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Explore Amsterdam's Western Canal Belt - Amsterdam Walking Tour

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Third Leg: Herengracht to Keizersgracht via Leliegracht
Keizersgracht 174, at the corner of Leliegracht

Keizersgracht 174, at the Corner of Leliegracht

© 2006 Shannon McAllister, licensed to About.com

Directions

Continue down the Herengracht to Leliegracht. Cross over Leliegracht and turn left on its even-numbered side. Follow Leliegracht to Keizersgracht.

Herengracht

  • Herengracht means "gentleman's canal."

  • The Herengracht is widely known as the canal belt's most prominent address, as the plots of land were meant for the city's wealthiest citizens during construction of the Grachtengordel ("canal belt").

  • This western stretch of the Herengracht features stately but charming canal houses, which contrast to its stoic mansions further east.

Leliegracht

  • Leliegracht means "lily canal."

  • The Leliegracht is typical of the smaller channels that connect the three main waterways of the canal belt: quiet, pretty and calm.

  • Don't miss Architectura & Natura, a 60-year-old specialty bookstore with a comprehensive selection of landscape and architecture titles (No. 22).

Dutch Art Nouveau Architecture

  • Stand on the northeast corner of Leliegracht and Keizersgracht to marvel at the imposing building on the southwest corner opposite. Completed in 1905 and designed by Gerrit van Arkel, Keizersgracht 174 is a rare example of Dutch Nieuwe Kunst ("Art Nouveau") architecture.

  • It is sometimes called "the Greenpeace building," as it used to house the group's headquarters (they have since moved). Notice the colorful religious image under the clock.

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