The 'grachtengordel' is a system of canals, streets, quays, bridges and houses on fairly identical plots of equal length and width with closed courtyards. The 'grachtengordel' is part of the inner city that along the four main canals: is Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. Gracht means canal.
Many of the houses at the canals witnesses the wealth of the Golden Era (16-17th century) but there are many houses from the 18th century as well. Because many of the properties are restructured several times over the centuries you can spot many different architectural styles and facades. This makes a stroll along the canals a very thilling getaway!
The grachtengordel since August 1, 2010 is on the World Heritage List.
Since we live in the Oud-West part of Amsterdam, mainly build in the 20'th century we were curious how the people lived in the grachtengordel and fortunate it's not an insurmountable hurdle since there are a few of those house turned into a museum.
Our outing started at museum Geelvinck Hinlopen huis, Keizersgracht 633. This private city palace, dating from 1687 once was the the home of one of the wealthiest oligarch families of the Dutch Republic.
The coach house is followed by a beautifully garden....
Not only loaded with impressive furniture, paintings and wallpaper, this museum houses a unique collection of keyboard instruments as well. Every Sunday you can visit a concert. Check out the excellent website!
Many things to spot for the curious visitor....
This museum is the house of the former Amsterdam regent family Van Loon: Willem van Loon co-founded the Dutch East-India Company in 1602.
Ah! The kitchen.
Many beautiful paintings of the Van Loon family.
Paintings just everywhere..... This one you can literally walkthrough :)
Both musea has their own charm, the Van Loon with his excellent apple pie and the many paintings, the Geelvinck Hinloopen museum with his collection of piano fortes and splendid tapestries... Actually you should do like we did: Visit them both, really a recommendable outing!
Museum Van Loon Keizersgracht 672: http://www.museumvanloon.nl/eng/home.php