Golden Bend

Southern Canal Ring

The Golden Bend is Amsterdam's swankiest stretch of property. Its handsome mansions are a monument to the Golden Age, when precious goods swelled the cellars of homes already stuffed with valuables. The richest Amsterdammers ruled their affairs from here. The earliest mansions date from the 1660s, when the Canal Ring was expanded south. Thanks to some city-hall lobbying, the gables here were built twice as wide as the standard Amsterdam model, and the rear gardens deeper.

Apart from the Kattenkabinet museum, the homes are only open to the public on Open Monuments Day (Open Monumentendag; a weekend in mid-September).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Canal Ring attractions

1. Kattenkabinet

0.04 MILES

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2. Bloemenmarkt

0.09 MILES

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3. Stadsarchief

0.11 MILES

A distinctive striped building dating from 1923, this former bank now houses 23km of shelving storing Amsterdam archives. Fascinating displays of archive…

4. Torture Museum

0.11 MILES

It's dilapidated and so dimly lit inside that you can barely read the placards, but fans of kitsch and oddball lore will enjoy learning about devices such…

5. Heiligeweg

0.14 MILES

The Heiligeweg (Holy Way) was once part of a route that pilgrims took to the spot where the 1345 Miracle of Amsterdam occurred. Halfway along, and…

6. Rasphuis Gate

0.14 MILES

Directly opposite Voetboogstraat on Heiligeweg is the Rasphuis Gate, which led to a correctional institute in medieval times. The pedestal bears the…

7. Foam

0.15 MILES

From the outside, it looks like a grand canal house, but this is the city's most important photography gallery. Its simple, spacious galleries, some with…

8. University Library

0.15 MILES

Today's library is a concrete hulk, not nearly the beautiful building you'd expect at such a historical site, but its background is fascinating. Citizen…