Het Grachtenhuis museum documents the history of Amsterdam's canal belt (Grachtengordel) through a fascinating multimedia exhibition. It explains the situation in Amsterdam prior to the construction of the canal ring in the 17th century, then shows how this development led to the prosperous, relaxed and beautiful city we know today. The visual presentations, accompanied by entertaining soundtracks, last for approximately 40 minutes, then you can wander through the remaining exhibits (the highlights of which are an outstanding miniature canal house and the big urban model of the canal ring area). You can also visit the stunning rooms on the ground floor that reveal the history of this grand canal house, which still retains many of its 17th century features, including wall paintings, original floor and the beautiful garden. Friendly, helpful staff and a small gift shop stocked with a good range of good quality souvenirs make this a very pleasant way to learn about the history, culture and society of Amsterdam. Perfection would have been tables in the lovely garden and coffee and cakes to enjoy there. Maybe in summer?
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