TechnoTourist’s Engineering Expeditions Blog

TechnoTourist’s Engineering Expeditions

Want to travel the world, but don't have time to leave the office? TechnoTourist is here to save the day! Tag along while TechnoTourist visits famous engineering feats around the world. TechnoTourist will also investigate fascinating technologies that help to preserve and discover incredible travel locations. Maybe you could use TechnoTourist's insights to help you plan your next travel itinerary, or escape from the stresses of everyday life!

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Amsterdam's Canals

Posted July 13, 2016 12:00 AM by joeymac

When I went on my European trip another stop I made was to Amsterdam, and I was fascinated by all of the canals and bridges connecting to everything. Amsterdam is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” because of all its canals and bridges. Amsterdam has more than one hundred kilometers (62 miles) of canals, around 90 islands, and 1500 bridges. From an engineering standpoint I found it fascinating how the people constructed and designed these canals.

The design and success of the canals was due to smart and careful city planning. In the early part of the 17th century, a comprehensive plan was put together, calling for four main, concentric half circles of canals with their ends resting on de IJ Bay, known as the “grachtengordel” (the belt of canals). Three of the canals were mostly for residential development and a fourth, the outer canal, was for purposes of defense and water management. The city also planned a set of parallel canals in the Jordaan quarter for transportation of goods and more than one hundred bridges.

Construction of the canals proceeded from west to east, across the breadth of the lay-out and not from the center outwards as a popular myth has it. Construction of the north-western sector was started in 1613 and was finished around 1625. After 1664, building in the southern sector was started. The four main canals of the canal belt are: the Singel Canal, Herengracht Canal, Prinsengracht Canal, and the Zwanenburgwal Canal.


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