Северная Венеция

Сравнивая Амстердам и Венецию, американский писатель Генри Джеймс писал: «В обоих случаях – море и небо, а между ними – архитектура, но с одной стороны – совершенная поэзия, с другой – совершенная проза». Проза – это Амстердам. Северной Венецией город прозвали из за множества каналов.

Во всем мире Амстердам справедливо называют городом, построенным на сваях, хотя сами жители города говорят, что их столица «построена на костях сельди». Видимо, до сих пор памятны те времена, когда сельдь являлась одной из главных статей городского дохода. Благодаря атлантической сельди город на реке Амстель стал портовым, с населением в несколько миллионов.

Река Амстель в северной части Амстердама

В древности Амстердам был с обеих сторон ограничен укрепленными каналами, составившими первое звено в концентрической системе водных путей сообщения, которые вырастали вокруг расширявшегося города наподобие годичных колец дерева.

Второе кольцо каналов появилось в XV в. Оно защищало территорию, сложившуюся за первыми городскими стенами. В результате границы города значительно расширились. В то время каналы больше напоминали рвы. Новые каналы, проложенные от Сингла на западе до Кловенирсбёрхвала на востоке, образовали вытянутое полукольцо вокруг города, вдоль защитных стен и ворот.

Старинный мост через канал

Ночной Амстердам

Некоторые сооружения сохранились до настоящего времени. В первую очередь это крепостная башня Схрайерторен и ворота Синт Антониспорт, перестроенные в 1617 г. в Палату мер и весов, что объясняет нынешнее название сооружения – Ваах – «весы». Кроме этого, сохранился фрагмент старых ворот Монкспорт, позднее включенный в основание башни XVII столетия Мунтторен, где некоторое время размещался Нидерландский монетный двор.

За несколько столетий через бесчисленные каналы (грахты), ручьи и протоки Амстердама неизвестные ныне строители перебросили более 1200 мостов. Из них свыше 400 расположены в историческом центре города. Здесь на 70 искусственных островах находится центр, сердце столицы Нидерландов.

Главным каналом считается Сингл, затем по значимости различают построенные купцами в XVII в. три канала: Хейренграхт, Кайзерсграхт, который был проложен в честь императора Максимилиана I, и самый молодой – Принсенграхт, получивший свое название в честь принца Виллема Оранского.

Три этих канала называли гирляндой. Они считались главными в Амстердаме и предназначались для строительства на их набережных домов самых влиятельных и богатых горожан – биржевых дельцов, чиновников и удачливых торговцев.

Особняк на Кайзерсграхт



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