Location of the Amstel

Amstel in Amsterdam

The Amstel ( Aeme -face, old Dutch name for irrigated area ) is a 31 km long, channelized river in the south of North Holland. The area along the Amstel is called Amstel country.


In medieval times, the fen area was from the river starting ( Dutch: veen ) drained. The area was used for agriculture, and later also mined peat, which was used as fuel. This early 13th century originated in this marsh area west of Ouderkerk Moor housing estate Amstelveen.

Through the construction of a dam in the 13th century in the estuary in the northern part of Nieuwer - Amstel Amstelerdam the fishing village, which was first mentioned on October 27, 1275 and beginning of 1300 and received its charter was created. Due to the advantageous location on the Zuiderzee, the connection to Germany and on to Scandinavia and because of the flow connection to Dordrecht and Antwerp, the settlement developed into a small town.

Originally led the Amstel, passing Rokin and Damrak, in the IJ. Today the estuary is located in the city center on Muntplein. The last part of the road along the Amstel is also called Amstel. By piping under backfilled parts of Rokin and Damrak the Amstel flows into the IJ today, most of the water but is dissipated via the canal system.

In the 17th and 18th centuries along the Amstel created many residences of rich merchants. However, most of them no longer exist. Along the Amstel dike yet the houses stand Oostermeer and Wester Amstel.

Course of the Amstel

Originally, the Amstel from the confluence of the Drecht and the Kromme Mijdrecht created south of Uithoorn. By channeling and construction of the Amstel Drechtkanals is the old course no longer clearly visible. Part of the former Amstel is now part of Amstel Drechtkanal, which begins at the confluence of Drecht and Aarkanals in Nieuwveen and as far as Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, where the Bullewijk opens. Overall, the Amstel canal is 31 km long. During the hot summer of 2003, the flow direction of the Amstel River was reversed to provide the Groene Hart sufficiently with water.

Bridges over the River Amstel

Several well-known bridges lead in Amsterdam on the Amstel.

  • Blauwbrug
  • Skinny Bridge
  • Hogesluis
  • Torontobrug
  • Nieuwe Amstelbrug ( Ceintuurbaanbrug )
  • Berlagebrug
  • Utrechtsebrug
  • Rozenoordbrug