According to Hyperrestaurant, Amsterdam (from the Dutch Amsterdam, [ɑmstər’dɑm]) is the official capital of the Netherlands. The city is situated between the IJ Bay to the north and the banks of the Amstel River to the southeast. It was founded in the 12th century as a small fishing village. However, today it is the largest city in the country, and a great financial and cultural center on an international level.


Thirteenth century

Around the 13th century Amsterdam was a fishing village. According to legends, the city was founded by two fishermen from the northern province of Friesland, who by chance ended up on the banks of the Amstel river in a small boat, together with their dog. The traditional date of the founding of the city is the 27th. October of the year 1275, when its residents were removed the obligation to pay tolls, which by then were associated with the Dutch bridges. In the year 1300 the official city rights were granted, and from the 14th century Amsterdam began to flourish as a commercial center, mostly based on trade with other Dutch and German cities, known as the Hanseatic League.

Century XVI

In the 16th century, the conflict between the Dutch and Felipe II of Spain began. This confrontation caused a war that lasted 80 years, and that finally gave the Netherlands its independence. Already at that time, after the break with Spain, the Dutch Republic was gaining fame for its tolerance towards religions. Among others, Sephardic Jews from Portugal and Spain, merchants from Antwerp, and Huguenots from France sought refuge in Amsterdam, who in their countries were persecuted for their religion.

XVII century

It has a population of about 750,000 residents, and approximately 1.5 million reside in its metropolitan area. It should be noted that Amsterdam is part of the great Dutch conurbation, called Randstad (along with the cities of The Hague and Rotterdam), which has more than 6.5 million residents. This nucleus is one of the largest conurbanizations in Europe. The historic city center was largely built in the 17th century, and is today one of the largest historic centers in Europe.. At that time a series of semicircular canals were built around the existing old part of the city. Later the new streets were built that had now been created with houses and warehouses in a typical Dutch style that is one of the most famous images of Amsterdam and the country.

It is colloquially known as the ” Venice of the North.” Although for most of its history (except between 1808 – 1810) it has been the official capital of the Netherlands, it has never been the seat of the Dutch justice, government or parliament, since all these organs are located in the city of La Haya, which is therefore the main city in the country with respect to politics and justice. Amsterdam is also not the capital of the province of North Holland, which has always been Haarlem. Amsterdam, and the whole of Holland, is famous for tolerance, liberalism, diversity, and the “open mind” of its population (although these virtues today are in question).

XIX century

After the wars between the Republic of Holland and the United Kingdom and France, during the 18th and early 19th centuries, the prosperity of Amsterdam ceased to flourish. Above all, the Napoleonic Wars took away the fortunes of Amsterdam. Despite this, when the Kingdom of the Netherlands was officially established in 1815, the situation began to improve. In this period one of the key people in the new initiatives was Samuel Sarphati, a doctor and urban planner, who brought his inspiration from Paris Samuel Sarphati.

The last decades of the 19th century are often referred to as the “second Golden Age of Amsterdam” because among others, new museums, a train station and the Concertgebouw, which is the city’s musical theater, were built. In the same period the Industrial Revolution came to the city. New canals and sea lanes were built to improve the connection between Amsterdam and the rest of Europe. Just before World War I began, the city began to expand, building new suburbs and suburbs. During the First World War, the Netherlands took a neutral position, but even so the population suffered great hunger and a serious lack of gas supply.

Germany invaded the Netherlands on October of maypole of 1940, taking control of the country after five days of fighting. The Germans installed a Nazi civil government in Amsterdam, which was in charge of the persecution of the Jews. Also the Dutch who helped and protected the victims were persecuted. More than 100,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps. Among them was Anne Frank. Only 5,000 Jews survived the war. During the last months of the war, in 1945, communication with the rest of the country was cut off and the population suffered a serious shortage of food and energy. Many Amsterdammers had to go to the countryside in search of some kind of food. To survive, dogs, cats or flower bulbs were consumed. Many trees in Amsterdam were used for energy, as was the wood from the houses of those who had disappeared.


Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands with regard to business and finance and throughout history it has become the most important European city in the world and now remains in the first places, sharing the leadership with London, Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels among other cities. [Citation needed] Many Dutch companies and banks have their main offices in Amsterdam, such as ABN Amro, Heineken, ING, Ahold, Delta Lloyd, Royal Dutch Shell and Philips. The AEX index of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (the oldest stock exchange in the world), is part of Euronext, a holding company to which the Paris, Brussels, Lisbon and Amsterdam stock exchanges belong.


Amsterdam is famous for the huge number of bicycles and is the world center of bicycle culture. Almost all the main streets have bike paths, and you can leave your bike anywhere; in Amsterdam there are about 700,000 cyclists, more than 7 million bicycles [citation needed] and 750,000 residents. Every year, around 80,000 are stolen and 25,000 end up in the city’s canals. In the center, driving by car is difficult, parking fees are very high, and many streets are pedestrianized or for cyclists. The A10 motorway is the great ring road of Amsterdam and connects with the A1, A2, A4 and A8 to go anywhere in the country.

Public transport

Amsterdam’s public transport consists of train connections to any part of the Netherlands and to international destinations such as Antwerp, Aachen, Basel, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Marseille, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Warsaw and Vienna.

  • 4 metro lines, and 1 new line that will be released in 2013.
  • 16 tram lines.
  • 55 urban bus lines.
  • Several regional bus lines.
  • Several ferries (also for cyclists).

Tourist attractions

In Amsterdam there are many internationally famous museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of modern art and the Rembrand House Museum, which was the home and workshop of Rembrandt, and exhibits an interesting collection of etchings of his authorship; the Van Gogh Museum, which has the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world; the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, or the Film Museum, also known as the Filmmuseum, the Anne Frank House, turned into a museum, is a very popular tourist destination, as well as the Amstelkring Museum in whose attic there is a clandestine Catholic church of the XVII century.

The Hortus Botanicus, founded in the early 1660s, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, with many ancient and rare species, among which is the coffee plant from which the cutting that served as the basis of plantations in CentralAmerica and South America. (The cutting was a gift to Louis XIV of France and was brought to the French colony of Martinique in 1714, where it bore fruit.)

Also in this city is the well-known Heineken brewery, which also has its museum. The Ajax Amsterdam sports club has its headquarters and its stadium Amsterdam Arena in this city. Also the prestigious Concertgebouw concert hall is home to the equally famous Symphony Orchestra Royal Concertgebouw, which gave its first concert on November 3, 1888.

There are numerous buildings, churches, squares, bridges and others, which are worth a visit, as well as the many events that take place throughout the year. A more than interesting date to visit the city is Queen’s Day, or Koninginnedag, every April 30. That day, all the residents of the city take out all kinds of things to sell to the street, mainly household objects that they no longer use. The city becomes a flea market and a real party and the streets are crowded with people dressed and disguised in the color of the royal house, orange.

Amsterdam, Netherlands City Overview

Amsterdam, Netherlands City Overview
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