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This canal's name translates to Prince's Canal, and was named after William I. He was also known as William of Orange, and was involved in the 80 Years War which resulted in independence for the Dutch Republic. Prinsengracht is the longest of Amsterdam's major canals, forming the outer circle of the canal ring. Some of the city's most notable buildings can be found along it, including the Anne Frank House, Noorderkerk and Westerkerk, making for a picturesque stroll. This canal also forms one of the borders of the picturesque Jordaan area, a former working class district that has been reinvented as a center for the arts and for trendy cafes.
If you are between 4 and 17 years of age you can try out the circus life for a day. At Circustheater Elleboog you can learn clowning skills, special circus and clown tricks, make-up skills, as well as juggling and tightrope walking. At the end of the day you perform your circus skills in front of your parents and friends, so they can see that you are a real circus artist. Non-member sessions are always busy, mostly with Dutch kids, but the staff speaks English. Circustheater Elleboog also organizes children's birthday parties.
Hats Off to the St. Nicolaas Boat Club for taking up the initiative to preserve the historic boats running up on the canals of Amsterdam. St. Nicolaas is an individual non-profit organization, that conducts tours, ferry's and transport on the beautiful canals running along the city. Traditionally used to transport agricultural produce, Tuindersvletten are sturdy iron boats characterized by low sides and flat bottoms. A definite way to cruise around.
Singel forms the innermost circle of Amsterdam's canal ring and is one of the oldest canals in the city. The canal runs around the inner city center from the Ij Bay to Muntplein where it meets the Amstel River. The land inside the canal's ring used to be the entirety of the city until 1585. In fact, Singel was a moat around the city walls until that time. Nowadays, Singel has a less defensive purpose and cafés, bars and galleries line its banks. Here, you'll also find the historic Torensluis bridge, the oldest bridge in the city.
Herengracht is the innermost of Amsterdam's major canals, not counting the former moat, Singel. Like its sister canals, Herengracht loops around the inner city to meet the Amstel River. Herengracht was named for the heren regeerders, or "regents," who were the rulers of the Dutch Republic. A notable section of the canal is the Gouden Bocht, or Golden Bend, that once housed the wealthiest citizens of Amsterdam, as can be seen by the many double wide canal houses that formed the palaces of the rich and powerful. A number of canal house museums such as the Willet-Holthuysen and the more unusual Kattenkabinet can be found along this canal. Whether you're cycling or on foot, this canal offers picturesque views of the city.
Amstel is the river from which the city of Amsterdam gets its name. It flows throughout the city through the canals, beneath several bridges and flanked by famous landmarks on either side. Cycle along it and enjoy picturesque views of the Dutch countryside, or take a stroll at dusk when city lights and glistening waters etch a beautiful memory.
Oudezijds Voorburgwal is a very interesting canal. During the Middle Ages, many monasteries were located here, while the Dutch Golden age saw the construction of beautiful canal houses that still line the canal today. Now, the canal runs through the infamous Red Light District and the northern stretch is lined with window girls and adult bars, creating a fascinating contrast with the classic architecture. The Oude Kerk, an old, impressive church that should be part of everybody's trip to Amsterdam, is found along Oudezijds Voorburgwal, while the Bulldog, considered to be Amsterdam's first coffee shop, can also be found here.