The Singel is part of Amsterdam’s Canal Belt and runs parallel to the Herengracht canal. There are a total of 11 bridges connecting both sides of the canal. The Amsterdam Canal District represents an outstanding example of a built urban ensemble that required and illustrates expertise in hydraulics, civil engineering, town planning, construction and architectural knowhow.
The historic urban ensemble of the canal district of Amsterdam was a project for a new ‘port city’ built at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. It encompasses a network of canals to the west and south of the historic old town and the medieval port that encircled the old town and was followed by the repositioning inland of the city’s fortified boundaries, the Singelgracht.
This was a long-term programme that involved extending the city by draining the swampland, using a system of canals in concentric arcs and filling in the intermediate spaces.
These spaces allowed the development of a homogeneous urban ensemble including gabled houses and numerous monuments.
This urban extension was the largest and most homogeneous of its time.
It was a model of large-scale town planning, and served as a reference throughout the world until the 19th century.
There's nothing better than dining along side one of the canals, especially in the evening. It makes for a very romantic dinner. Amsterdam's canals also offer some of the best picture opportunities. Be aware that some of the red light area seems to spill over into Singel during the day. A slightly unexpected sight on our way to breakfast!
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