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Architecture

Architecture

Some of the greatest pleasures in Amsterdam are the most simlpe ones - such as a walk along the canals admiring the classy houses. The centre of Amsterdam has nearly 7,000 national monuments, and is a candidate for inclusion on the World Heritage List, alongside the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal. From 15th-century fortifications to the grand gables of the Golden Age, these buildings make Amsterdam a unique city.

A small selection of the historical architure in Amsterdam

1)The Oude Kerk (1300) is Amsterdam's oldest building.
2)De Waag (1545/1617) began life as a city gate and was later converted to a public weighhouse. Today it is a restaurant and cybercafé.
3)The Bartolotti House (1617) is home of the Netherlands Theatre Institute, and is one of the best buildings created by famous city architect Hendrick de Keyser.
4)The Royal Palace, formerly the City Hall (1648) is considered one of the high points of Golden Age architecture.
5)The Golden Bend on the Herengracht has been a top address for 300 years.

Canalside houses
The first canalside houses (grachtenpanden) were single-storeyed, thatched wooden structures, with different floor levels at the front and back. In time, the front side rooms were seperated from the main room, and the back of the house was similarly partitioned. The bedrooms moved to the first floor and goods were stored under the roof. Many 17th- century canal houses subside due to insufficient foundations. In the past they were simply propped up by wooden supports but these days technology allows for the replacement of rotten support piles without damaging the house.

Amsterdam School
The Amsterdam School (Dutch: Amsterdamse School) is a style of architecture that arose in the early part of the 20th century in the Netherlands.
Imbued with socialist ideals, it was applied to all manner of buildings, including homes and apartment blocks, and was partly a reaction to what was considered "bourgeois" neo-gothic and other revival styles, as well as to the work of Hendrik Petrus Berlage.
The style, highly influenced by Expressionism, was characterized by the use of rounded, organic facades with many purely decorative, non-functional elements such as spires, sculptures and "ladder" windows (with horizontal bars reminiscent of ladder steps).

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