The Keizersgracht or Emperor's Canal, along with the Prinsengracht and Herengracht, are 3 of Amsterdam’s most famous streets located on canals within the city center. These 3 streets and canals are south of Central Station (train depot) and Dam Square. They radiate south and outward from Dam Square in a curved or convex pattern, akin to the 5 lower sides of an octagon. Large sections of all 3 are walkable in a morning or afternoon. The ambiance of the canals, the architecture, the bicycles, the people and the shops, bars and cafes are what Amsterdam is all about. They are the contemporary live museums of Amsterdam. If you are interested in how and when these canals and houses were built, and good stories about some of the people you know that lived in these houses, along with the history and culture of Amsterdam and its place in the world, then read Russell Shorto’s Amsterdam, a wonderful and inspiring book, that will also inform you about the roots of individual freedom and the great advances of the Enlightenment.
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