Once a defensive gateway to the city, the Haarlemmerpoort marked the start of the journey to Haarlem, which was a major trading route. The neoclassical structure, with Roman-temple-styled Corinthian pillars, was finished just in time for King William II's staged entry for his 1840 investiture, hence its little-known official name of Willemspoort (see the plaque inside). Traffic stopped running through the gate when a bypass was built over the Westerkanaal.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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1. Drieharingenbrug

0.22 MILES

This narrow bridge links the Western Islands of Prinseneiland and Realeneiland. It's a quaint replacement for the pontoon that used to be pulled aside to…

2. Westerpark

0.23 MILES

Eco-urban Westerpark – with grassy expanses of lawns (packed in summer with picnickers, sun worshippers and families), tree-shaded walkways and cycleways,…

3. Brouwersgracht

0.23 MILES

Pretty as a Golden Age painting, the Brewers Canal took its name from the many breweries located here in the 16th and 17th centuries. Goods such as…

4. Zandhoek

0.35 MILES

On Realeneiland's eastern shore, the Zandhoek is a photogenic stretch of waterfront. It's now a modern yacht harbour, but back in the 17th century it was…

5. Noorderkerk

0.39 MILES

Near the Prinsengracht's northern end, this imposing Calvinist church was completed in 1623 for the 'common' people in the Jordaan. (The upper classes…

6. Ravestijn Gallery

0.42 MILES

Boundary-pushing photography is the focus of this gallery in the Western Islands, which hosts rotating exhibitions by emerging and established…

7. Pianola Museum

0.44 MILES

This is a very special place, crammed with pianolas from the early 1900s. The museum has around 50, although only a dozen are on display at any given time…

8. Westergasfabriek

0.45 MILES

Adjacent to the Westerpark, this late-19th-century Dutch Renaissance complex was the city's western gasworks until gas production ceased in 1967. The…