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An Amsterdam Canal Map Drawn by Nicolaas van der Heyden.

Finely executed gold heightened manuscript map of the Nieuwvaart Canal in Amsterdam, drawn by Amsterdam's Inspector General of Dikes and Canals, Nicolaas van der Heyden in 1676.

The map extends from the eastern part of the old town of Amsterdam on the west side of the map, past the Muiderslot to the Muiderberg area.  The Nieuwe Diep, Diem, Veght (River)  and other points of interest are named.

The profiles of the dike are designed with differing slopes according to seaside/landside and the the assumed conditions of the water against the dike locally. The reference (Decksteen= stone cover) refers to the maximum height of the surface stone at the locks/sluizen and is as such the maximum height that could keep the water outside (i.e., building dikes higher than that would serve no purpose).

Below the map, a profile for 7 Dykes is given, with important statistical information below.

Caarte van den zeedyk tussen Amsterdam, Muijden en Muijderbergh, vertoonende desselfs langte en boghten, met de aengelege landen, wateren, paden en slooten: waer en hoe die tegen den dijck aenkomen. Alsmede hoe deselve is besteet in parcken, de nomber paeltjes met goude streepjes aengewesen sijnde. ook sijn hier onder bijgevoegt de profijlen, met de respective nombers vande parchen die daar na moeten werden gemaakt volgens de bestekken. Gemeten en gecaarteert door Nicolaas vander Heijde, geadmitt. Landmr. tot Amsterdam. 1676.


Map of the sea-dike between Amsterdam, Muyden and Muijderbergh, showing its lengths and bends with the adjoining lands, waters, paths and ditches: where and how these meet up with the dike.  Also, how the same [dike] is subdivided into segments [parck=perk= fenced-in area], numbered posts are shown with golden stripes.  Underneath, are added the [dike-] profiles with the respective numbers of the segments, which have to be made according to the draft specifications. Surveyed and mapped by Nicolaas vander Heyde, licensed surveyor in Amsterdam. 1676.

Special thanks to Hans Kok and Dirk Depagter for their assistance with the translation.

Condition Description
Old color, heightened in gold. The greens are oxidized, with some loss and breaking.
Nicolaas Van der Heyden Biography

Nicolaas van der Heyden was a Dutch Surveyor and Hydraulic Engineer.  He was the brother of the famous  Dutch artist and engraver, Jan van der Heyden.

Nicolaas worked originally as a silk cloth merchant, but then worked together with his brother on their inventions.

In July 1673,  Nicolaas was appointed supervisor of Amsterdam's locks and of fortifications, with the rank of lieutenant in the artillery, paying a yearly wage of 1500 guilders. Around the same time Nicolaas also worked for the city as a surveyor, calling the house where he lived De Landmeter after this function. 

On November 15, 1673, Nicolaas and Jan were named supervisors of the city fire pumps, for which they eventually received a yearly salary of 315 guilders. Far more important to their livelihood than their salary was the fact that the city began purchasing all of its fire fighting equipment from the brothers, for amounts that went into the tens of thousands of guilders. Since 1669, Jan had been supervisor of streetlighting, and supplier of the equipment and personnel to keep Amsterdam lit at night, at two thousand guilders a year.

Together with his brother Jan, he invented and patented the world's first fire-extinguisher.  However, it seems that the Brothers were not close. They were bitter rivals at that time, in the midst of a conflict over the rights to some of their inventions. Jan declared that Nicolaas was undermining their partnership by experimenting with fire hoses on his own.