History of the hotel (continued)

In the nineteenth century, revivals of classicism and the Renaissance as well as other styles dominated the cityscape. The nineteenth-century fashion of placing the entrance at ground level (and thus removing the elevated entrances) also had a great impact on the appearance of the houses lining the canals. A raised entrance in front of a house with a nineteenth-century gable often indicates that the main part of the building is much older.

It was also in this period that large-scale buildings started to be constructed. This phenomenon continued, particularly into the first quarter of the twentieth century when a lot of demolition work went on in favour of banks and offices wanting to expand their accommodation. As this tendency continued, the relationship between where people worked and where they lived took yet another turn. The buildings on the Herengracht are now a mixture of seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth-century styles with a twentieth-century building occurring here and there.

When the canal was first excavated, it was not meant for transport or to provide a pretty view. Old prints show very few boats, and there were no ships moored anywhere along the canals. The primary objective for creating the canals was to drain the soggy soil for construction purposes.

Even so, having the water has proven handy as well as adding beauty. The canals became even more attractive when the trees planted soon thereafter grew to arch gracefully overhead and cast lovely shadows beneath. Unfortunately, they made loading and unloading cargo from boats more difficult.