The Herengracht is the first and innermost canal of the three main canals belonging to the Amsterdamse Grachtengordel (Amsterdam Canal Belt). The Herengracht, also at some point called Golden bend, is known for the its large houses along the canal.
The Herengracht was an initiative of mayor Frans Hendrickzn Oetgens, town carpenter Hendrick Jacobsz Staets and town land-surveyor Lucas Jansz Sinck. Initially the Herengracht was just a canal located behind the Singel.
The canal ran on the inside of the own wall and had been dug out for ropery and other businesses, which had established behind the Singel. This inner canal ran parallel to the canal that ran along the outside of the town wall. The Herengracht is still showing a kink at the height of the Driekoningenstraat. Where it was constructed around the highest point of a strong hold.
In 1612 the inner canal, or ditch, was widened, and transformed into a real canal. At this time it got the name Herengracht referring to the Heren Regeerders (Lords Rulers) of the city Amsterdam.
At the Herengracht you can find a lot of monumental buildings, for example:
- De Coningh van Denemarken (The King of Denmark), built 1615
- Huis Bartolotti / "Het Bonte Huis (House Bartolotti/ "The Colored House"), built 1617
- Het Koopmanshuis (The Merchant House), built around 1618
- Cromhouthuizen (Cromhout houses), built around 1660 and 1662
- House van Deutz, built around 1663
- Huis De Vicq (House The Vicq) built 1670
- Vier Heemskinderen (Four Farmyard children), built 1671
- Huis met de Kolommen (House with the columns), built 1672
- Sweedenrijk (Sweden empire), built 1672
- Huis Van Brienen (House of Brienen), built 1728
- Huis De Neufville/Huis aan de Bocht (House The Neufville/House at the bend), built 1731 and 1733
- D’ Witte Leli (The White Lilly), built 1739
At the Herengracht you can also visit the Bijbels Museum (Biblical museum, Herengracht 366-368), the theatre museum (Herengracht 168) and the beautiful museum called: Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis(Entrance: Keizersgracht 633) and Willet-Holthuysen (Herengracht 605).