1876: The Inauguration of the North Sea Canal

November 1, 1876

In the Netherlands, the North Sea Canal was officially opened by the nation’s monarch King William III. The Dutch waterway, which extends from the Netherlands’ capital of Amsterdam to the North Sea at the city of IJmuiden, was built to allow seafaring vessels to more easily reach the Port of Amsterdam.

The North Holland Canal had been built in 1824 to help accomplish this aim, but that route — measuring approximately 46 miles (74 kilometers) altogether — proved to be too long and narrow to efficiently handle ever-growing maritime traffic. Consequently, construction on the wider and shorter North Sea Canal was first proposed in 1852 and actually started in 1865.

In the time since its debut, the 16-mile (25-kilometer)-long North Sea Canal has been enlarged and deepened several times. This canal has considerably improved Amsterdam’s access to the sea and ensured the continued status of the city as a major port in Europe. A comprehensive collection of subjects known as the Canon of Amsterdam, which was finalized in the fall of 2008 with the imprimatur of the municipal council and heavily influenced by feedback from the city’s residents, included the North Sea Canal as one of the 50 most important developments in the history of Amsterdam.

Photo Credit: HdeK (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

or more information on the North Sea Canal, please check out https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/north-sea-canal/m01d6bx?hl=en and https://www.flickr.com/photos/hereistom/9486230528

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