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Why Are There So Many Canals In Amsterdam?

Why are there so many canals in Amsterdam? Why does Amsterdam need canals? All your questions about canals in Amsterdam will be answered in this post.

How Many Canals Are There In Amsterdam?


Currently, the official number of canals in Amsterdam is 165. Their total length is about 46 miles. However, this amount can be changed over time. At a specific time, these canals will become roadways and vice versa.

The Oudezijds Voorburgwal, which was dug up in 1385, is the most geriatric channel in Amsterdam.

The longest trench in Amsterdam is the Singelgracht. This canal is 2.2 miles long. People built this canal in the 17th century for defensive purposes.

The widest one is the Keizersgracht, with 33 yards.

Why Does Amsterdam Need So Many Canals?


Not just Amsterdam, but other regions of the Netherlands are below ocean level. Without dikes and dams, the whole city would be submerged in water. 

The effort of the Dutch to proclaim their motherland from the ocean began 2500 years ago. The early settlers made a rudimentary system of dams to preserve themselves and their crops from sea deluge.

During the Middle Ages, many more dams were built and linked to create persistent protection against the ocean. This allowed a continuous reclamation of land. As a result, the shape of the Netherlands became gradually visible.

Nevertheless, many regions of The Netherlands were not arid enough for living or farming. The foremost settlers in Amsterdam had to use rudimentary ditches for water sewerage. They started to build dams to control the water flow. Unfortunately, these ditches were inadequate to keep the water out.

Thus, between 1265 and 1275, people dug up a dam in the Amstel to prevent floodings. 

For later extensions, the Dutch used concentric rings of canals to empty water from the peat swamps. They also utilized the land plots between the canals to set up houses. As a result, canals in Amsterdam were a crucial part of the ongoing water drainage to guarantee that the city would not be submerged.

The Most Beautiful Canals


According to the locals in a canal beauty contest, Brouwersgracht was the most stunning one. There are many reasons why Brouwersgracht captured the love of the Amsterdam people. For example, the scenery at the junctions with the major canals, narrow streets alongside with less crowded than others, etc.

Other canals that also gain much love from the locals are the Reguliersgracht, Jordaan, and Groenburgwal. But remember that each landscape has its own unique beauty. Take yourself on a trip to this city to discover all the scenic views that cannot be felt via the screen.

Related Posts You Can Read:

10 Things About Amsterdam That SHOCK Visitors

3-Day Trip To Amsterdam For First-Time Visitors

Why is Utrecht the weirdest town in the Netherlands?

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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