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Established in 1612, the Lord’s Canal (Herengracht) is one of three major canals in the center of Amsterdam. With its beautiful Golden Bend section, stately mansions, and inner gardens, it has long been one of the snazziest places to live in the city. To this day many of the Dutch capital’s fanciest abodes are located along this canal.
The Lord’s Canal is one of the most important waterways in all of Amsterdam, and has been known for its wealth and opulence since the 17th century. It is lined with numerous buildings of historical significance, including the former headquarters of the Dutch West India Company; the Bartolotti House, an ornate, curved-facade structure built in 1617; and the oldest house in the city, dating back to 1590.
Many Amsterdam canal tours glide along Herengracht as well as other scenic canals, showcasing the very best of the city. Some offer refreshments for you to sip and nibble during the cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Lord’s Canal is a must-visit for travelers with an interest in history or architecture, and all first-time visitors to Amsterdam.
- The canal is best explored by boat but can also be discovered on foot or by bike.
- Give yourself plenty of time to stop along the way.
How to Get There
The Lord’s Canal, which runs right through Amsterdam, is situated between two other major canals: Emperor’s Canal (Keizersgracht) and Singel. It is easily accessed throughout the city center, and is about a 10-minute walk from Centraal Station.
When to Get There
Like all of Amsterdam’s waterways, this canal is a year-round attraction. The best time to visit is in summer, when the weather is warm and relatively dry, as it can be uncomfortably cool along the canal during the winter. Daytime visits make for the best sightseeing.
The Heren Regenten
Herengracht is named for the Heren Regenten, the ruling class who had considerable power under the Dutch Republic up until mid-18th century uprisings changed the dynamics in the Netherlands. Back then many members of the city’s most affluent merchants, politicians, and regents lived along the Lord’s Canal, particularly at its Golden Bend section.
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