30 Facts About Amsterdam

1. 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 of the 17th century, and became the leading centre for the finance and trade sectors.

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2. 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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3. 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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4. The Port of Amsterdam is the fifth largest in Europe.

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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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.

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8. 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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9. 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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10. In 1750, Amsterdam was the fourth largest city in Western Europe, behind London, Paris (560,000) and Naples (324,000).

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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. The oldest building in Amsterdam is the Oude Kerk, at the heart of the Wallen, consecrated in 1306.

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

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

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17. 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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18. Plans were made in 2008 to remodel the square again because many inhabitants of Amsterdam are not happy with its current appearance.

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19. 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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20. The opera house of Amsterdam is located adjacent to the city hall.

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

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

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24. 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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25. 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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26. Greater Amsterdam includes 15 municipalities, and had a population of 1,293,208 in 2013.

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27. Under the Dutch Constitution, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.

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28. Coat of arms of Amsterdam is composed of several historical elements.

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29. The outbreak of the Second World War and shifting priorities led to the current situation, where only roads A1, A2, and A4 originate from Amsterdam according to the original plan.

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30. The biggest Montessori high school in Amsterdam is the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam.

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