What would be Amsterdam without its channels? Amsterdam’s channels are – according to UNESCO experts – 400 years old masterpiece of human genius. In 2013 it is precisely four centuries after the city authority’s decision of creating them. It happened in 1613, during the so-called Golden Dutch Age, when the city experienced an incredible boom, people were coming and the streets became too crowded.
This is why Amsterdam decided to build three new street-channels. Once used for com-munication and transportation, today they are also a great tourist attraction as well as a shelter on hot days. The most attractive and the main ones are the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals, forming a sort of ring of water, known as the Venice of the North (of course people of Amsterdam say that Venice is the Amsterdam of the South). There are over 600 channels in the city. And only very picturesque, but also noble houses, leaning over the channels, seem to be aware of their rich history. Text and pictures: Dorota Mazur.