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Amsterdam (, , ) is the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter, an upper-case letter in any type of writing * Capital city, the area of a country, province, region, or state, regarded as enjoying primary status, usually but not always the seat of the governm ...
and most populous city of the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

Netherlands
with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, towns, conurbations or ...
and 2,480,394 in the
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative division, sharing industry, infrastructure and housing. A metro area usually comp ...
. Found within the
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside ...
of
North Holland North Holland ( nl, Noord-Holland ) is a province of the Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. It is located on the North Sea, north of South Holland and Utrecht, and west of Friesland and Flevoland. In November 2019, it had a popul ...
, Amsterdam is colloquially referred to as the "
Venice of the NorthThe following is an incomplete list of settlements nicknamed Venice of the North. The term ''Venice of the North'' refers to various cities in Northern Europe and North America that contain canals, comparing them to Venice, Italy, which is renowned f ...
", attributed by the large number of canals which form a
UNESCO World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
. Amsterdam was founded at the
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. It flows from the Aarkanaal and Drecht in Nieuwveen northwards, passing Uithoorn, Amstelveen, and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, to the IJ in Amsterdam. Annually, the river is ...
, that was dammed to control flooding, and the city's name derives from the Amstel dam. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the
Dutch Golden Age The Dutch Golden Age ( nl, Gouden Eeuw ) was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1588 (the birth of the Dutch Republic) to 1672 (the Rampjaar, "Disaster Year"), in which Dutch trade, science, and art and the ...
of the 17th century, and became the leading centre for
finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money available which could ...
and
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system or network that allows trade as a market. An early form of trade, the Gift economy, saw the excha ...
. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century
canals of Amsterdam Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has more than of ''grachten'' (canals), about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form conc ...
and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the
UNESCO World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
. Sloten, annexed in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, is the oldest part of the city, dating to the 9th century. Amsterdam's main attractions include its historic canals, the
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterda ...
, the
Van Gogh Museum The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Museum Square in Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw. The museum opened on 2 June ...
, the
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
,
Hermitage Amsterdam Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on the banks of the Amstel river in Amsterdam. The museum is located in the former Amstelhof, a classical style building from 1681. The dependency di ...
, the
Concertgebouw The Royal Concertgebouw ( nl, Koninklijk Concertgebouw, ) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Its superb acoustics place it among the finest concert halls in t ...

Concertgebouw
, the
Anne Frank House The Anne Frank House ( nl, Anne Frank Huis) is a writer's house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam in t ...
, the Scheepvaartmuseum, the
Amsterdam Museum The Amsterdam Museum, until 2011 called the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, is a museum about the history of Amsterdam. Since 1975, it is located in the old city orphanage between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. History The museum opened in ...
, the
Heineken Experience Heineken bottles at the Heineken Experience The Heineken Experience, located in Amsterdam, is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center for the internationally distributed Dutch pilsner, Heineken beer. The industrial facility was built as ...
, the
Royal Palace of Amsterdam The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam (Dutch: ''Koninklijk Paleis van Amsterdam'' or ) is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square in ...
,
Natura Artis Magistra Artis, short for Natura Artis Magistra (Latin for "Nature is the teacher of the arts"), is a zoo in the centre of Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and one of the oldest zoos of mainland Europe. In addition to the zoo, Artis also ...
,
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus is a botanical garden in the Plantage district of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. One of the oldest in the world, it is one of Amsterdam's major tourist attractions. History The Amsterdam city council founded the ''Hortus Botanicu ...
, NEMO, the
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts are particula ...
and many cannabis coffee shops. It drew more than 5 million international visitors in 2014. The city is also well known for its nightlife and festival activity; with several of its nightclubs (
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way") is a popular music venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein - the prime nightlife square of Amsterdam. It is housed in a former dairy and i ...
,
Paradiso Paradiso (Italian: ''Heaven'', literally: Paradise); may refer to: People * Paradiso (surname) Places * Gran Paradiso, a 4,000 metres mountain in Italy * Paradiso railway station (Luxembourg) * Paradiso, Switzerland, a municipality of the Italian ...
) among the world's most famous. Primarily known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled
façades
façades
; well-preserved legacies of the city's 17th-century Golden Age. These characteristics are arguably responsible for attracting millions of Amsterdam's visitors annually.
Cycling Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as "cyclists", "bicyclists", or "bikers". Apart from two-wheeled bicycles, "cycling" als ...
is key to the city's character, and there are numerous
bike paths A bike path is a bikeway separated from motorized traffic and dedicated to cycling or shared with pedestrians or other non-motorized users. In the US a bike path sometimes encompasses ''shared use paths'', "multi-use path", or "Class III bikeway" ...
. The
Amsterdam Stock Exchange A bond from the Dutch East India Company, dating from 7 November 1623, for the amount of 2,400 florins. Euronext Amsterdam is a stock exchange based in Amsterdam. Formerly known as the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, it merged on 22 September 200 ...
is considered the oldest "modern" securities market
stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
in the world. As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top
financial centre A financial centre, financial center, or financial hub is a location with a concentration of participants in banking, asset management, insurance or financial markets with venues and supporting services for these activities to take place. Parti ...
s in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters in the city, including: the
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (literally ''Royal Philips'', commonly shortened to Philips, stylized in its logo as PHILIPS) is a Dutch multinational conglomerate corporation that was founded in Eindhoven. Since 1997, it has been mostly headquartered ...
conglomerate,
AkzoNobel Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational company which creates paints and performance coatings for both industry and consumers worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, ...
, Booking.com,
TomTom TomTom N.V. is a Dutch multinational developer and creator of location technology and consumer electronics. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom released its first generation of satellite navigation devices to market in 2004. t ...
, and ING. Moreover, many of the world's largest companies are based in Amsterdam or have established their European headquarters in the city, such as leading technology companies
Uber Uber Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Uber, is an American technology company. Its services include ride-hailing, food delivery (Uber Eats), package delivery, couriers, freight transportation, and, through a partnership with Lime, elect ...
,
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American content platform and production company headquartered in Los Gatos, California. Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company's primary business is a subscr ...
and
Tesla Tesla most commonly refers to: * Nikola Tesla (1856–1943), a Serbian-American electrical engineer and inventor * Tesla, Inc., an American electric vehicle and clean energy company, formerly Tesla Motors, Inc. Tesla may also refer to: Companie ...
. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the
Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, count ...
(EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. The city was ranked 4th place globally as top tech hub in the Savills Tech Cities 2019 report (2nd in Europe), and 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009. The
Port of Amsterdam The port of Amsterdam ( nl, Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport in Amsterdam in North Holland, Netherlands. It is the 4th busiest port in Europe by metric tonnes of cargo. The port is located on the bank of a former bay named the IJ and the North S ...
is the fifth largest in Europe. The
KLM KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, legally ''Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.'' (literal translation: Royal Aviation Company, Inc.), is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands. KLM is headquartered in Amstelveen, with its hub at nearby Amster ...
hub and Amsterdam's main airport,
Schiphol Amsterdam Airport Schiphol , known informally as Schiphol Airport ( nl, Luchthaven Schiphol, ), is the main international airport of the Netherlands. It is located 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmerme ...
, is the Netherlands' busiest airport as well as the third busiest in
Europe Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlant ...
and 11th busiest airport in the world. The Dutch capital is considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with at least 177 nationalities represented. A few of Amsterdam's notable residents throughout
history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term that relates t ...
include: painters
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in ...

Rembrandt
and
Van Gogh '', 1890. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, alt= An expansive painting of a wheatfield, with a footpath going through the centre underneath dark and forbidding skies, through which a flock of black crows fly. Vincent Willem van Gogh (; 30 March 1853 ...
, the diarist
Anne Frank Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (, ; 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945)Research by The Anne Frank House in 2015 revealed that Frank may have died in February 1945 rather than in March, as Dutch authorities had long assumed"New research sheds ...
, and philosopher
Baruch Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (; ; ; born Baruch Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. One o ...
.


History


Prehistory

Due to its geographical location in what used to be wet
peatland , one of the largest fens in Estonia. A mire, peatland or quagmire is a wetland type, dominated by living peat-forming plants. Mires arise because of incomplete decomposition of organic matter, usually litter from vegetation, due to water-loggin ...
, Amsterdam ''proper'' is presumed to be much younger than Dutch cities like
Nijmegen Historical buildings in the city center Nijmegen (;; Spanish and it, Nimega. Nijmeegs: ''Nimwèège'' ) is a city in the Netherlands' province of Gelderland, on the Waal river close to the German border. Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Nethe ...
and
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the fourth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands ...
(both having a
Roman origin
Roman origin
). However, the area around what later became Amsterdam - along the prehistoric IJ - had been settled almost three millennia ago. The IJ was mainly in peatland behind beach ridges, and could grow there into an important settlement center, especially in the late
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron s ...
, the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Bronze Age and the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly app ...
and the
Roman Age In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC), Rom ...

Roman Age
.
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of ...
and Roman artefacts have also been found in the south of this area, where later Amsterdam arose, in the prehistoric
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. It flows from the Aarkanaal and Drecht in Nieuwveen northwards, passing Uithoorn, Amstelveen, and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, to the IJ in Amsterdam. Annually, the river is ...
bedding under
Damrak The Damrak is an avenue and partially filled in canal at the centre of Amsterdam, running between Amsterdam Centraal in the north and Dam Square in the south. It is the main street where people arriving at the station enter the centre of Amsterdam. ...

Damrak
and
Rokin The Rokin is a canal and major street in the centre of Amsterdam. The street runs from Muntplein square to Dam square. The Rokin canal used to run from Muntplein square to Dam Square, but in 1936, the part between Spui square and Dam Square was fil ...
, such as shards of
Bell Beaker culture The Bell Beaker culture (or, in short, Beaker culture) is an archaeological culture named after the inverted-bell beaker drinking vessel used at the very beginning of the European Bronze Age. Arising from around 2800 BC, it lasted in Britain until ...
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelai ...
(2200-2000 BC) and a granite grinding stone (2700-2750 BC), but these probably point to a presence of a modest semi-permanent or seasonal settlement, since the river mouth of the Amstel was probably too wet for permanent habitation.


Etymology and Founding

The origins of Amsterdam is linked to the development of the peatland called '' Amestelle'', meaning 'watery area', from '' Aa(m)'' 'river' + '' stelle'' 'site at a shoreline', 'river bank'. In this area,
land reclamation Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a waste landfill), is the process of creating new land from oceans, seas, riverbeds or lake beds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation grou ...
started as early as the late 10th century. Amestelle was located along a side arm of the IJ. This side arm took the name from the eponymous land:
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. It flows from the Aarkanaal and Drecht in Nieuwveen northwards, passing Uithoorn, Amstelveen, and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, to the IJ in Amsterdam. Annually, the river is ...
. Amestelle was inhabited by farmers, who lived more inland and more upstream, where the land was not as wet as at the banks of the downstream river mouth. These farmers were starting the reclamation around upstream
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel Ouderkerk aan de Amstel () is a town in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is largely a part of the municipality of Ouder-Amstel; it lies about 9 km south of Amsterdam. A small part of the town lies in the municipality of Amstelveen ...
, and later at the other side of the river at
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands with a population of 89,918 (2017). It is a suburban part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amstelveen consists of the historical villages of B ...
. The
Van Amstel family The surviving keep of the Van Amstel castle at IJsselstein. The van Amstel family ( nl, Heren van Amstel) was an influential dynasty in the medieval Netherlands from the twelfth until the fourteenth century. The family developed the Amstelland and h ...
, known in documents by this name since 1019, held the stewardship in this northwestern nook of the ecclesiastical district of the
bishop of UtrechtList of bishops and archbishops of the diocese and archdioceses of Utrecht. Medieval diocese from 695 to 1580 Founders of the Utrecht diocese * * * * * Bishops * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ...
. The family later served also under the
count of Holland The counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century. House of Holland The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia (Dijkstra suggests that ...
. A major turning point in the development of the Amstel river mouth is the All Saint's Flood of 1170. In an extremely short period of time, the shallow river IJ turned into a wide estuary, which from then on offered the Amstel an open connection to the
Zuiderzee The Zuiderzee or Zuider Zee ( , also , ; old spelling ''Zuyderzee'' or ''Zuyder Zee'') was a shallow bay of the North Sea in the northwest of the Netherlands, extending about 100 km (60 miles) inland and at most 50 km (30 miles) wide, w ...
,
IJssel The IJssel ( , also , ; nds-nl, Iessel(t) ) is a Dutch distributary of the river Rhine that flows northward and ultimately discharges into the IJsselmeer (before the 1932 completion of the Afsluitdijk known as the Zuiderzee), a North Sea natural h ...
and waterways further afield. This made the water flow of the Amstel more active, so excess water could be drained better. With drier banks, the downstream Amstel mouth became attractive for permanent habitation. Moreover, the river had grown from an insignificant peat stream into a junction of international waterways. A settlement was built here immediately after the landscape change of 1170, and right from the start of its foundation it focused on traffic, production and trade; not on farming, as opposed to how communities had lived further upstream for the past 200 years and northward for thousands of years. The construction of a dam at the mouth of the Amstel, eponymously named
Dam A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams not only suppress floods but also provide water for activities such as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquacultur ...
, is historically estimated to have occurred between 1264 and 1275. The settlement first appeared in a document concerning a road toll granted by the count of Holland Floris V to the residents ''apud Amestelledamme'' 'at the dam in the Amstel' or 'at the dam of Amstelland'. This allowed the inhabitants of the village to travel freely through the
County of Holland The County of Holland was a State of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1432 part of the Burgundian Netherlands, from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands and from 1581 onward the leading province of the Dutch Republic, of which it remained a part u ...
, paying no tolls at bridges, locks and dams. By 1327, the name had developed into ''Aemsterdam''.


Middle Ages

Amsterdam was granted
city rights 250px, Medieval square in Spišská Sobota, Slovakia (Now Poprad). The former name of the town literally means "Saturday in Spiš">Poprad.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Slovakia (Now Poprad">Slovakia (Now P ...
in either 1300 or 1306. From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely from trade with the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=German language, Deutsche Hanse; nl, label=Dutch, De Hanze; la, Hansa Teutonica) was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Eur ...

Hanseatic League
. In 1345, an alleged Eucharistic miracle in
Kalverstraat 250px, Kalverstraat, with the main entrance to Kalvertoren shopping centre. The Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The street runs roughly North-South for about 750 meters, from Dam Square to Muntpl ...
rendered the city an important place of
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, afte ...
until the adoption of the Protestant faith. The Miracle devotion went underground but was kept alive. In the 19th century, especially after the jubilee of 1845, the devotion was revitalised and became an important national point of reference for Dutch Catholics. The ''
Stille Omgang A ''stille omgang'' ("Silent Walk" or circumambulation) is an informal ritual that served as substitute for the Roman Catholic processions that were prohibited after the Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Best known is the ''Stille ...
''—a silent walk or
procession A procession is an organized body of people walking in a formal or ceremonial manner. A funeral procession, illustrated in a manuscript of the ''Hours of the Virgin''. Fifteenth century. British Museum, Add. MS. 27697. History Processions have i ...
in civil attire—is the expression of the pilgrimage within the Protestant Netherlands since the late 19th century. In the heyday of the Silent Walk, up to 90,000 pilgrims came to Amsterdam. In the 21st century, this has reduced to about 5000.


Conflict with Spain

In the 16th century, the Dutch rebelled against
Philip II of Spain Philip II ( es, Felipe II; 21 May 152713 September 1598) was King of Spain (1556–1598), King of Portugal (1580–1598, as Philip I, pt, Filipe I), King of Naples and Sicily (both from 1554), and ''jure uxoris'' King of England and Ireland (duri ...
and his successors. The main reasons for the uprising were the imposition of new taxes, the tenth penny, and the
religious persecution Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or their lack thereof. The tendency of societies or groups within societies to alienate or rep ...
of Protestants by the newly introduced
Inquisition The Inquisition, in historical ecclesiastical terminology also referred to as the "Holy Inquisition", was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat heresy. Studies of the records have found that the overwhelming m ...
. The revolt escalated into the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II ...
, which ultimately led to Dutch independence. Strongly pushed by
Dutch Revolt#REDIRECT Dutch Revolt#REDIRECT Dutch Revolt {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
leader
William the Silent#REDIRECT William the Silent#REDIRECT William the Silent {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a federal republic which existed from 1588 (during the Du ...
became known for its relative
religious Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elem ...
tolerance.
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are members of an ethnoreligious group and a nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish ...
from the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese and Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peninsula in the southwest corner of Europe, ...
,
Huguenot Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French Protestants. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term has its origin in early-16th-century France. It was frequently ...
s from France, prosperous merchants and printers from
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch: ''Vlaanderen'' ; French: ''Flandre'' ; German: ''Flandern'' ) is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping defini ...
, and economic and religious refugees from the Spanish-controlled parts of the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe forming ...
found safety in Amsterdam. The influx of Flemish printers and the city's intellectual tolerance made Amsterdam a centre for the European free press.


Centre of the Dutch Golden Age

The 17th century is considered Amsterdam's ''
Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages, Gold being the first and the one during which the Golde ...
'', during which it became the wealthiest city in the western world. Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, northeast Germany, Poland, Russia and the North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from ...
, North America, and Africa, as well as present-day
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, ...

Indonesia
,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Oce ...

India
,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO; ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island countr ...
, and
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 millio ...
, forming the basis of a worldwide trading network. Amsterdam's merchants had the largest share in both the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was a megacorporation founded by a government-directed consolidation of several rival ...
and the
Dutch West India Company The Dutch West India Company ( nl, Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie, or GWC; ; en, Chartered West India Company) was a chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors. Among its founders was Willem Usselincx (1567–1647) and ...
. These companies acquired overseas possessions that later became
Dutch colonies The Dutch colonial empire comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administered by Dutch chartered companies—mainly the Dutch West India Company and the Dutch East India Company—and subsequently by the Dutch Republ ...
. Amsterdam was Europe's most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading
Financial centre A financial centre, financial center, or financial hub is a location with a concentration of participants in banking, asset management, insurance or financial markets with venues and supporting services for these activities to take place. Parti ...
of the western world. In 1602, the Amsterdam office of the international trading Dutch East India Company became the world's first
stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
by trading in its own shares. The Bank of Amsterdam started operations in 1609, acting as a full-service bank for Dutch merchant bankers and as a reserve bank.


Decline and modernisation

Amsterdam's prosperity declined during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The
wars War is an intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using ...
of the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a federal republic which existed from 1588 (during the Du ...
with
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continent ...
and France took their toll on Amsterdam. During the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions. It produced a brief period of French ...
, Amsterdam's significance reached its lowest point, with Holland being absorbed into the French Empire. However, the later establishment of the
United Kingdom of the Netherlands The United Kingdom of the Netherlands ( nl, Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden; french: Royaume-Uni des Pays-Bas) is the unofficial name given to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was cre ...
in 1815 marked a turning point. The end of the 19th century is sometimes called Amsterdam's second Golden Age. New museums, a railway station, and the
Concertgebouw The Royal Concertgebouw ( nl, Koninklijk Concertgebouw, ) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Its superb acoustics place it among the finest concert halls in t ...

Concertgebouw
were built; in this same time, the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machin ...
reached the city. The
Amsterdam–Rhine Canal The Amsterdam–Rhine Canal (Dutch: ''Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal'') is a canal in the Netherlands that was built to connect the port and capital city of Amsterdam to the main shipping artery of the Rhine. Its course follows a generally southeasterly dire ...
was dug to give Amsterdam a direct connection to the
Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland , source1_coordinates= , source1_elevation = , source2 = Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein , source2_location = Paradies Glacier, Graubünden, Switzerland , source2_coordinates= , source2_elevation ...

Rhine
, and the
North Sea Canal The North Sea Canal ( nl, Noordzeekanaal) is a Dutch ship canal from Amsterdam to the North Sea at IJmuiden, constructed between 1865 and 1876 to enable seafaring vessels to reach the port of Amsterdam. This man-made channel terminates at Amsterdam ...
was dug to give the port a shorter connection to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain (England and Scotland), Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric (or "shelf") sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the o ...
. Both projects dramatically improved commerce with the rest of Europe and the world. In 1906,
Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, ; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently un ...

Joseph Conrad
gave a brief description of Amsterdam as seen from the seaside, in ''The Mirror of the Sea''.


20th century–present

Shortly before the First World War, the city started to expand again, and new suburbs were built. Even though the Netherlands remained neutral in this war, Amsterdam suffered a food shortage, and heating fuel became scarce. The shortages sparked riots in which several people were killed. These riots are known as the ''Aardappeloproer'' (Potato rebellion). People started looting stores and warehouses in order to get supplies, mainly food. On 1 January 1921, after a flood in 1916, the depleted municipalities of Durgerdam, Holysloot, Zunderdorp and Schellingwoude, all lying north of Amsterdam, were, at their own request, annexed to the city. Between the wars, the city continued to expand, most notably to the west of the
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Centrum. The area is bordered by the Singelgracht canal and the neighbourhood of Frederik Hendrikbuurt to the west; the Prinsengracht to t ...
district in the
Frederik Hendrikbuurt Frederik Hendrikbuurt is a neighbourhood in the West district of Amsterdam, Netherlands and is situated between the canals Singelgracht and ''Kostverlorenvaart''. The neighbourhood, known locally by the moniker the "Fred", is centred on the Fred ...
and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich. until 1943 and Greater German Reich. from 1943 to 1945, was the German state ...

Nazi Germany
invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 and took control of the country. Some Amsterdam citizens sheltered Jews, thereby exposing themselves and their families to a high risk of being imprisoned or sent to concentration camps. More than 100,000
Dutch Jews The history of the Jews in the Netherlands is considered to begin largely in the 16th century, when they began to settle in Amsterdam and other cities. It has continued to the present. Following the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany ...
were deported to
Nazi concentration camps From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany operated more than a thousand concentration camps, (officially) or (more commonly). The Nazi concentration camps are distinguished from other types of Nazi camps such as forced-labor camps, as well as concentra ...
, of whom some 60,000 lived in Amsterdam. In response, the Dutch Communist Party organised the
February strike The February Strike ( nl, Februaristaking) was a general strike in the German-occupied Netherlands in 1941, during World War II, organised by the then-outlawed Communist Party of the Netherlands in defence of persecuted Dutch Jews and against the ...
attended by 300,000 people to protest against the raids. Perhaps the most famous deportee was the young Jewish girl
Anne Frank Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (, ; 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945)Research by The Anne Frank House in 2015 revealed that Frank may have died in February 1945 rather than in March, as Dutch authorities had long assumed"New research sheds ...
, who died in the
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp Bergen-Belsen , or Belsen, was a Nazi concentration camp in what is today Lower Saxony in northern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. Originally established as a prisoner of war camp, in 1943, parts of it became a concentratio ...
. At the end of the Second World War, communication with the rest of the country broke down, and food and fuel became scarce. Many citizens travelled to the countryside to forage. Dogs, cats,
raw sugar Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content (natural brown sugar) ...
beets, and
tulip Tulips (''Tulipa'') form a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes (having bulbs as storage organs). The flowers are usually large, showy and brightly colored, generally red, pink, yellow, or white (usually in warm c ...
bulbs—cooked to a pulp—were consumed to stay alive. Many trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and wood was taken from the houses, apartments and other buildings of deported Jews. Many new suburbs, such as
Osdorp Osdorp is neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Netherlands. A larger area was, from 1981 until 2010, a ''stadsdeel'' (borough) of Amsterdam and in 2010 was merged into the new borough of Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Neighborhood The core neighborhood of Osdorp is ...
, Slotervaart, Slotermeer and Geuzenveld, were built in the years after the Second World War. These suburbs contained many public parks and wide-open spaces, and the new buildings provided improved housing conditions with larger and brighter rooms, gardens, and balconies. Because of the war and other events of the 20th century, almost the entire city centre had fallen into disrepair. As society was changing, politicians and other influential figures made plans to redesign large parts of it. There was an increasing demand for office buildings, and also for new roads, as the automobile became available to most people. A Amsterdam Metro, metro started operating in 1977 between the new suburb of Bijlmermeer in the city's Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Zuidoost (southeast) exclave and the centre of Amsterdam. Further plans were to build a new highway above the metro to connect Amsterdam Centraal station, Amsterdam Centraal and the city centre with other parts of the city. The required large-scale demolitions began in Amsterdam's former Jewish neighbourhood. Smaller streets, such as the Jodenbreestraat and Weesperstraat, were widened and almost all houses and buildings were demolished. At the peak of the demolition, the ''Nieuwmarktrellen'' (Nieuwmarkt Riots) broke out; the rioters expressed their fury about the demolition caused by the restructuring of the city. As a result, the demolition was stopped and the highway into the city's centre was never fully built; only the metro was completed. Only a few streets remained widened. The new city hall was built on the almost completely demolished Waterlooplein. Meanwhile, large private organisations, such as ''Stadsherstel Amsterdam'', were founded to restore the entire city centre. Although the success of this struggle is visible today, efforts for further restoration are still ongoing. The entire city centre has reattained its former splendour and, as a whole, is now a protected area. Many of its buildings have become monuments, and in July 2010 the Grachtengordel (Amsterdam), Grachtengordel (the three concentric canals: Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht) was added to the World Heritage Site, UNESCO World Heritage List. In the early years of the 21st century, the Amsterdam city centre has attracted large numbers of tourists: between 2012 and 2015, the annual number of visitors rose from 10 to 17 million. Real estate prices have surged, and local shops are making way for tourist-oriented ones, making the centre unaffordable for the city's inhabitants. These developments have evoked comparisons with Venice (Italy), Venice, a city thought to be overwhelmed by the tourist influx. Construction of a metro line connecting the part of the city north of the river (or lake) IJ to the centre was started in 2003. The project was controversial because its cost had exceeded its budget by a factor three by 2008, because of fears of damage to buildings in the centre, and because construction had to be halted and restarted multiple times. The metro line was completed in 2018. Since 2014, renewed focus has been given to urban regeneration and renewal, especially in areas directly bordering the city centre, such as
Frederik Hendrikbuurt Frederik Hendrikbuurt is a neighbourhood in the West district of Amsterdam, Netherlands and is situated between the canals Singelgracht and ''Kostverlorenvaart''. The neighbourhood, known locally by the moniker the "Fred", is centred on the Fred ...
. This urban renewal and expansion of the traditional centre of the city—with the construction on artificial islands of the new eastern IJburg neighbourhood—is part of the Structural Vision Amsterdam 2040 initiative.


Geography

Amsterdam is located in the Western Netherlands, in the province of
North Holland North Holland ( nl, Noord-Holland ) is a province of the Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. It is located on the North Sea, north of South Holland and Utrecht, and west of Friesland and Flevoland. In November 2019, it had a popul ...
, the capital of which is not Amsterdam, but rather Haarlem. The river
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. It flows from the Aarkanaal and Drecht in Nieuwveen northwards, passing Uithoorn, Amstelveen, and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, to the IJ in Amsterdam. Annually, the river is ...
ends in the city centre and connects to a large number of canals that eventually terminate in the IJ. Amsterdam is about above mean sea level, below sea level. The surrounding land is flat as it is formed of large polders. A man-made forest, Amsterdamse Bos, is in the southwest. Amsterdam is connected to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain (England and Scotland), Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric (or "shelf") sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the o ...
through the long
North Sea Canal The North Sea Canal ( nl, Noordzeekanaal) is a Dutch ship canal from Amsterdam to the North Sea at IJmuiden, constructed between 1865 and 1876 to enable seafaring vessels to reach the port of Amsterdam. This man-made channel terminates at Amsterdam ...
. Amsterdam is intensely urbanised, as is the Amsterdam metropolitan area surrounding the city. Comprising of land, the city limits, city proper has 4,457 inhabitants per km2 and 2,275 houses per km2. Parks and nature reserves make up 12% of Amsterdam's land area.


Water

Amsterdam has more than of Canals of Amsterdam, canals, most of which are navigable by boat. The city's three main canals are the Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht. In the Middle Ages, Amsterdam was surrounded by a moat, called the Singel, which now forms the innermost ring in the city, and gives the city centre a horseshoe shape. The city is also served by a Port of Amsterdam, seaport. It has been compared with Venice, due to its division into about 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1,200 bridges.


Climate

Amsterdam has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Cfb'') strongly influenced by its proximity to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain (England and Scotland), Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric (or "shelf") sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the o ...
to the west, with prevailing westerly winds. While winters are cool and summers warm, temperatures vary year by year. There can occasionally be cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. Amsterdam, as well as most of the North Holland province, lies in United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Hardiness zone 8b. Frosts mainly occur during spells of easterly or northeasterly winds from the inner European continent. Even then, because Amsterdam is surrounded on three sides by large bodies of water, as well as having a significant Urban heat island, heat-island effect, nights rarely fall below , while it could easily be in Hilversum, southeast. Summers are moderately warm with a number of hot days every month. The average daily high in August is , and or higher is only measured on average on 2.5 days, placing Amsterdam in AHS Heat Zone 2. The record extremes range from to . Days with more than of precipitation are common, on average 133 days per year. Amsterdam's average annual precipitation is . A large part of this precipitation falls as light rain or brief showers. Cloudy and damp days are common during the cooler months of October through March.


Demographics


Historical population

In 1300, Amsterdam's population was around 1,000 people. While many towns in Holland experienced population decline during the 15th and 16th centuries, Amsterdam's population grew, mainly due to the rise of the profitable Baltic maritime trade (c. 1400–1800), Baltic maritime trade after the Burgundian victory in the Dutch–Hanseatic War. Still, the population of Amsterdam was only modest compared to the towns and cities of County of Flanders, Flanders and Duchy of Brabant, Brabant, which comprised the most urbanised area of the Low Countries. This changed when, during the
Dutch Revolt#REDIRECT Dutch Revolt#REDIRECT Dutch Revolt {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, many people from the Southern Netherlands fled to the North, especially after Fall of Antwerp, Antwerp fell to Spanish forces in 1585. Jewish people from Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe similarly settled in Amsterdam, as did Germans and Scandinavians. In thirty years, Amsterdam's population more than doubled between 1585 and 1610. By 1600, its population was around 50,000. During the 1660s, Amsterdam's population reached 200,000. The city's growth levelled off and the population stabilised around 240,000 for most of the 18th century. In 1750, Amsterdam was the List of largest European cities in history, fourth largest city in western Europe, behind London (676,000), Paris (560,000) and Naples (324,000). This was all the more remarkable as Amsterdam was neither the capital city nor the seat of government of the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a federal republic which existed from 1588 (during the Du ...
, which itself was a much smaller state than England, France or the Ottoman Empire. In contrast to those other metropolises, Amsterdam was also surrounded by large towns such as Leiden (about 67,000), Rotterdam (45,000), Haarlem (38,000), and
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the fourth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands ...
(30,000). The city's population declined in the early 19th century, dipping under 200,000 in 1820. By the second half of the 19th century, industrialisation spurred renewed growth. Amsterdam's population hit an all-time high of 872,000 in 1959, before declining in the following decades due to government-sponsored suburbanisation to so-called ''groeikernen'' (growth centres) such as Purmerend and Almere. Between 1970 and 1980, Amsterdam experienced its sharp population decline, peaking at a net loss of 25,000 people in 1973. By 1985 the city had only 675,570 residents. This was soon followed by reurbanization, reurbanisation and gentrification, leading to renewed population growth in the 2010s. Also in the 2010s, much of Amsterdam's population growth was due to immigration to the city. Amsterdam's population failed to beat the expectations of 873000 in 2019.


Immigration

In the 16th and 17th century, non-Dutch immigrants to Amsterdam were mostly
Huguenot Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French Protestants. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term has its origin in early-16th-century France. It was frequently ...
s, Flemish people, Flemings, Sephardi Jews and Westphalians. Huguenots came after the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685, while the Flemish Protestants came during the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II ...
. The Westphalians came to Amsterdam mostly for economic reasons – their influx continued through the 18th and 19th centuries. Before the Second World War, 10% of the city population was History of the Jews in Amsterdam, Jewish. Just twenty percent of them survived the The Holocaust, Shoah. The first mass immigration in the 20th century was by people from Indonesia, who came to Amsterdam after the independence of the Dutch East Indies in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s Foreign worker, guest workers from Turkey, Morocco, Italy, and Spain emigrated to Amsterdam. After the independence of Suriname in 1975, a large wave of Surinamese settled in Amsterdam, mostly in the Bijlmermeer, Bijlmer area. Other immigrants, including refugees Right of asylum, asylum seekers and illegal immigration, illegal immigrants, came from Europe, Americas, America, Asia, and Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, many 'old' Amsterdammers moved to 'new' cities like Almere and Purmerend, prompted by the third Land-use planning, planological bill of the Dutch government. This bill promoted suburbanisation and arranged for new developments in so-called "groeikernen", literally ''cores of growth''. Young professionals and artists moved into neighbourhoods de Pijp and the
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Centrum. The area is bordered by the Singelgracht canal and the neighbourhood of Frederik Hendrikbuurt to the west; the Prinsengracht to t ...
abandoned by these Amsterdammers. The non-Western immigrants settled mostly in the Public housing, social housing projects in Amsterdam-West and the Bijlmer. Today, people of non-Western origin make up approximately one-third of the population of Amsterdam, and more than 50% of the city' s children. Ethnic Dutch (as Dutch people#Ethnic identity, defined by the Dutch census) now make up a minority of the total population, although by far the largest one. Only one in three inhabitants under 15 is an ''autochtoon'', or a person who has two parents of Dutch origin. Segregation along ethnic lines is clearly visible, with people of non-Western origin, considered a separate group by Statistics Netherlands, concentrating in specific neighbourhoods especially in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Nieuw-West, Zeeburg, Bijlmermeer, Bijlmer and in certain areas of Amsterdam-Noord. In 2000, Christians formed the largest religious denomination, religious group in the city (18% of the population). The next largest religion was Islam (12%), most of whose followers were Sunni. In 2015, Christians formed the largest religious denomination, religious group in the city (24% of the population). The next largest religion was Islam (11.1%), most of whose followers were Sunni.


Religion

In 1578, the largely Catholic city of Amsterdam joined the revolt against Spanish rule, late in comparison to other major northern Dutch cities. Catholic priests were driven out of the city. Following the Dutch takeover, all churches were converted to Protestant worship. Calvinism was declared the main religion, and although Catholicism was not forbidden and priests allowed to serve, the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church, Catholic hierarchy was prohibited. This led to the establishment of ''schuilkerken'', covert religious buildings that were hidden in pre-existing buildings. Catholics, some Jewish and dissenting Protestants worshiped in such buildings. A large influx of foreigners of many religions came to 17th-century Amsterdam, in particular Sephardi Jews, Sefardic Jews from Spain and Portugal,
Huguenot Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French Protestants. Huguenots were French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term has its origin in early-16th-century France. It was frequently ...
s from France, Lutheranism, Lutherans, Mennonites, and Protestants from across the Netherlands. This led to the establishment of many non-Dutch-speaking churches. In 1603, the Jewish received permission to practice their religion. In 1639, the first synagogue was consecrated. The Jews came to call the town Jerusalem of the West. As they became established in the city, other Christian denominations used converted Catholic chapels to conduct their own services. The oldest English-language church congregation in the world outside the United Kingdom is found at the Begijnhof, Amsterdam, Begijnhof. Regular services there are still offered in English under the auspices of the Church of Scotland. Being Calvinists, the Huguenots soon integrated into the Dutch Reformed Church, though often retaining their own congregations. Some, commonly referred by the moniker 'Walloon', are recognisable today as they offer occasional services in French. In the second half of the 17th century, Amsterdam experienced an influx of Ashkenazi Jews, Ashkenazim, Jews from Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe. Jews often fled the pogroms in those areas. The first Ashkenazis who arrived in Amsterdam were refugees from the Khmelnytsky Uprising in Ukraine and the Thirty Years' War, which devastated much of Central Europe. They not only founded their own synagogues, but had a strong influence on the 'Amsterdam dialect' adding a large Yiddish language, Yiddish local vocabulary. Despite an absence of an official Jewish ghetto, most Jews preferred to live in the eastern part of the old medieval heart of the city. The main street of this Jewish neighbourhood was the ''Jodenbreestraat''. The neighbourhood comprised the ''Waterlooplein'' and the Nieuwmarkt. Buildings in this neighbourhood fell into disrepair after the Second World War, and a large section of the neighbourhood was demolished during the construction of the subway. This led to riots, and as a result the original plans for large-scale reconstruction were abandoned. The neighbourhood was rebuilt with smaller-scale residence buildings on the basis of its original layout. Catholic churches in Amsterdam have been constructed since the restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in 1853. One of the principal architects behind the city's Catholic churches, Pierre Cuypers, Cuypers, was also responsible for the Amsterdam Central station and the
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterda ...
. In 1924, the Catholic Church hosted the Eucharistic Congress, International Eucharistic Congress in Amsterdam, and numerous Catholic prelates visited the city, where festivities were held in churches and stadiums. Catholic processions on the public streets, however, were still forbidden under law at the time. Only in the 20th century was Amsterdam's relation to Catholicism normalised, but despite its far larger population size, the episcopal see of the city was placed in the provincial town of Haarlem. Historically, Amsterdam has been predominantly Christian, in 1900 Christians formed the largest religious denomination, religious group in the city (70% of the population), Dutch Reformed Church formed 45% of the city population, while the Catholic Church formed 25% of the city population. In recent times, religious demographics in Amsterdam have been changed by immigration from former colonies. Hinduism has been introduced from the Hindu diaspora from Suriname and several distinct branches of Islam have been brought from various parts of the world. Islam is now the largest non-Christian religion in Amsterdam. The large community of Ghanaian immigrants have established African churches, often in parking garages in the Bijlmermeer, Bijlmer area.


Diversity and immigration

Amsterdam experienced an influx of religions and cultures after the Second World War. With 180 different nationalities, Amsterdam is home to one of the widest varieties of nationalities of any city in the world. The proportion of the population of immigrant origin in the city proper is about 50% and 88% of the population are Dutch citizens. Amsterdam has been one of the municipalities in the Netherlands which provided immigrants with extensive and free Dutch language, Dutch-language courses, which have benefited many immigrants.


Cityscape and architecture

Amsterdam fans out south from the Amsterdam Centraal station and
Damrak The Damrak is an avenue and partially filled in canal at the centre of Amsterdam, running between Amsterdam Centraal in the north and Dam Square in the south. It is the main street where people arriving at the station enter the centre of Amsterdam. ...

Damrak
, the main street off the station. The oldest area of the town is known as De Wallen (English: "The Quays"). It lies to the east of Damrak and contains the city's famous red-light district. To the south of De Wallen is the old Jewish quarter of Waterlooplein. The medieval and colonial age
canals of Amsterdam Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has more than of ''grachten'' (canals), about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form conc ...
, known as ''grachten'', embraces the heart of the city where homes have interesting gables. Beyond the Grachtengordel are the former working-class areas of
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Centrum. The area is bordered by the Singelgracht canal and the neighbourhood of Frederik Hendrikbuurt to the west; the Prinsengracht to t ...
and de Pijp. The Museumplein with the city's major museums, the Vondelpark, a 19th-century park named after the Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel, and the Plantage (Amsterdam), Plantage neighbourhood, with the Natura Artis Magistra, zoo, are also located outside the Grachtengordel. Several parts of the city and the surrounding urban area are polders. This can be recognised by the suffix ''-meer'' which means ''lake'', as in Aalsmeer, Bijlmermeer, Haarlemmermeer, and Watergraafsmeer.


Canals

The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious Urban planning, city planning. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay. Known as the Grachtengordel (Amsterdam), Grachtengordel, three of the canals were mostly for residential development: the Herengracht (where "Heren" refers to ''Heren Regeerders van de stad Amsterdam'' (ruling lords of Amsterdam), and ''gracht'' means canal, so that the name can be roughly translated as "Canal of the Lords"), Keizersgracht (Emperor's Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal). The fourth and outermost canal is the Singelgracht, which is often not mentioned on maps because it is a collective name for all canals in the outer ring. The Singelgracht should not be confused with the oldest and innermost canal, the Singel. The canals served for defence, Water resource management, water management and transport. The defences took the form of a moat and Earthworks (engineering), earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry superstructures. The original plans have been lost, so historians, such as Ed Taverne, need to speculate on the original intentions: it is thought that the considerations of the layout were purely practical and defensive rather than ornamental. Construction started in 1613 and proceeded from west to east, across the breadth of the layout, like a gigantic Windscreen wiper, windshield wiper as the historian Geert Mak calls it – and not from the centre outwards, as a popular myth has it. The canal construction in the southern sector was completed by 1656. Subsequently, the construction of residential buildings proceeded slowly. The eastern part of the concentric canal plan, covering the area between the Amstel river and the IJ bay, has never been implemented. In the following centuries, the land was used for parks, senior citizens' homes, theatres, other public facilities, and waterways without much planning. Over the years, several canals have been filled in, becoming streets or squares, such as the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Spui (Amsterdam), Spui.


Expansion

After the development of Amsterdam's canals in the 17th century, the city did not grow beyond its borders for two centuries. During the 19th century, Samuel Sarphati devised a plan based on the grandeur of Paris and London at that time. The plan envisaged the construction of new houses, public buildings and streets just outside the Grachtengordel (Amsterdam), Grachtengordel. The main aim of the plan, however, was to improve public health. Although the plan did not expand the city, it did produce some of the largest public buildings to date, like the ''Paleis voor Volksvlijt''. Following Sarphati, civil engineers Jacobus van Niftrik and Jan Kalff designed an entire ring of 19th-century neighbourhoods surrounding the city's centre, with the city preserving the ownership of all land outside the 17th-century limit, thus firmly controlling development. Most of these neighbourhoods became home to the working class. In response to overcrowding, two plans were designed at the beginning of the 20th century which were very different from anything Amsterdam had ever seen before: ''Plan Zuid'', designed by the architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Berlage, and ''West''. These plans involved the development of new neighbourhoods consisting of housing blocks for all social classes. After the Second World War, large new neighbourhoods were built in the western, southeastern, and northern parts of the city. These new neighbourhoods were built to relieve the city's shortage of living space and give people affordable houses with modern conveniences. The neighbourhoods consisted mainly of large housing blocks located among green spaces, connected to wide roads, making the neighbourhoods easily accessible by Car, motor car. The western suburbs which were built in that period are collectively called the Westelijke Tuinsteden. The area to the southeast of the city built during the same period is known as the Bijlmer.


Architecture

Amsterdam has a rich History of architecture, architectural history. The oldest building in Amsterdam is the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, Oude Kerk (English: Old Church), at the heart of the Wallen, consecrated in 1306. The oldest wooden building is ''Het Houten Huys'' at the Begijnhof, Amsterdam, Begijnhof. It was constructed around 1425 and is one of only two existing wooden buildings. It is also one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Amsterdam. The oldest stone building of the Netherlands, The Moriaan is built in 's-Hertogenbosch. In the 16th century, wooden buildings were razed and replaced with brick ones. During this period, many buildings were constructed in the architectural style of the The Renaissance, Renaissance. Buildings of this period are very recognisable with their Crow-stepped gable, stepped gable façades, which is the common Dutch Renaissance style. Amsterdam quickly developed its own Renaissance architecture. These buildings were built according to the principles of the architect Hendrick de Keyser. One of the most striking buildings designed by Hendrick de Keyser is the Westerkerk. In the 17th century baroque architecture became very popular, as it was elsewhere in Europe. This roughly coincided with Amsterdam's
Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages, Gold being the first and the one during which the Golde ...
. The leading architects of this style in Amsterdam were Jacob van Campen, Philips Vingboons and Daniël Stalpaert, Daniel Stalpaert. Philip Vingboons designed splendid merchants' houses throughout the city. A famous building in baroque, baroque style in Amsterdam is the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Royal Palace on Dam Square. Throughout the 18th century, Amsterdam was heavily influenced by Culture of France, French culture. This is reflected in the architecture of that period. Around 1815, architects broke with the baroque style and started building in different neo-styles. Most Gothic style buildings date from that era and are therefore said to be built in a Gothic Revival architecture, neo-gothic style. At the end of the 19th century, the Art Nouveau, Jugendstil or Art Nouveau style became popular and many new buildings were constructed in this architectural style. Since Amsterdam expanded rapidly during this period, new buildings adjacent to the city centre were also built in this style. The houses in the vicinity of the Museumplein, Museum Square in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid are an example of Jugendstil. The last style that was popular in Amsterdam before the Modern history, modern era was Art Deco. Amsterdam had its own version of the style, which was called the Amsterdam School, Amsterdamse School. Whole districts were built this style, such as the ''Rivierenbuurt''. A notable feature of the façades of buildings designed in Amsterdamse School is that they are highly decorated and ornate, with oddly shaped windows and doors. The old city centre is the focal point of all the architectural styles before the end of the 19th century. Jugendstil and Georgian are mostly found outside the city's centre in the neighbourhoods built in the early 20th century, although there are also some striking examples of these styles in the city centre. Most historic buildings in the city centre and nearby are houses, such as the famous merchants' houses lining the canals.


Parks and recreational areas

Amsterdam has many parks, open spaces, and squares throughout the city. The Vondelpark, the largest park in the city, is located in the Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, Oud-Zuid neighbourhood and is named after the 17th-century Amsterdam author Joost van den Vondel. Yearly, the park has around 10 million visitors. In the park is an open-air theatre, a playground and several horeca facilities. In the Amsterdam-Zuid, Zuid borough, is the Beatrixpark, named after Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix. Between Amsterdam and
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands with a population of 89,918 (2017). It is a suburban part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amstelveen consists of the historical villages of B ...
is the Amsterdamse Bos ("Amsterdam Forest"), the largest recreational area in Amsterdam. Annually, almost 4.5 million people visit the park, which has a size of 1.000 hectares and is approximately three times the size of Central Park. The Amstelpark in the Amsterdam-Zuid, Zuid borough houses the Rieker windmill, which dates to 1636. Other parks include the Sarphatipark in the De Pijp neighbourhood, the Oosterpark (Amsterdam), Oosterpark in the Amsterdam-Oost, Oost borough and the Westerpark (park), Westerpark in the Westerpark (neighbourhood), Westerpark neighbourhood. The city has three beaches: Nemo Beach, Citybeach "Het stenen hoofd" (Silodam) and Blijburg, all located in the Centrum borough. The city has many open squares (''plein'' in Dutch). The namesake of the city as the site of the original dam, Dam Square, is the main city square and has the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Royal Palace and National Monument (Amsterdam), National Monument. Museumplein hosts various museums, including the
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterda ...
,
Van Gogh Museum The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Museum Square in Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw. The museum opened on 2 June ...
, and
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
. Other squares include Rembrandtplein, Muntplein, Amsterdam, Muntplein, Nieuwmarkt, Leidseplein, Spui (Amsterdam), Spui, and Waterlooplein. Also, near to Amsterdam is the Nekkeveld estate conservation project.


Economy

Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands. According to the 2007 European Cities Monitor (ECM) – an annual location survey of Europe's leading companies carried out by global real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield – Amsterdam is one of the top European cities in which to locate an international business, ranking fifth in the survey. with the survey determining London, Paris, Frankfurt and Barcelona as the four European cities surpassing Amsterdam in this regard. A substantial number of large corporations and banks' headquarters are located in the Amsterdam area, including:
AkzoNobel Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational company which creates paints and performance coatings for both industry and consumers worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, ...
, Heineken International, ING Group, ABN AMRO,
TomTom TomTom N.V. is a Dutch multinational developer and creator of location technology and consumer electronics. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom released its first generation of satellite navigation devices to market in 2004. t ...
, Delta Lloyd Group, Booking.com and
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (literally ''Royal Philips'', commonly shortened to Philips, stylized in its logo as PHILIPS) is a Dutch multinational conglomerate corporation that was founded in Eindhoven. Since 1997, it has been mostly headquartered ...
. Although many small offices remain along the historic canals, centrally based companies have increasingly relocated outside Amsterdam-Centrum, Amsterdam's city centre. Consequently, the Zuidas (English: South Axis) has become the new financial and legal hub of Amsterdam, with the country's five largest law firms and several subsidiaries of large consulting firms, such as Boston Consulting Group and Accenture, as well as the World Trade Center (Amsterdam), World Trade Centre (Amsterdam) located in the Zuidas district. In addition to the Zuidas, there are three smaller Central business district, financial districts in Amsterdam: * around Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station. Where one can find the offices of several newspapers, such as ''De Telegraaf.'' as well as those of Deloitte, the Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (municipal public transport company), and the Tax and Customs Administration, Dutch tax offices (''Belastingdienst''); * around the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam Zuidoost, with the headquarters of ING Group; * around the Amsterdam Amstel railway station, Amstel railway station in the Amsterdam-Oost district to the east of the historical city. Amsterdam's List of tallest buildings and structures in the world, tallest building, the Rembrandt Tower, is located here. As are the headquarters of
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (literally ''Royal Philips'', commonly shortened to Philips, stylized in its logo as PHILIPS) is a Dutch multinational conglomerate corporation that was founded in Eindhoven. Since 1997, it has been mostly headquartered ...
, the Dutch multinational conglomerate. The adjoining municipality of
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands with a population of 89,918 (2017). It is a suburban part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amstelveen consists of the historical villages of B ...
is the location of KPMG, KPMG International's global headquarters. Other non-Dutch companies have chosen to settle in communities surrounding Amsterdam since they allow Freehold (law), freehold property ownership, whereas Amsterdam retains ground rent. The
Amsterdam Stock Exchange A bond from the Dutch East India Company, dating from 7 November 1623, for the amount of 2,400 florins. Euronext Amsterdam is a stock exchange based in Amsterdam. Formerly known as the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, it merged on 22 September 200 ...
(AEX), now part of Euronext, is the world's oldest stock exchange and, due to Brexit, has overtaken London Stock Exchange, LSE as the largest bourse in Europe. It is near Dam Square in the city centre.


Port of Amsterdam

The
Port of Amsterdam The port of Amsterdam ( nl, Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport in Amsterdam in North Holland, Netherlands. It is the 4th busiest port in Europe by metric tonnes of cargo. The port is located on the bank of a former bay named the IJ and the North S ...
is the fourth-largest port in Europe, the 38th largest port in the world and the second-largest port in the Netherlands by metric tons of cargo. In 2014 the Port of Amsterdam had a cargo throughput of 97,4 million tons of cargo, which was mostly bulk cargo. Amsterdam has the biggest cruise port in the Netherlands with more than 150 cruise ships every year. In 2019 the new lock in IJmuiden will open; the port will then be able to grow to 125 million tonnes in capacity.


Tourism

Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, receiving more than 5.34 million international visitors annually, this is excluding the 16 million day-trippers visiting the city every year. The number of visitors has been growing steadily over the past decade. This can be attributed to an increasing number of European visitors. Two-thirds of the hotels are located in the city's centre. Hotels with 4 or 5 stars contribute 42% of the total beds available and 41% of the overnight stays in Amsterdam. The room occupation rate was 85% in 2017, up from 78% in 2006. The majority of tourists (74%) originate from Europe. The largest group of non-European visitors come from the United States, accounting for 14% of the total. Certain years have a theme in Amsterdam to attract extra tourists. For example, the year 2006 was designated "Rembrandt 400", to celebrate the 400th birthday of Rembrandt, Rembrandt van Rijn. Some hotels offer special arrangements or activities during these years. The average number of guests per year staying at the four campsites around the city range from 12,000 to 65,000.


De Wallen (Red-light district)

De Wallen, also known as Walletjes or Rosse Buurt, is a designated area for Prostitution in the Netherlands, legalised prostitution and is Amsterdam's largest and best-known
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts are particula ...
. This neighbourhood has become a famous attraction for tourists. It consists of a network of canals, streets, and alleys containing several hundred small, one-room apartments rented by sex workers who offer their services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. In recent years, the city government has been closing and repurposing the famous red-light district windows in an effort to clean up the area and reduce the amount of party and sex tourism.


Retail

Shops in Amsterdam range from large high-end department stores such as De Bijenkorf founded in 1870 to small speciality shops. Amsterdam's high-end shops are found in the streets P.C. Hooftstraat and ''Cornelis Schuytstraat'', which are located in the vicinity of the Vondelpark. One of Amsterdam's busiest high streets is the narrow, medieval
Kalverstraat 250px, Kalverstraat, with the main entrance to Kalvertoren shopping centre. The Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The street runs roughly North-South for about 750 meters, from Dam Square to Muntpl ...
in the heart of the city. Other shopping areas include the ''Negen Straatjes'' and Haarlemmerdijk and Haarlemmerstraat. ''Negen Straatjes'' are nine narrow streets within the ''Grachtengordel'', the concentric canal system of Amsterdam. The Negen Straatjes differ from other shopping districts with the presence of a large diversity of privately owned shops. The Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk were voted best shopping street in the Netherlands in 2011. These streets have as the ''Negen Straatjes'' a large diversity of privately owned shops. However, as the ''Negen Straatjes'' are dominated by fashion stores, the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk offer a wide variety of stores, just to name some specialities: candy and other food-related stores, lingerie, sneakers, wedding clothing, interior shops, books, Italian deli's, racing and mountain bikes, skatewear, etc. The city also features a large number of open-air markets such as the Albert Cuyp Market, Westerstraat-markt, Ten Katemarkt, and Dappermarkt. Some of these markets are held daily, like the Albert Cuypmarkt and the Dappermarkt. Others, like the Westerstraatmarkt, are held every week.


Fashion

Several fashion brands and designers are based in Amsterdam. Fashion designers include Iris van Herpen, Mart Visser, Viktor & Rolf, Marlies Dekkers and Frans Molenaar. Fashion models like Yfke Sturm, Doutzen Kroes and Kim Noorda started their careers in Amsterdam. Amsterdam has its garment centre in the World Fashion Center. Fashion photographers Inez and Vinoodh, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin were born in Amsterdam.


Culture

During the later part of the 16th-century, Amsterdam's Rederijkerskamer (Chamber of rhetoric) organised contests between different Chambers in the reading of poetry and drama. In 1637, Schouwburg, the first theatre in Amsterdam was built, opening on 3 January 1638. The first ballet performances in the Netherlands were given in Schouwburg in 1642 with the ''Ballet of the Five Senses''. In the 18th century, French theatre became popular. While Amsterdam was under the influence of German music in the 19th century there were few national opera productions; the Hollandse Opera of Amsterdam was built in 1888 for the specific purpose of promoting Dutch opera. In the 19th century, popular culture was centred on the Nes area in Amsterdam (mainly vaudeville and music hall, music-hall). An improved metronome was invented in 1812 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel. The
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterda ...
(1885) and
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
(1895) were built and opened. In 1888, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concertgebouworkest orchestra was established. With the 20th century came cinema, radio and television. Though most studios are located in Hilversum and Aalsmeer, Amsterdam's influence on programming is very strong. Many people who work in the television industry live in Amsterdam. Also, the headquarters of the Dutch SBS 6, SBS Broadcasting Group is located in Amsterdam.


Museums

The most important museums of Amsterdam are located on the Museumplein (Museum Square), located at the southwestern side of the Rijksmuseum. It was created in the last quarter of the 19th century on the grounds of the former Internationale Koloniale en Uitvoerhandel Tentoonstelling, World's fair. The northeastern part of the square is bordered by the large Rijksmuseum. In front of the Rijksmuseum on the square itself is a long, rectangular pond. This is transformed into an ice rink in winter. The northwestern part of the square is bordered by the Van Gogh Museum, House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience and Coster Diamonds. The southwestern border of the Museum Square is the Van Baerlestraat, which is a major thoroughfare in this part of Amsterdam. The Concertgebouw is located across this street from the square. To the southeast of the square are several large houses, one of which contains the American consulate. A Multi-storey car park, parking garage can be found underneath the square, as well as a supermarket. The Museumplein is covered almost entirely with a lawn, except for the northeastern part of the square which is covered with gravel. The current appearance of the square was realised in 1999, when the square was remodelled. The square itself is the most prominent site in Amsterdam for festivals and outdoor concerts, especially in the summer. Plans were made in 2008 to remodel the square again because many inhabitants of Amsterdam are not happy with its current appearance. The
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterda ...
possesses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art. It opened in 1885. Its collection consists of nearly one million objects. The artist most associated with Amsterdam is
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in ...

Rembrandt
, whose work, and the work of his pupils, is displayed in the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt's masterpiece ''The Night Watch'' is one of the top pieces of art of the museum. It also houses paintings from artists like Bartholomeus van der Helst, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Ferdinand Bol, Aelbert Cuyp, Albert Cuyp, Jacob van Ruisdael and Paulus Potter. Aside from paintings, the collection consists of a large variety of Decorative arts, decorative art. This ranges from Delftware to giant doll-houses from the 17th century. The architect of the Gothic Revival architecture, gothic revival building was P.J.H. Cuypers. The museum underwent a 10-year, 375 million euro renovation starting in 2003. The full collection was reopened to the public on 13 April 2013 and the Rijksmuseum has remained the most visited museum in Amsterdam with 2.2 million visitors in 2016 and 2.16 million in 2017. Van Gogh lived in Amsterdam for a short while and there is a Van Gogh Museum, museum dedicated to his work. The museum is housed in one of the few modern buildings in this area of Amsterdam. The building was designed by Gerrit Rietveld. This building is where the permanent collection is displayed. A new building was added to the museum in 1999. This building, known as the performance wing, was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. Its purpose is to house temporary exhibitions of the museum. Some of Van Gogh's most famous paintings, like ''The Potato Eaters'' and ''Sunflowers (series of paintings), Sunflowers'', are in the collection. The Van Gogh museum is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam, not far behind the Rijksmuseum in terms of the number of visits, being approximately 2.1 million in 2016, for example. Next to the Van Gogh museum stands the
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
. This is Amsterdam's most important museum of modern art. The museum is as old as the square it borders and was opened in 1895. The permanent collection consists of works of art from artists like Piet Mondrian, Piet Mondriaan, Karel Appel, and Kazimir Malevich. After renovations lasting several years, the museum opened in September 2012 with a new composite extension that has been called 'The Bathtub' due to its resemblance to one. Amsterdam contains many other museums throughout the city. They range from small museums such as the Verzetsmuseum (Resistance Museum), the
Anne Frank House The Anne Frank House ( nl, Anne Frank Huis) is a writer's house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam in t ...
, and the Rembrandt House Museum, to the very large, like the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics),
Amsterdam Museum The Amsterdam Museum, until 2011 called the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, is a museum about the history of Amsterdam. Since 1975, it is located in the old city orphanage between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. History The museum opened in ...
(formerly known as Amsterdam Historical Museum),
Hermitage Amsterdam Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on the banks of the Amstel river in Amsterdam. The museum is located in the former Amstelhof, a classical style building from 1681. The dependency di ...
(a dependency of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg) and the Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum). The modern-styled NEMO (museum), Nemo is dedicated to child-friendly science exhibitions.


Music

Amsterdam's musical culture includes a large collection of songs that treat the city nostalgically and lovingly. The 1949 song "Aan de Amsterdamse grachten" ("On the canals of Amsterdam") was performed and recorded by many artists, including John Kraaijkamp Sr.; the best-known version is probably that by Wim Sonneveld (1962). In the 1950s Johnny Jordaan rose to fame with "Geef mij maar Amsterdam" ("I prefer Amsterdam"), which praises the city above all others (explicitly Paris); Jordaan sang especially about his own neighbourhood, the
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Centrum. The area is bordered by the Singelgracht canal and the neighbourhood of Frederik Hendrikbuurt to the west; the Prinsengracht to t ...
("Bij ons in de Jordaan"). Colleagues and contemporaries of Johnny include Tante Leen and Manke Nelis. Another notable Amsterdam song is "Amsterdam (Jacques Brel song), Amsterdam" by Jacques Brel (1964). A 2011 poll by Amsterdam newspaper ''Het Parool'' that Trio Bier's "Oude Wolf" was voted "Amsterdams lijflied". Notable Amsterdam bands from the modern era include the Osdorp Posse and The Ex (band), The Ex. AFAS Live (formerly known as the Heineken Music Hall) is a concert hall located near the Johan Cruyff Arena (known as the Amsterdam Arena until 2018). Its main purpose is to serve as a podium for pop concerts for big audiences. Many famous international artists have performed there. Two other notable venues,
Paradiso Paradiso (Italian: ''Heaven'', literally: Paradise); may refer to: People * Paradiso (surname) Places * Gran Paradiso, a 4,000 metres mountain in Italy * Paradiso railway station (Luxembourg) * Paradiso, Switzerland, a municipality of the Italian ...
and the
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way") is a popular music venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein - the prime nightlife square of Amsterdam. It is housed in a former dairy and i ...
are located near the Leidseplein. Both focus on broad programming, ranging from indie rock to hip hop music, hip hop, Rhythm and blues, R&B, and other popular genres. Other more subcultural music venues are OCCII, OT301, De Nieuwe Anita, Winston Kingdom, and Zaal 100. Jazz has a strong following in Amsterdam, with the Bimhuis being the premier venue. In 2012, Ziggo Dome was opened, also near Amsterdam Arena, a state-of-the-art indoor music arena. AFAS Live is also host to many electronic dance music festivals, alongside many other venues. Armin van Buuren and Tiesto, some of the world's leading Trance music, Trance DJ's hail from the Netherlands and frequently perform in Amsterdam. Each year in October, the city hosts the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) which is one of the leading electronic music conferences and one of the biggest club festivals for electronic music in the world, attracting over 350,000 visitors each year. Another popular dance festival is 5daysoff, which takes place in the venues
Paradiso Paradiso (Italian: ''Heaven'', literally: Paradise); may refer to: People * Paradiso (surname) Places * Gran Paradiso, a 4,000 metres mountain in Italy * Paradiso railway station (Luxembourg) * Paradiso, Switzerland, a municipality of the Italian ...
and
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way") is a popular music venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein - the prime nightlife square of Amsterdam. It is housed in a former dairy and i ...
. In the summertime, there are several big outdoor dance parties in or nearby Amsterdam, such as Awakenings, Dance Valley, Mysteryland, Mystery Land, Loveland, A Day at the Park, Welcome to the Future, and Valtifest. Amsterdam has a world-class symphony orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Their home is the
Concertgebouw The Royal Concertgebouw ( nl, Koninklijk Concertgebouw, ) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Its superb acoustics place it among the finest concert halls in t ...

Concertgebouw
, which is across the Van Baerlestraat from the Museum Square. It is considered by critics to be a List of concert halls, concert hall with some of the best acoustics in the world. The building contains three halls, Grote Zaal, Kleine Zaal, and Spiegelzaal. Some nine hundred concerts and other events per year take place in the Concertgebouw, for a public of over 700,000, making it one of the most-visited concert halls in the world. The opera house of Amsterdam is located adjacent to the city hall. Therefore, the two buildings combined are often called the Stopera, (a word originally coined by protesters against it very construction: ''Stop the Opera[-house]''). This huge modern complex, opened in 1986, lies in the former Jewish neighbourhood at ''Waterlooplein'' next to the river
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. It flows from the Aarkanaal and Drecht in Nieuwveen northwards, passing Uithoorn, Amstelveen, and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, to the IJ in Amsterdam. Annually, the river is ...
. The ''Stopera'' is the home base of Dutch National Opera, Dutch National Ballet and the Holland Symfonia. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a concert hall, which is located in the IJ near the central station. Its concerts perform mostly 20th-century classical music, modern classical music. Located adjacent to it, is the ''Bimhuis'', a concert hall for improvised and Jazz music.


Performing arts

Amsterdam has three main theatre buildings. The Stadsschouwburg at the Leidseplein is the home base of Toneelgroep Amsterdam. The current building dates from 1894. Most plays are performed in the Grote Zaal (Great Hall). The normal programme of events encompasses all sorts of theatrical forms. The Stadsschouwburg is currently being renovated and expanded. The third theatre space, to be operated jointly with next door
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way") is a popular music venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein - the prime nightlife square of Amsterdam. It is housed in a former dairy and i ...
, will open in late 2009 or early 2010. The Stopera, Dutch National Opera and Ballet (formerly known as ''Het Muziektheater''), dating from 1986, is the principal opera house and home to Dutch National Opera and Dutch National Ballet. Carré Theatre, Royal Theatre Carré was built as a permanent circus theatre in 1887 and is currently mainly used for musicals, cabaret performances, and pop concerts. The recently re-opened DeLaMar Theater houses the more commercial plays and musicals. A new theatre has also moved into Amsterdam scene in 2014, joining other established venues: Theater Amsterdam is located in the west part of Amsterdam, on the Danzigerkade. It is housed in a modern building with a panoramic view over the harbour. The theatre is the first-ever purpose-built venue to showcase a single play entitled ANNE, the play based on Anne Frank's life. On the east side of town, there is a small theatre in a converted bathhouse, the Badhuistheater. The theatre often has English programming. The Netherlands has a tradition of cabaret or ''kleinkunst'', which combines music, storytelling, commentary, theatre and comedy. Cabaret dates back to the 1930s and artists like Wim Kan, Wim Sonneveld and Toon Hermans were pioneers of this form of art in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam is the Kleinkunstacademie (English: Cabaret Academy) an
Nederlied
Kleinkunstkoor (English: Cabaret Choir). Contemporary popular artists are Youp van 't Hek, Freek de Jonge, Herman Finkers, Hans Teeuwen, Theo Maassen, Herman van Veen, Najib Amhali, Raoul Heertje, Jörgen Raymann, Brigitte Kaandorp and Comedytrain. The English spoken comedy scene was established with the founding of Boom Chicago in 1993. They have their own theatre at Leidseplein.


Nightlife

Amsterdam is famous for its vibrant and diverse nightlife. Amsterdam has many ''bar (establishment), cafés'' (bars). They range from large and modern to small and cosy. The typical ''Bruine Kroeg'' (brown ''café'') breathe a more old fashioned atmosphere with dimmed lights, candles, and somewhat older clientele. These brown cafés mostly offer a wide range of local and international artisanal beers. Most ''cafés'' have terraces in summertime. A common sight on the Leidseplein during summer is a square full of terraces packed with people drinking beer or wine. Many restaurants can be found in Amsterdam as well. Since Amsterdam is a multicultural city, a lot of different ethnic restaurants can be found. Restaurants range from being rather luxurious and expensive to being ordinary and affordable. Amsterdam also possesses many discothèques. The two main nightlife areas for tourists are the Leidseplein and the Rembrandtplein. The
Paradiso Paradiso (Italian: ''Heaven'', literally: Paradise); may refer to: People * Paradiso (surname) Places * Gran Paradiso, a 4,000 metres mountain in Italy * Paradiso railway station (Luxembourg) * Paradiso, Switzerland, a municipality of the Italian ...
,
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way") is a popular music venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located on the Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein - the prime nightlife square of Amsterdam. It is housed in a former dairy and i ...
and Sugar Factory are cultural centres, which turn into discothèques on some nights. Examples of discothèques near the Rembrandtplein are the Escape, Air, John Doe and Club Abe. Also noteworthy are Panama, Hotel Arena (East), TrouwAmsterdam and Studio 80. In recent years '24-hour' clubs opened their doors, most notably Radion De School, Shelter and Marktkantine. Bimhuis located near the Central Station, with its rich programming hosting the best in the field is considered one of the best jazz clubs in the world. The Reguliersdwarsstraat is the main street for the LGBT community and nightlife.


Festivals

In 2008, there were 140 festivals and events in Amsterdam. Famous festivals and events in Amsterdam include: ''Koningsdag'' (which was named ''Koninginnedag'' until the crowning of King Willem-Alexander in 2013) (King's Day – Queen's Day); the Holland Festival for the performing arts; the yearly Prinsengrachtconcert (classical concerto on the Prinsen canal) in August; the '
Stille Omgang A ''stille omgang'' ("Silent Walk" or circumambulation) is an informal ritual that served as substitute for the Roman Catholic processions that were prohibited after the Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Best known is the ''Stille ...
' (a silent Roman Catholic evening procession held every March); Amsterdam Gay Pride; The Cannabis Cup; and the Uitmarkt. On Koningsdag—that is held each year on 27 April—hundreds of thousands of people travel to Amsterdam to celebrate with the city's residents. The entire city becomes overcrowded with people buying products from the ''freemarket,'' or visiting one of the many music concerts. The yearly Holland Festival attracts international artists and visitors from all over Europe. Amsterdam Gay Pride is a yearly local LGBT parade of boats in Amsterdam's canals, held on the first Saturday in August. The annual Uitmarkt is a three-day cultural event at the start of the cultural season in late August. It offers previews of many different artists, such as musicians and poets, who perform on Podium, podia.


Sports

Amsterdam is home of the ''Eredivisie'' football club AFC Ajax. The stadium Johan Cruyff Arena is the home of Ajax. It is located in the Amsterdam Zuidoost, south-east of the city next to the new Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA railway station. Before moving to their current location in 1996, Ajax played their regular matches in the now demolished De Meer Stadion in the eastern part of the city or in the Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam), Olympic Stadium. In 1928, Amsterdam hosted the 1928 Summer Olympics, Summer Olympics. The Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam), Olympic Stadium built for the occasion has been completely restored and is now used for cultural and sporting events, such as the Amsterdam Marathon. In 1920, Amsterdam assisted in hosting some of the Sailing at the 1920 Summer Olympics, sailing events for the 1920 Summer Olympics, Summer Olympics held in neighbouring Antwerp, Belgium by hosting events at IJ (Amsterdam), Buiten IJ. The city holds the Dam tot Damloop, Dam to Dam Run, a race from Amsterdam to Zaandam, as well as the Amsterdam Marathon. The ice hockey team Amstel Tijgers play in the Jaap Eden ice rink. The team competes in the Dutch ice hockey premier league. Long track speed skating, Speed skating championships have been held on the 400-metre lane of this ice rink. Amsterdam holds two American football franchises: the Amsterdam Crusaders and the Amsterdam Panthers. The Amsterdam Pirates baseball team competes in the Honkbal Hoofdklasse, Dutch Major League. There are three field hockey teams: Amsterdam, Pinoké and Hurley, who play their matches around the Wagener Stadium in the nearby city of
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands with a population of 89,918 (2017). It is a suburban part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amstelveen consists of the historical villages of B ...
. The basketball team MyGuide Amsterdam competes in the Dutch premier division and play their games in the Sporthallen Zuid. There is one rugby club in Amsterdam, which also hosts sports training classes such as RTC (Rugby Talenten Centrum or Rugby Talent Centre) and the National Rugby stadium. Since 1999, the city of Amsterdam honours the best sportsmen and women at the Amsterdam Sportsman of the year, Amsterdam Sports Awards. Boxer Raymond Joval and field hockey midfielder Carole Thate were the first to receive the awards, in 1999. Amsterdam hosted the World Gymnaestrada in 1991 and will do so again in 2023.


Politics

The city of Amsterdam is a Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality under the Dutch Municipalities Act. It is governed by a directly elected Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council, a College van burgemeester en wethouders, municipal executive board and a Burgemeester, mayor. Since 1981, the Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of Amsterdam has gradually been divided into semi-autonomous Boroughs of Amsterdam, boroughs, called ''stadsdelen'' or 'districts'. Over time, a total of 15 boroughs were created. In May 2010, under a major reform, the number of Boroughs of Amsterdam, Amsterdam boroughs was reduced to eight: Amsterdam-Centrum covering the city centre including the Canals of Amsterdam, canal belt, Amsterdam-Noord consisting of the neighbourhoods north of the IJ (Amsterdam), IJ lake, Amsterdam-Oost in the east, Amsterdam-Zuid in the south, Amsterdam-West in the west, Amsterdam Nieuw-West in the far west, Amsterdam Zuidoost in the southeast, and Westpoort (Amsterdam), Westpoort covering the
Port of Amsterdam The port of Amsterdam ( nl, Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport in Amsterdam in North Holland, Netherlands. It is the 4th busiest port in Europe by metric tonnes of cargo. The port is located on the bank of a former bay named the IJ and the North S ...
area.


City government

As with all Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is governed by a directly elected Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council, a College van burgemeester en wethouders, municipal executive board and a government appointed Burgemeester, mayor (''burgemeester''). The mayor is a member of the municipal executive board, but also has individual responsibilities in maintaining public order. On 27 June 2018, Femke Halsema (former member of House of Representatives (Netherlands), House of Representatives for GroenLinks from 1998 to 2011) was appointed as the first woman to be List of mayors of Amsterdam, Mayor of Amsterdam by the King's Commissioner of
North Holland North Holland ( nl, Noord-Holland ) is a province of the Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. It is located on the North Sea, north of South Holland and Utrecht, and west of Friesland and Flevoland. In November 2019, it had a popul ...
for a six-year term after being nominated by the Amsterdam Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council and began serving a six-year term on 12 July 2018. She replaces Eberhard van der Laan (Labour Party (Netherlands), Labour Party) who was the Mayor of Amsterdam from 2010 until his death in October 2017. After the Dutch municipal elections, 2014, 2014 municipal council elections, a governing majority of Democrats 66, D66, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVD and Socialist Party (Netherlands), SP was formed – the first coalition without the Labour Party (Netherlands), Labour Party since World War II. Next to the Burgemeester, Mayor, the College van burgemeester en wethouders, municipal executive board consists of eight ''wethouders'' ('alderpersons') appointed by the Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council: four Democrats 66, D66 alderpersons, two People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVD alderpersons and two Socialist Party (Netherlands), SP alderpersons. On 18 September 2017, it was announced by Eberhard van der Laan in an open letter to Amsterdam citizens that Kajsa Ollongren would take up his office as acting Mayor of Amsterdam with immediate effect due to ill health. Ollongren was succeeded as acting Mayor by Eric van der Burg on 26 October 2017 and by Jozias van Aartsen on 4 December 2017. Unlike most other Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is subdivided into eight Boroughs of Amsterdam, boroughs, called ''stadsdelen'' or 'districts', a system that was implemented gradually in the 1980s to improve local governance. The Boroughs of Amsterdam, boroughs are responsible for many activities that had previously been run by the central city. In 2010, the number of Boroughs of Amsterdam, Amsterdam boroughs reached fifteen. Fourteen of those had their own district council (''deelraad''), elected by a popular vote. The fifteenth, Westpoort, covers the harbour of Amsterdam and had very few residents. Therefore, it was governed by the central municipal council. Under the borough system, municipal decisions are made at borough level, except for those affairs pertaining to the whole city such as major infrastructure projects, which are the jurisdiction of the central municipal authorities. In 2010, the Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough system was restructured, in which many smaller boroughs merged into larger boroughs. In 2014, under a reform of the Dutch Municipalities Act, the Boroughs of Amsterdam, Amsterdam boroughs lost much of their autonomous status, as their district councils were abolished. The municipal council of Amsterdam voted to maintain the borough system by replacing the district councils with smaller, but still directly elected district committees (''bestuurscommissies''). Under a municipal ordinance, the new district committees were granted responsibilities through delegation of regulatory and executive powers by the central municipal council.


Metropolitan area

File:Police Headquarters, Amsterdam.jpg, Police headquarters of Amsterdam "Amsterdam" is usually understood to refer to the Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of Amsterdam. Colloquially, some areas within the municipality, such as the town of Durgerdam, may not be considered part of Amsterdam. Statistics Netherlands uses three other definitions of Amsterdam: metropolitan agglomeration Amsterdam (''Grootstedelijke Agglomeratie Amsterdam'', not to be confused with ''Grootstedelijk Gebied Amsterdam'', a synonym of ''Groot Amsterdam''), Greater Amsterdam (''Groot Amsterdam'', a COROP region) and the urban region Amsterdam (''Stadsgewest Amsterdam''). The Amsterdam Department for Research and Statistics uses a fourth conurbation, namely the ''Stadsregio Amsterdam'' ('City Region of Amsterdam'). The city region is similar to Greater Amsterdam but includes the municipalities of Zaanstad and Wormerland. It excludes Graft-De Rijp. The smallest of these areas is the Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of Amsterdam with a population of 802,938 in 2013. The conurbation had a population of 1,096,042 in 2013. It includes the municipalities of Zaanstad, Wormerland, Oostzaan, Diemen and Amstelveen only, as well as the municipality of Amsterdam. Greater Amsterdam includes 15 municipalities, and had a population of 1,293,208 in 2013. Though much larger in area, the population of this area is only slightly larger, because the definition excludes the relatively populous municipality of Zaanstad. The largest area by population, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (Dutch: Metropoolregio Amsterdam), has a population of 2,33 million. It includes for instance Zaanstad, Wormerland, Muiden, Abcoude, Haarlem, Almere and Lelystad but excludes Graft-De Rijp. Amsterdam is part of the conglomerate metropolitan area Randstad, with a total population of 6,659,300 inhabitants. Of these various metropolitan area configurations, only the ''Stadsregio Amsterdam'' (City Region of Amsterdam) has a formal governmental status. Its responsibilities include regional spatial planning and the metropolitan public transport concessions.


National capital

Under the Constitution of the Netherlands, Dutch Constitution, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Since the 1983 constitutional revision, the constitution mentions "Amsterdam" and "capital" in chapter 2, article 32: The king's confirmation by oath and his coronation take place in "the capital Amsterdam" ("''de hoofdstad Amsterdam''"). Previous versions of the constitution only mentioned "the city of Amsterdam" ("''de stad Amsterdam''"). For a royal investiture, therefore, the States General of the Netherlands (the Dutch Parliament) meets for a ceremonial joint session in Amsterdam. The ceremony traditionally takes place at the Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam), Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square, immediately after the former monarch has signed the act of abdication at the nearby
Royal Palace of Amsterdam The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam (Dutch: ''Koninklijk Paleis van Amsterdam'' or ) is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square in ...
. Normally, however, the Parliament sits in The Hague, the city which has historically been the seat of the Politics of the Netherlands, Dutch government, the Monarchy of the Netherlands, Dutch monarchy, and the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, Dutch supreme court. Foreign embassies are also located in The Hague.


Symbols

The coat of arms of Amsterdam is composed of several historical elements. First and centre are three Saltire, St Andrew's crosses, aligned in a vertical band on the city's shield (although Amsterdam's patron saint was Saint Nicholas). These St Andrew's crosses can also be found on the city shields of neighbours
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands with a population of 89,918 (2017). It is a suburban part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amstelveen consists of the historical villages of B ...
and Ouder-Amstel. This part of the coat of arms is the basis of the flag of Amsterdam, flown by the city government, but also as civil ensign for ships registered in Amsterdam. Second is the Imperial Crown of Austria. In 1489, out of gratitude for services and loans, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I awarded Amsterdam the right to adorn its coat of arms with the King of the Romans, king's crown. Then, in 1508, this was replaced with Maximilian's imperial crown when he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In the early years of the 17th century, Maximilian's crown in Amsterdam's coat of arms was again replaced, this time with the crown of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Rudolph II, a crown that became the Imperial Austrian Crown Jewels, Crown of Austria. The lions date from the late 16th century, when city and province became part of the Dutch Republic, Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Last came the city's official motto: ''Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig'' ("Heroic, Determined, Merciful"), bestowed on the city in 1947 by Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina, in recognition of the city's bravery during the Second World War.


Transport


Metro, tram and bus

Currently, there are sixteen Trams in Amsterdam, tram routes and five Amsterdam Metro, metro routes. All are operated by municipal public transport operator Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (GVB), which also runs the city bus network. Four fare-free GVB ferries carry pedestrians and cyclists across the IJ (Amsterdam), IJ lake to the Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough of Amsterdam-Noord, and two fare-charging ferries run east and west along the harbour. There are also privately operated water taxis, a water bus, a boat sharing operation, electric rental boats and canal cruises, that transport people along Amsterdam's waterways. Regional buses, and some suburban buses, are operated by Connexxion and Egged (company), EBS. International coach services are provided by Eurolines from Amsterdam Amstel railway station, IDBUS from Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station, and Megabus (Europe), Megabus from the Zuiderzeeweg in the east of the city. In order to facilitate easier transport to the centre of Amsterdam, the city has various P+R Locations where people can park their car at an affordable price and transfer to one of the numerous public transport lines.


Car

Amsterdam was intended in 1932 to be the hub, a kind of Kilometre Zero, of the List of motorways in the Netherlands, highway system of the Netherlands, with freeways numbered One to Eight planned to originate from the city. The outbreak of the Second World War and shifting priorities led to the current situation, where only roads A1 motorway (Netherlands), A1, A2 motorway (Netherlands), A2, and A4 motorway (Netherlands), A4 originate from Amsterdam according to the original plan. The A3 motorway (Netherlands), A3 to Rotterdam was cancelled in 1970 in order to conserve the Groene Hart. Road A8 motorway (Netherlands), A8, leading north to Zaandam and the A10 motorway (Netherlands), A10 Beltway, Ringroad were opened between 1968 and 1974. Besides the A1, A2, A4 and A8, several freeways, such as the A7 motorway (Netherlands), A7 and A6 motorway (Netherlands), A6, carry traffic mainly bound for Amsterdam. The A10 motorway (Netherlands), A10 ringroad surrounding the city connects Amsterdam with the Dutch List of motorways in the Netherlands, national network of freeways. Interchange (road), Interchanges on the A10 allow cars to enter the city by transferring to one of the 18 ''city roads'', numbered S101 through to S118. These city roads are regional roads without grade separation, and sometimes without a central reservation. Most are accessible by cyclists. The S100 ''Centrumring'' is a smaller ringroad circumnavigating the city's centre. In the city centre, driving a car is discouraged. Parking fees are expensive, and many streets are closed to cars or are One-way traffic, one-way. The local government sponsors carsharing and carpooling initiatives such as ''Autodelen'' and ''Meerijden.nu''. The local government has also started removing parking spaces in the city, with the goal of removing 10,000 spaces (roughly 1,500 per year) by 2025


National rail

Amsterdam is served by ten Railway stations in the Netherlands#A, stations of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). Five are intercity stops: Sloterdijk (Amsterdam), Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Zuid railway station, Zuid, Amsterdam Amstel railway station, Amstel, Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA railway station, Bijlmer ArenA and Amsterdam Centraal railway station, Amsterdam Centraal. The stations for local services are: Amsterdam Lelylaan railway station, Lelylaan, Amsterdam RAI railway station, RAI, Amsterdam Holendrecht railway station, Holendrecht, Amsterdam Muiderpoort railway station, Muiderpoort and Amsterdam Science Park railway station, Science Park. Amsterdam Centraal railway station, Amsterdam Centraal is also an international railway station. From the station there are regular services to destinations such as Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Among these trains are international trains of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Amsterdam-Berlin), the Eurostar (Amsterdam-Brussels-London), Thalys (Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris/Lille), and Intercity-Express (Amsterdam–Cologne–Frankfurt).


Airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is less than 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal station and is served by domestic and international intercity trains, such as Thalys, Eurostar and Intercity Brussel. Schiphol is the largest airport in the Netherlands, the third-largest in Europe, and the 14th-largest in the world in terms of passengers. It handles over 68 million passengers per year and is the home base of four airlines,
KLM KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, legally ''Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.'' (literal translation: Royal Aviation Company, Inc.), is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands. KLM is headquartered in Amstelveen, with its hub at nearby Amster ...
, Transavia, Martinair and Arkefly. , Schiphol was the fifth World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic, busiest airport in the world measured by international passenger numbers. This airport is 4 meters below sea level. Although Schiphol is internationally known as Amsterdam Schiphol Airport it actually lies in the neighbouring municipality of Haarlemmermeer, southwest of the city.


Cycling

Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world and is a centre of bicycle culture with good facilities for cyclists such as bike paths and Bicycle stand, bike racks, and several guarded bike storage garages (''fietsenstalling'') which can be used. According to the most recent figures published by Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2015 the 442.693 households (850.000 residents) in Amsterdam together owned 847.000 bicycles – 1.91 bicycle per household. Previously, wildly different figures were arrived at using a Wisdom of the crowd approach. Theft is widespreadin 2011, about 83,000 bicycles were stolen in Amsterdam. Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience, Amsterdam's small size, the of bike paths, the flat terrain, and the inconvenience of driving an automobile.


Education

Amsterdam has two universities: the University of Amsterdam (''Universiteit van Amsterdam'', UvA), and the ''Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam'' (VU). Other institutions for higher education include an art school – Gerrit Rietveld Academie, a Hogeschool, university of applied sciences – the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, and the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. Amsterdam's International Institute of Social History is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions concerning social history, and especially the labor history (discipline), history of the labour movement. Amsterdam's Hortus Botanicus (Amsterdam), Hortus Botanicus, founded in the early 17th century, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, with many old and rare specimens, among them the coffee, coffee plant that served as the parent for the entire coffee culture in Central and South America. There are over 200 primary schools in Amsterdam. Some of these primary schools base their teachings on particular pedagogic theories like the various Maria Montessori, Montessori schools. The biggest Montessori high school in Amsterdam is the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam. Many schools, however, are based on religion. This used to be primarily Roman Catholicism and various Protestant denominations, but with the influx of Muslim immigrants, there has been a rise in the number of Islamic schools. Jewish schools can be found in the southern suburbs of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is noted for having five independent grammar schools (Dutch: gymnasia), the Vossius Gymnasium, Barlaeus Gymnasium, St. Ignatius Gymnasium, Het 4e Gymnasium and the Cygnus Gymnasium where a classical curriculum including Latin and Ancient Greek, classical Greek is taught. Though believed until recently by many to be an anachronistic and elitist concept that would soon die out, the gymnasia have recently experienced a revival, leading to the formation of a fourth and fifth grammar school in which the three aforementioned schools participate. Most secondary schools in Amsterdam offer a variety of different levels of education in the same school. The city also has various colleges ranging from art and design to politics and economics which are mostly also available for students coming from other countries. Schools for foreign nationals in Amsterdam include the Amsterdam International Community School, British School of Amsterdam, Albert Einstein International School Amsterdam, Lycée Vincent van Gogh La Haye-Amsterdam primary campus (French school), International School of Amsterdam, and the Japanese School of Amsterdam.


Notable people


Media

Amsterdam is a prominent centre for national and international media. Some locally based newspapers include ''Het Parool'', a national daily paper; ''De Telegraaf'', the largest Dutch daily newspaper; the daily newspapers ''Trouw'', ''de Volkskrant'' and ''NRC Handelsblad''; ''De Groene Amsterdammer'', a weekly newspaper; the free newspapers ''Metro (Dutch newspaper), Metro'' and ''The Holland Times'' (printed in English). Amsterdam is home to the second-largest Dutch commercial TV group SBS Broadcasting Group, consisting of TV-stations SBS 6, Net 5 and Veronica (TV channel), Veronica. However, Amsterdam is not considered 'the media city of the Netherlands'. The town of Hilversum, south-east of Amsterdam, has been crowned with this unofficial title. Hilversum is the principal centre for radio and television broadcasting in the Netherlands. Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Radio Netherlands, heard worldwide via shortwave radio since the 1920s, is also based there. Hilversum is home to an extensive complex of audio and television studios belonging to the national broadcast production company NOS, as well as to the studios and offices of all the Dutch public broadcasting organisations and many commercial TV production companies. In 2012, the music video of Far East Movement, 'Live My Life', was filmed in various parts of Amsterdam. Also, several movies were filmed in Amsterdam, such as James Bond's Diamonds Are Forever (film), Diamonds Are Forever, Ocean's Twelve, Girl with a Pearl Earring (film), Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Hitman's Bodyguard. Amsterdam is also featured in John Green (author), John Green's book ''The Fault in Our Stars'', which has been made into The Fault in Our Stars (film), a film as well that partly takes place in Amsterdam.


Housing

The housing market is heavily regulated. The increased influx of migrants, especially since the Syrian Civil War (2011–present), has been burdensome, economically and culturally, but the government deals with citizen and migrant cases for housing equally. According to the Netherlands' Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, "60% of housing stock is controlled by housing corporations. [There is] no different treatment for migrant groups". From the late 1960s onwards many buildings in Amsterdam have been Squatting, squatted both for housing and for using as social centres. A number of these squats have legalised and become well known, such as OCCII, OT301,
Paradiso Paradiso (Italian: ''Heaven'', literally: Paradise); may refer to: People * Paradiso (surname) Places * Gran Paradiso, a 4,000 metres mountain in Italy * Paradiso railway station (Luxembourg) * Paradiso, Switzerland, a municipality of the Italian ...
and Vrankrijk.


Sister Cities

* Manchester, United Kingdom, 2007 * Zapopan, Mexico, 2011


Notes and references


Citations


Literature

* * * * Charles Caspers & Peter Jan Margry (2017), ''Het Mirakel van Amsterdam. Biografie van een betwiste devotie'' (Amsterdam, Prometheus). * * * *


Further reading


External links


Amsterdam.nl
– Official government site
I amsterdam
– Portal for international visitors

– Website of the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions {{Authority control Amsterdam, Capitals in Europe Cities in the Netherlands Municipalities of North Holland Olympic cycling venues Populated places established in the 13th century Populated places in North Holland Port cities and towns in the Netherlands Port cities and towns of the North Sea Venues of the 1928 Summer Olympics