Herengracht, Amsterdam Overview

The Herengracht was dug out as a part of the historic Grachtengordel canal in the 17th century and remains the most important canal in the city today. This ‘Gentleman’s canal’ and the area around is known for its posh and grand tone and is an excellent escape into the charm of beautiful Amsterdam.

Dug out in the 17th century in Amsterdam, Herengracht is the most important canal in the city and was once the place of the rich and elites of the city. Even till this date, addresses here are viewed to be of high standing with the official residence of the Mayor of Amsterdam at Number 502. Herengracht takes its name from the wealthy ‘Heren Regeerders’ who governed Amsterdam in the 16th and 17th centuries. It starts with the Herenmarkt, a square which hosts one of the historical monuments of the city, the West Indies House built in 1617 which served as the former headquarters of the Dutch West India Company.

Herengracht breathes down the charm of age old Amsterdam with the beautiful and grand ‘Gouden Bocht’ (Golden Bend) in the southern canal ring and alongside it the beautiful residences and mansions which once belonged to the merchants of the city. With museums like Huis Bartolotti, Museum of Bags and Purses, and over 400 buildings marked as heritage sites, this canal also offers the canal bus service to savour in the mesmerizing beauty of this part of Amsterdam.

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History

The Dutch Golden Age saw the construction of Amsterdam’s iconic canal rings, designed to increase the trade and commerce of the city and for easy communication between the merchants. It, however, also served as a defensive system against the attackers. This canal belt is known as the Grachtengordel, now a UNESCO Heritage Site and includes the four major canals connecting the city - Herengracht, Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, and Singel.

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