New canal museum in heart of Amsterdam

New canal museum in heart of Amsterdam

4th April 2011, Comments 3 comments

"To the Amsterdam canals, all my heart I shall pledge..." Those are the opening words of a Dutch song made famous by cabaret singer and cultural icon, Wim Sonneveld.

Each year, some three million tourists take a canal cruise to view Amsterdam’s ring of canals from the best vantage point: the water. Now, before embarking on their boat tour, they can first visit the latest in an impressive list of Amsterdam museums – The Canal House Museum (in Dutch, Het Grachtenhuis Museum).

Located in one of the most striking mansions on the Herengracht, the museum will open in mid-April. Supported by audio-visual footage, it will serve as a gateway to discovering the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of the almost four-centuries-old ring of canals.

Photo © tomdoom

Drainage, security, trade
The permanent exhibition features the construction of the canals during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, when Amsterdam was a booming trade city full of wealthy merchants. The ring is a striking example of highly-organised urban planning. Because the city was built on marshy land, the canals initially served as drainage systems.

Photo © tomdoom

The canals also played a role in Amsterdam's security. Whenever the city expanded, a new canal was constructed to protect residents from attacks. Later, they also had a commercial purpose when they were used for transporting goods.

Photo © stevecadman

Amsterdam’s canals and cultural history are the most important reasons given by 1.5 million tourists for visiting the city, according to the museum’s website.

Photo credits: Flickr © tomdoom and stevecadman

Radio Netherlands

3 Comments To This Article

  • ingrid posted:

    on 11th September 2011, 13:23:24 - Reply

    If you're looking for a good example of a canal house and a nice museum then there are far better museums in Amsterdam than this one. What a disappointment. This is a tourist trap. And the ampel young non-informative crew hovering around without any information doesn't help.
    The Willet Holthuysen museum is by far superior. As an informatief and well informed / layed out museum. De Van Loon is another one which I would recommend
  • Sanjay posted:

    on 6th April 2011, 20:14:20 - Reply

    True,why no addres? :)

    Het Grachtenmuseum, Herengracht 386 in Amsterdam
  • Ben posted:

    on 6th April 2011, 12:00:18 - Reply

    Guys it would be nice to acutally put the address or the contact details of this new museum in the article. I can google it, but why not already mention those details.