The City of Bridges

Amsterdam ? a treasure trove for people loving architecture and old buildings. Amsterdam is still un-spoilt as its heritage has not been spoilt and is perhaps the most important intact historical city in the world. The distinct character of the city is its canal houses which dominate the cityscape. The canals are connected by over 400 bridges which dominate the architecture of the city. These canal houses were built as residences for the rich. One very prominent feature of these mansions is their tall facades and a rich globe on top of it.

The unique ring of canals was the base on which the city was designed during the 17th century. The prominent crescent shape of the Amsterdam city centre was designed which gave way to a number of narrow streets and canals. Fanning out from the centre of the crescent traversed the network of concentric semicircular canals.

On the outskirts of the city centre, the canals finished up in squares, where the city gates were located. The squares were used as parking places, since vehicles were not always allowed into the city itself. Amsterdam warehouse architecture is unique in the world. Most of the state controlled monuments are being use as dwellings.As compared to other cities Amsterdam is not a city dominated by churches or palaces but its very own characteristic is its mansions. The beauty of historic buildings of Amsterdam is largely determined by the style of these buildings, which can be termed as "citizens' architecture".

The style of the choice aimed at replacing the Gothic style with its vertical accents and religious overtones by a profane Classicist style. The Royal Palace e.g. contains many supreme examples of symbolism derived from Classical Antiquity.

The many spectacular churches of Amsterdam include Oude Kerk, Westerkerk, Noorderkerk, The Church of St. Nicholastowering above the city. However, one cannot just ignore the houses on the Leidsegracht, Herengracht or even Kloveniersburgwal 29 and Keizersgracht 177. One must see them to the feel of history seeping over.

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By: Rahul Viz

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