The Golden Bend is Amsterdam's swankiest stretch of property. Its handsome mansions are a monument to the Golden Age, when precious goods swelled the cellars of homes already stuffed with valuables. The richest Amsterdammers ruled their affairs from here. The earliest mansions date from the 1660s, when the Canal Ring was expanded south. Thanks to some city-hall lobbying, the gables here were built twice as wide as the standard Amsterdam model, and the rear gardens deeper.
Apart from the Kattenkabinet museum, the homes are only open to the public on Open Monuments Day (Open Monumentendag; a weekend in mid-September).