These canalhouses are 5 and 1/2 inches tall. There is a very personal style to each of these canalhouses. The canals that encircle and separate them add a unique charm. Canalhouses are special architectural features of dutch heritage. Dutch architecture is distinctly human and intimate. While other countries built cathedrals, the Dutch were building houses. Brick, one of the few available building materials, was widely used. Land, particularly in Amsterdam was very limited. As a result the typical canalhouse had a very narrow frontage with a steeply pitched gable.
Initially, most gables were built with a Dutch interpretation of Gothic style. Later, Renaissance and Baroque styles were imported but not widely used. With the growth of the Dutch overseas empire and trade, playful ornamentation appeared. Vacant gable places were taken by gods, animals, and fanciful creatures.