Canal hike: De Herengracht (Lord's Canal)

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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The Nieuwe Herengracht. Note the nice cola commercial on the front

In New York I hiked almost all the Avenues of Manhattan (see here). Amsterdam does not have Avenues. But, unlike other cities in The Netherlands and unlike the majority of the European cities Amsterdam does have some pattern- structured roads. Not the dead straight streets like the New York Avenues, but concentric ones: the Grachtengordel (ring of canals).

The Grachtengordel is a series of four canals constructed as half concentric circles around the oldest core of the historic city center. The construction of the canals started at the end of the 16th century. The land next to the canals was available for the rich merchants who built very impressive and luxury houses.

The grachtengordel is still here (more or less) in place.

Bridge at the Amstel
They are still impressive, and are a pleasant place to hiking along. The canal venues are still amongst the most expensive in the cities. 

As a Dutch equal of my New York Avenue hikes I thought it would be a nice idea to walk the canals of the grachtengordel. And today would be the first effort. I chose gracht #2: the Herengracht (the Lord's Canal).

The Herengracht is the second canal from the center, built in 1612. (That is two years before the Dutch landed in, what is now called New York.) It was named after the Lords the Rulers of the City: The Lord's Canal (Herengracht). Before it became a canal it used to be a bastion at the city limits. A bend in the canal near the Driekoningenstraat is still a silent evidence of that time.

I started at the eastern side of the city in the old docks where the old warehouses have been converted into hipster condos.

The first part, the Kattenburgerstraat, was not officially the Herengracht, but a logical extension. The canal started at the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum), an impressive building dating back to 1656, a former warehouse. The 6-km long hike (3.7-mile) hike took me along quite some sights. Very pleasant. Only a pity that the weather was grey (as it has been for weeks now) and the sun was nowhere to be seen.

More pictures below. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten foto ook vertoond wordt. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets 

sophiabowie says:
Beautiful photos. I do miss this city!
Posted on: Mar 16, 2014
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The Nieuwe Herengracht. Note the n…
The Nieuwe Herengracht. Note the …
Bridge at the Amstel
Bridge at the Amstel
The former warehouses in the docks
The former warehouses in the docks
The former warehouses in the docks
The former warehouses in the docks
The Kattenburgerstraat Bridge
The Kattenburgerstraat Bridge
Kattenburgerstraat
Kattenburgerstraat
Old and new at the Kattenburgerstr…
Old and new at the Kattenburgerst…
Kattenburgerstraat
Kattenburgerstraat
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
The Scheepsvaartmuseum
Graffiti is also here.
Graffiti is also here.
Rapenbruger sluis Bridge
Rapenbruger sluis Bridge
An entrance of one of the many imp…
An entrance of one of the many im…
Herengracht
Herengracht
A Dutch view
A Dutch view
A typical Amsterdam scene
A typical Amsterdam scene
One of the many canal tour boats
One of the many canal tour boats
At the Vijzelstraat
At the Vijzelstraat
Anno 1722
Anno 1722
Near the driekoningenstraat one st…
Near the driekoningenstraat one s…
Even in the middle of Amsterdam, i…
Even in the middle of Amsterdam, …
My Canal hike (rendered by GPSVisu…
My Canal hike (rendered by GPSVis…
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou