The city of Amersfoort lies in the Dutch province of Utrecht, on the river Eem. The city is located in the very center of the Netherlands as the tip of the tower of the Church of Our Lady marks the center of the country. Amersfoort is distinguished by traditional buildings with quite low, historic houses and canals, which served the function of the moat in the Middle Ages. Currently, cruises on the canals, during which visitors can admire the city streets from a boat, are considered to be a tourist attraction. Amersfood, which is much less crowded than Amsterdam, has preserved the atmosphere of a typical Dutch town with a charming old town, the 13th-century city walls and gates. The city also maintains its brewing traditions.