More info: Amsterdam has more than 160 canals, which combined, cover over 100kms (60 miles) and 1,500 bridges.
During the 17th century the population of the city grew from 50 000 to 200 000, which made Amsterdam the 3rd biggest city in the world, after London and Paris.
The canals are an icon of the capital city and every canal in Amsterdam is unique. The three main canals, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the Grachtengordel.
The Herengracht or Gentlemen's Canal, is considered to be the most important canal in Amsterdam where, in the 17th century, the richest merchants, the mayors and the most influential regents of the city resided.