Canals are part and parcel of Amsterdam's geography.
On my one and only visit to the city, I remember seeing people lift the rear of their car so it would fit in narrow parking space. There was not enough space in tiny lot to maneuver.
In 2013, Booming Amsterdam exhibit celebrates 400th Anniversary of decision by city to build canal ring back in 1613.
"The major expansions of 1613 and 1663 were gigantic urban development projects, bigger than the expansions of all other Dutch cities taken together. Maps show clearly the different stages in the city council’s decision-making process. They show how canals and districts now famous, from Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht to the Jordaan and the Plantage, were built. A new residential area was created along the main canals: houses overlooking grand, spacious canals, lined with rows of trees. The deep plots of land provided space for large gardens. Leading architects such as Philips Vingboons and Adriaen Dortsman designed monumental houses."
"Booming Amsterdam uses original maps, architectural plans and cityscapes to tell the story of a unique period in the Golden Age, the era in which the city acquired the half-moon shape for which it has become famous."
Booming Amsterdam exhibit runs until May 26, 2013
Location: Amsterdam City Archives (Stadsarchief Amsterdam)
Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Public Transport tram 16, 24 en 25 stop Keizersgracht
Children from 12 to 17 €4, Children under 12 free of charge.