Monday, March 5, 2007

The Canals in Amsterdam

Since the 17th century, Amsterdam has been one of the largest historic centers in Europe. During this time, a series of semi-circular canals (or grachten) were dug around the old city center. After the construction of the canals, houses and other buildings were built along the canals. Today, houses are still built along the canals thus making the canals one of the main elements that defines the organization and layout of Amsterdam. Many of the houses are built up on wooden piles for support above the canals. Having a house on the canal allows the residents access to a boat docking area. The canals are used for transportation in some areas of the city whether it is by a personally owned boat or by one of the city “canal buses.” The canals give Amsterdam a unique appearance that not many cities have and make it an interesting city to visit and explore.
Amy Altman

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