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Canal in Amsterdam
Canal in the Zuiderzee Museum
Canal in Bruges
The Hansegracht in Duisburg
Canal in Friedrichstadt

The Gracht (Dutch pronunciation: ɣrɑχt , plural: Grachten) is the general Dutch and Low German term for canal , ditch or moat .

In a narrower sense, narrow, man-made waterways in cities in the Netherlands and in the Flemish part of Belgium are called canals. The best known are the Amsterdam canals, which run through the entire city center in several rings and are spanned by numerous bridges. The Canal Belt of Amsterdam has become the convenient delivery and collection of goods to directly set up because warehousing and merchants' houses, and for 1612 from drainage and defense created.

The network of navigable waterways in Amsterdam has a total length of over 80 kilometers. These include the Herengracht , the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht . Canal tours are offered for tourists. Other cities in the Netherlands with canals are Alkmaar , Delft , Dordrecht , Gouda , Groningen , Haarlem , Leeuwarden , Leiden , Utrecht and Zwolle . The Belgian cities of Brugge , Antwerp and Ghent also have canals. Canals were also built in the German city of Friedrichstadt in Schleswig-Holstein , founded in 1621 as a settlement for exiles by Dutch remonstrants . In the 16th century, under the direction of the Dutchman Hans Vredeman de Vries, a branching canal system was built in Wolfenbüttel's Heinrichstadt ( "Little Venice" ).

In the German-Dutch-Belgian border area, ravines that were created by transporting timber are also referred to as "canals". There are usually several of these canals in the respective area and the name canal is often found in street names in this area.

Etymologically , Gracht is associated with Grafts , a term for a moat that was adopted from Low German into High German .


Web links

Commons : Amsterdam canals  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Gracht  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations