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Altered Houses. Sound Mind.

By Tommie Chavis on June 18, 2014

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Prior to visiting Amsterdam I heard many interesting things about this place, but never much about its unique, crooked architecture. After catching my first glimpse of the hundreds of slanted buildings this city contains I thought maybe I had inhaled something I shouldn’t or stepped into a Dr. Seuss movie, but come to find out these buildings were built to lean.

The limestone mortar used to construct the narrow houses would cause the structures to slowly deconstruct over time and eventually collapse. To prevent this from happening, architects would build the houses leaning outward so that the rainfall would drain away from the building and the mortar would stay in place. This design concept not only allowed for homeowners to live in a sound dwelling, but also caused for a one-of-a-kind cityscape.  It was mind boggling to say the least, but luckily our tour guide was there to assure us they were all structurally sound.

Once I confirmed I was of sound mind and the buildings in Amsterdam were stable, the city tour turned out to be a very interesting and like something very unique.

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Topics: Architecture, Amsterdam, Europe