Where to see the narrowest houses in Amsterdam?

Where to see the narrowest houses in Amsterdam?

Climb the steep stairs to see the tiny rooms of Amsterdam's tiniest home. Compare the width of the widest home in Amsterdam to the width of one of the narrowest on the Kloveniersburgwal. Take a walk through the Red Light District's tiniest street. The beautiful gabled façade of Amsterdam's oldest buildings are a national treasure. Discover how wide they were by climbing the stairs to the top floor.

Amsterdam has more than 750 bridges, which is the most in the world. You can take a boat ride across one of them or go for a bike ride. If you're up for an adventure, try walking across one of the city's many footbridges!

Amsterdam has more canals than Venice does canals. There are over 90 canals in the city center, with a total length of about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles). Canoe or rowboat through some of them during a canal tour.

There are more than 300 museums in Amsterdam - that's more than any other European city except London and Paris. Each one is unique: some are all about art, others science, history, or design. Some are free, while others cost money. Find out what's worth seeing and do not miss out on visiting some of these amazing places.

Amsterdam has more than 100 churches, including several medieval stone buildings. They offer morning prayers once a week at a selection of locations.

Why does Amsterdam have narrow houses?

Why are they so small? Another distinguishing trait of Amsterdam's dwellings is their narrowness. One of the reasons the homes are so thin is that taxes were once assessed depending on the size of the building's front. As a result, the larger the facade, the higher the tax. To avoid this, people began dividing up their large buildings into smaller parts by splitting them into several rooms. The rooms with the main entrance on the ground floor became known as "ha'aps" (a Yiddish word for "fronts"). These are the first rooms visitors see when they come to the house door. They are also the most spacious rooms because they were not required to provide access to light and air like the other rooms.

Amsterdammers also divided up their large houses into a number of separate apartments. In order to do this, they simply took out any wall that stood between two rooms and created a new apartment. This was very easy to do since there were usually only wooden walls inside the houses. If someone wanted to create a bigger room, they would just add another wall.

People also used the space under their floors wisely. They would remove the dirt from their streets and put it in huge containers located at the end of each alley. When it came time to clean, they would cover the container with a lid and lift it out from beneath the floorboards. Nowadays, these containers are used as storage space or for making beer molds.

Why is Amsterdam so small?

So, why are Amsterdam's dwellings so small and narrow? Amsterdam's additions were planned over the ages. The canals Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht were built in a single period from 1613 to 1662. Initially, the parcels of land sold along the canals were fairly modest. But the wealthy merchants who owned them demanded better views and light, so their heirs called back the streets later. These days, many Amsterdammers complain about the loss of sunlight and air quality caused by all these buildings, but at the time they were constructed, this was not a concern.

The houses do not make much room for expansion. There are only two ways to add space: up or out. With space upstairs, landlords could charge more for rooms with better views or be able to rent out entire floors. Out on the canal is where things get tight. At any given time, several dozen homes sit vacant because there's no room for anyone else to move in.

The typical house has one or two stories above ground level; sometimes there are cellars too. The top floor is where people lived: family in one corner, store on the other. Downstairs is where everyone slept: parents, children, servants. In between are the living quarters, which are very small. A family of four would need at least 1,500 square feet — more if they have children.

About Article Author

Keith Amidon

Keith Amidon is a passionate and talented person who loves to fix things. He has been working in the construction industry for over 15 years, and was raised with the knowledge that nothing is ever perfect. However, while most people see this as a negative, Keith sees it as an opportunity to be the best at what he does by constantly striving to improve himself and others around him.

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