Cycle route World Heritage | Amsterdam Canal District
Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Zuid, Zunderdorp
Amsterdam is famous for its canals. The canals were built in the 17th century, when Amsterdam was bursting at the seams as a result of the fertile Golden Age. The city needed to expand. Therefore, the city council devised a plan to make Amsterdam five times larger, by means of the ring of canals that was laid out like a fan around the old city centre. All the canals together counted 14 kilometres of canal and 80 bridges. A true urban, hydraulic and architectural masterpiece that served as an example to the rest of the world for centuries.
In many other European cities, such grandiose plans have often been abandoned, usually because authoritarian monarchies ruled the roost. Amsterdam's plans were produced by the civic government that worked closely with its enterprising and prosperous inhabitants. With this collaboration, they knew how to combine functionality with beauty in such a way that it would deliver the best returns for all. And that it could be financed. This approach also made the project innovative on a social and political level.
Along the water, warehouses and merchant houses could be built, allowing products to be stored and traded from all over the world. In this way, Amsterdam was a bit like the 'department store of the world'. Not only in terms of products, as foreign merchants and immigrants brought their knowledge and culture, the city also became the centre in intellectual terms.
Although the city has more canals, it is the four most famous ones that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Singelgracht, the Herengracht, the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht. These canals form the core of the ring of canals. The surrounding canals act as a buffer zone, protecting the core zone. This cycle route takes you past both zones. From Amsterdam's Central Station, cycle along the Singelgracht to the Grachtenmuseum. Between Herengracht and Keizersgracht, on Vijzelstraat, is the UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Centre in the De Bazel building. This warehouse with striking exterior is not to be missed. Be sure to step inside to discover more about the ring of canals, as well as the other World Heritage Sites.
Via a route along the Vondelpark, among others, you cross the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal to Waterland, a region full of polder landscapes. Rich city dwellers used to like to head for the Beemster for a holiday home in the countryside. Here, they could escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the peace and quiet. Just like you when you cycle here!
Before you cross 't IJ again by ferry to Central Station, we definitely recommend visiting the tourist attraction This is Holland. This 5D flight simulator lets you experience the story of Holland in an hour. The wind and water effects make it true to life!
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