59 Facts About Amsterdam


Amsterdam was founded at the Amstel, that was dammed to control flooding; the city's name derives from the Amstel dam.

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Sloten, annexed in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, is the oldest part of the city, dating to the 9th century.

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In 2022, Amsterdam was ranked the ninth best city in the world to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer.

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Origins of Amsterdam is linked to the development of the peatland called Amestelle, meaning 'watery area', from A 'river' + stelle 'site at a shoreline', 'river bank'.

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Amsterdam's merchants had the largest share in both the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company.

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Amsterdam was Europe's most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading financial centre of the western world.

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The Bank of Amsterdam started operations in 1609, acting as a full-service bank for Dutch merchant bankers and as a reserve bank.

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Amsterdam's prosperity declined during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

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Some Amsterdam citizens sheltered Jews, thereby exposing themselves and their families to a high risk of being imprisoned or sent to concentration camps.

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Many trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and wood was taken from the houses, apartments and other buildings of deported Jews.

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Amsterdam is located in the Western Netherlands, in the province of North Holland, the capital of which is not Amsterdam, but rather Haarlem.

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Amsterdam is connected to the North Sea through the long North Sea Canal.

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Amsterdam is intensely urbanised, as is the Amsterdam metropolitan area surrounding the city.

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Amsterdam has an oceanic climate strongly influenced by its proximity to the North Sea to the west, with prevailing westerly winds.

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Still, the population of Amsterdam was only modest compared to the towns and cities of Flanders and Brabant, which comprised the most urbanised area of the Low Countries.

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In 1750, Amsterdam was the fourth largest city in Western Europe, behind London, Paris (560, 000) and Naples (324, 000).

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In contrast to those other metropolises, Amsterdam was surrounded by large towns such as Leiden, Rotterdam (45, 000), Haarlem (38, 000) and Utrecht (30, 000).

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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 such as Purmerend and Almere.

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Between 1970 and 1980, Amsterdam experienced its sharp population decline, peaking at a net loss of 25, 000 people in 1973.

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Amsterdam's population failed to beat the expectations of 873, 000 in 2019.

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In 1578, the largely Catholic city of Amsterdam joined the revolt against Spanish rule, late in comparison to other major northern Dutch cities.

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The first Ashkenazis who arrived in Amsterdam were refugees from the Khmelnytsky Uprising occurring in Ukraine and the Thirty Years' War, which devastated much of Central Europe.

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Catholic churches in Amsterdam have been constructed since the restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in 1853.

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In recent times, religious demographics in Amsterdam have been changed by immigration from former colonies.

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Amsterdam experienced an influx of religions and cultures after the Second World War.

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Amsterdam has been one of the municipalities in the Netherlands which provided immigrants with extensive and free Dutch-language courses, which have benefited many immigrants.

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Medieval and colonial age canals of Amsterdam, known as grachten, embraces the heart of the city where homes have interesting gables.

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The oldest building in Amsterdam is the Oude Kerk, at the heart of the Wallen, consecrated in 1306.

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The leading architects of this style in Amsterdam were Jacob van Campen, Philips Vingboons and Daniel Stalpaert.

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Since Amsterdam expanded rapidly during this period, new buildings adjacent to the city centre were built in this style.

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Amsterdam has many parks, open spaces, and squares throughout the city.

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Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands.

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Substantial number of large corporations and banks' headquarters are located in the Amsterdam area, including: AkzoNobel, Heineken International, ING Group, ABN AMRO, TomTom, Delta Lloyd Group, Booking.

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Port of Amsterdam 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.

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Amsterdam has the biggest cruise port in the Netherlands with more than 150 cruise ships every year.

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Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, receiving more than 5.

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Amsterdam has its garment centre in the World Fashion Center.

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The artist most associated with Amsterdam is Rembrandt, whose work, and the work of his pupils, is displayed in the Rijksmuseum.

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Van Gogh lived in Amsterdam for a short while and there is a museum dedicated to his work.

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Amsterdam has a world-class symphony orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

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Since Amsterdam is a multicultural city, a lot of different ethnic restaurants can be found.

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In 1920, Amsterdam assisted in hosting some of the sailing events for the Summer Olympics held in neighbouring Antwerp, Belgium by hosting events at Buiten IJ.

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The basketball team MyGuide Amsterdam competes in the Dutch premier division and play their games in the Sporthallen Zuid.

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Amsterdam hosted the World Gymnaestrada in 1991 and will do so again in 2023.

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City of Amsterdam is a municipality under the Dutch Municipalities Act.

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Since 1981, the municipality of Amsterdam has gradually been divided into semi-autonomous boroughs, called stadsdelen or 'districts'.

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Unlike most other Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is subdivided into eight boroughs, called stadsdelen or 'districts', and the urban area of Weesp, a system that was implemented gradually in the 1980s to improve local governance.

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In 2014, under a reform of the Dutch Municipalities Act, the Amsterdam boroughs lost much of their autonomous status, as their district councils were abolished.

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Municipal council of Amsterdam voted to maintain the borough system by replacing the district councils with smaller, but still directly elected district committees.

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The city region is similar to Greater Amsterdam but includes the municipalities of Zaanstad and Wormerland.

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Greater Amsterdam includes 15 municipalities, and had a population of 1, 293, 208 in 2013.

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Amsterdam is part of the conglomerate metropolitan area Randstad, with a total population of 6, 659, 300 inhabitants.

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Amsterdam was intended in 1932 to be the hub, a kind of Kilometre Zero, of the highway system of the Netherlands, with freeways numbered One to Eight planned to originate from the city.

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Amsterdam is served by ten stations of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

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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 bike racks, and several guarded bike storage garages which can be used.

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Amsterdam is a prominent centre for national and international media.

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Amsterdam is home to the second-largest Dutch commercial TV group SBS Broadcasting Group, consisting of TV-stations SBS 6, Net 5 and Veronica.

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However, Amsterdam is not considered 'the media city of the Netherlands'.

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Amsterdam is featured in John Green's book The Fault in Our Stars, which has been made into a film as well that partly takes place in Amsterdam.

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