Пакгаузы и вонботы

Энергичное биение пульса городской жизни в большей мере во все времена ощущалось на центральных улицах столицы. Амстердам со временем все шире раздвигал границы своих окраин и постепенно срастался с городками спутниками – Алмере на юго востоке и Занстадом на северо западе, принимая на свою орбиту небольшие окрестные деревни.

Каналы Амстердама, удивительно спокойные и тихие, могут быть совсем узкими, а могут быть и такими широкими, что по ним одинаково легко скользят катера, баржи и теплоходы. Стальные и чугунные мостики причудливой формы могут иметь подъемный механизм. Такие мостики можно увидеть на полотнах Ван Гога. Есть также в Амстердаме и огромные разводные мосты, которые поднимают для того, чтобы по каналу прошли большие океанские суда. Большое количество мостов, поднимавшихся над водой настолько, чтобы под ними свободно проходили небольшие парусные суда, имело очень крутой подъем. Требовались значительные усилия, чтобы вкатить на них повозки или сани. Возницы подкладывали под полозья промасленную ветошь, чтобы хоть как то облегчить подъем, а на спуске расстилали солому, обеспечивая торможение.

Мост с подъемным механизмом

Многоголосая, суетливая жизнь Амстердама была весьма колоритной. Ладьи, бочки и ящики, телеги, сани и повозки были раскрашены в красный, синий и зеленый цвета. Амстердамские мостовые в основном вымощенны красным кирпичом, старинные узкие дома тесно соприкасаются друг с другом.

Мосты были сделаны из камня. Из камня или кирпича было выстроено большинство солидных домов, храмов и казенных зданий. Но амстердамцы никогда не забывали о том, что город стоит на отвоеванных у моря участках земли, поэтому относились к тяжеловесным строительным материалам с некоторым недоверием и опаской. По этому поводу неизвестный автор придумал стишок, быстро ставший популярным:

В болоте город Амстердам

Возвел свои палаты.

А если он утопнет там –

Кто по счетам заплатит?

Основания тревожиться относительно устойчивости зданий у горожан были нешуточные. После страшных пожаров, случившихся в XV в., власти приказали строить несущие конструкции домов только из камня или кирпича, а для крыш использовать огнеупорные материалы. Дома сильно потяжелели, фундаменты часто не выдерживали их веса. Была создана комиссия, контролировавшая качество фундаментов. Без ее разрешения горожане не имели права начинать возведение стен.

Арка старинного каменного моста



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