The Amsterdam Canal Ring now has its very own English-language magazine, fittingly named Canal. The magazine is subtitled ‘400 Years of Canals, A Voyage of Discovery’. In 2013, Amsterdam’s canals are literally and figuratively placed firmly in the limelight. Four centuries ago, Amsterdammers began construction of the now world-famous Canal Ring – awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010. In honour of its 400th anniversary, Amsterdam Marketing is proud to introduce the new Canal magazine.
Walking route around Amsterdam’s canals
The magazine is the product of intensive collaboration with the Amsterdam Museum and the Amsterdam Heritage Museums. The majority of the magazine is dedicated to a walking route through the Canal Ring, taking in intriguing sights including the Westertoren’s imperial crown, the Golden Bend in the Herengracht, Museum Willet-Holthuysen, the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) and the property known locally as ‘The Blood-stained House’.
17th century innovation
The walking route allows visitors to wander through the district and discover just how extraordinary the construction of the Canal Ring was in the 17th century. For example, Amsterdam was the first European city to plant trees along its streets at the time and visitors to the city often wondered whether to call the Canal Ring a ‘forest in the city’ or a ‘city in the forest’. Some readers may even be surprised to learn that during warm summers in the Golden Age, a walk along the canals certainly wasn’t much fun at all – never mind living there.
Canal Ring moving with the times
It’s striking that for four centuries, the Canal Ring has managed to retain its authentic character whilst also moving with the times. For example, the forms of bridges over the canals have changed dramatically over the years and the historical houses have adapted effortlessly as they were given new functions. Nowadays, it’s primarily creative companies working in branches such as internet, gaming and advertising that are happy to call the Canal Ring their home, just as merchants did back in the Golden Age.
‘Battle and misery, but also fame and wealth’
In his introduction to the magazine, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan writes: “The entire city breathes water, deep into its essence. In a way, water is responsible for battle and misery, but also for fame and wealth.” Paul Spies, Director of the Amsterdam Museum, views the Canal Ring as ‘Amsterdam’s fingerprint’: “If you take a walk through the Canal Ring, you can still feel the city’s DNA of enterprise, creativity, free thinking and citizenship.” Frans van der Avert, CEO of Amsterdam Marketing, notes: “Conceived 400 years ago, the Canal Ring still plays an incredibly important role in our city. People live in it, recreate in it, boat and bike around it, enjoy it and dream in it. But it is still also a place of trade and industry.”
Canal magazine in Dutch and English
Canal contains a wealth of information about the history of the Canal Ring, the canal-side museums and other attractions in the district. It also features a richly illustrated walking and biking route around the Canal Ring, including a useful map at the centre of the magazine. Canal costs €3.50 and is available at Amsterdam Marketing Visitor Information Centres, museums, hotels and various book stores. The Dutch version of the magazine, titled Gracht, was published in March 2013 and the English version followed in July.