Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals, about 1500 bridges and 100 islands. The main canals are Herengracht (Patrician’s canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor’s canal) and Prinsengracht (Prince’s canal). They exist since the 17th century. The canal ring area of Amsterdam including these three channels has a status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Herengracht is the first of the three channels. “Heren” can be translated as “patricians”, those who governed the city in the 16th and 17th century.
Keizersgracht is named after Maximilian I, a Holy Roman Emperor. Maximilian I spoke Dutch and his daughter Margaret used to be the Regent of the Netherlands.
Princengracht is named after William I, de Prins of Orange, who made the Netherlands independent from the Holy Roman Empire. One of the most interesting places to visit on the Princengracht is Anne Frank’s museum.