Amsterdam Travel Page "Amstel's Dam - Amsterdam"
- Uploaded a Photo to "Amstel's Dam - Amsterdam"
- Commented on one of ClassyGirl's Amsterdam travel pages
- Wrote a Review Foam - The Fotografiemuseum about Foam Museum in Amsterdam Things to Do
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bucharest Intro, 83 reviews, 158 photos, 5 travelogues
- Paris Intro, 51 reviews, 108 photos, 4 travelogues
- Rome Intro, 39 reviews, 97 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Romania Intro, 31 reviews, 101 photos, 10 travelogues
- Vienna Intro, 40 reviews, 77 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Saint-Tropez Intro, 29 reviews, 83 photos, 1 travelogue
- Florence Intro, 35 reviews, 76 photos
- Sibiu Intro, 39 reviews, 57 photos, 2 travelogues
- Amsterdam Intro, 34 reviews, 51 photos, 2 travelogues
- Frankfurt am Main Intro, 36 reviews, 49 photos, 2 travelogues
Latest Amsterdam hotel reviews
- Nova Hotel - Amsterdam
- 190 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 15, 2013
- Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam
- 1157 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 18, 2013
- Hotel Seven One Seven Amsterdam
- 162 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 13, 2013
- Best Western Blue Square Hotel
- 316 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 14, 2013
- Royal Taste Hotel Amsterdam
- 22 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 11, 2013
- Hotel De Mallemoolen Amsterdam
- 46 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 12, 2013
- Old Nickel
- 84 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 17, 2013
- Belga Hotel
- 77 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 12, 2013
- Albay Homestay
- 4 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 22, 2008
- Hotel Singel
- 333 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 17, 2013
- Sandton Hotel de Filosoof Amsterdam
- 143 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 30, 2013
- Paganini Hotel Amsterdam
- 59 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 27, 2013
- Mauro Mansion
- 348 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 17, 2013
- Hotel Monopole & Apartments
- 51 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 24, 2013
- Red Light District - De Wallen- 127 Reviews, 151 Photos
- Anne Frank House- 230 Reviews, 238 Photos
- Canal Boat Tours- 177 Reviews, 288 Photos
- Rijksmuseum- 208 Reviews, 342 Photos
- Sex Museum- 45 Reviews, 58 Photos
- Heineken Brewery- 98 Reviews, 139 Photos
- Dam Square- 89 Reviews, 162 Photos
- Coffee Shops- 123 Reviews, 132 Photos
- Flower Market - Bloemenmarkt- 65 Reviews, 101 Photos
- Van Gogh Museum- 158 Reviews, 170 Photos
See All Amsterdam Things to Do