|The "Funen" windmill. Converted into|
a modern brewery; Brouwerij het IJ
All this activity and industriousness didn't go unnoticed in the rest of the Netherlands, of course, and so in 1275 the Amstelredamme dwellers were granted the right of transport of goods and merchandise throughout the Netherlands, free of toll. The original document states a "damage that was done to the folk of Amstelredamme that has to be made up for, and bought off", but today no-one knows exactly what damage is being referred to. These "city rights' opened up perspective for profit! Transport costs became considerably lower, and the basis for developing the trade that has made Amsterdam the city it is today, was laid.
This also meant an increasing risk of invasion by unfriendly people. To protect the young city, an encompassing wall was erected, terminating at the banks of the IJ, thus leaving a defendable supply route in times of dire straits. A canal was dug around the wall in double defense, the "Singel". Around the 17th century, as the city expanded, more horseshoe shaped canals were handdug around it, crossed by smaller canals, thus making it possible to refresh the canalwater with Amstelwater, as well as having a means to inexpensively transport goods all over the place. "Herengracht", "Keizersgracht" and "Prinsengracht" (yes, that's right, our gracht) are the result of this expansion, and a thick wall around the now called "Stadhouderskade" was built to become the new line of defence. To house the labourers, a whole new housing area was put up on the side of the city. It's name is probably a derivate from the French word for "garden", and we still know it as the "Jordaan" today.
- More history will follow in due time -