Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam ( AM-stər-dam, UK also AM-stər-DAM, Dutch: [ˌɑmstərˈdɑm] (listen), lit. The Dam on the River Amstel) is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with The Hague being the seat of government. It has a population of 919,845 within the city proper, 1,457,018 in the urban area and 2,480,394 in the metropolitan area. Located in the Dutch province of North Holland, Amsterdam is colloquially referred to as the "Venice of the North", for its large number of canals, now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Amsterdam was founded at the mouth of the Amstel River that was dammed...Read more

Amsterdam ( AM-stər-dam, UK also AM-stər-DAM, Dutch: [ˌɑmstərˈdɑm] (listen), lit. The Dam on the River Amstel) is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with The Hague being the seat of government. It has a population of 919,845 within the city proper, 1,457,018 in the urban area and 2,480,394 in the metropolitan area. Located in the Dutch province of North Holland, Amsterdam is colloquially referred to as the "Venice of the North", for its large number of canals, now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Amsterdam was founded at the mouth of the Amstel River that was dammed to control flooding; the city's name derives from the Amstel dam. Originally a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became a major world port during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, when the Netherlands was an economic powerhouse. Amsterdam is the leading center for finance and trade, as well as a hub of production of secular art. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The canals of Amsterdam and the 19-20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are both on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Sloten, annexed in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, is the oldest part of the city, dating to the 9th century. The city has a long tradition of openness, liberalism, and tolerance. Cycling is key to the city's modern character, and there are numerous biking paths and lanes spread throughout the entire city.

Amsterdam's main attractions include its historic canals; the Rijksmuseumcode: nld promoted to code: nl , the state museum with a vast collection of Dutch Golden Age art; the Van Gogh Museum; the Dam Square, where the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and former city hall (stadhuiscode: nld promoted to code: nl ) are located; the Amsterdam Museum; Stedelijk Museum, with modern art; Hermitage Amsterdam, the Concertgebouwcode: nld promoted to code: nl concert hall; the Anne Frank House; the Het Scheepvaartmuseumcode: nld promoted to code: nl , the Heineken Experience, the Natura Artis Magistracode: lat promoted to code: la ; Hortus Botanicus, NEMO, the red-light district and many cannabis coffee shops. The city is also well known for its nightlife and festival activity; with several of its nightclubs (Melkwegcode: nld promoted to code: nl , Paradiso) among the world's most famous. Primarily known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow canal houses with gabled façades; well-preserved legacies of the city's 17th-century Golden Age, and the establishment of the Van Gogh Museum, displaying the work of the famous Dutch modern artist, have attracted millions of visitors to Amsterdam annually.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is considered the oldest "modern" securities market stock exchange in the world. As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters in the city, including: the Philips conglomerate, AkzoNobel, Booking.com, TomTom, and ING. 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, Netflix and Tesla. 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. 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 is the fifth largest in Europe. The KLM hub and Amsterdam's main airport, Schiphol, is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, the third busiest in Europe, and the 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. Immigration and ethnic segregation in Amsterdam is a current issue.

A few of Amsterdam's notable residents throughout its history include painters Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh, seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, and the Holocaust victim and diarist Anne Frank.

Prehistory

Due to its geographical location in what used to be wet peatland, the founding of Amsterdam is later than other urban centers in the Low Countries. In and around the area of what later became Amsterdam, farmers settled as early as three millennia ago. They lived along the prehistoric IJ river and upstream of its tributary Amstel. The prehistoric IJ was a shallow and quiet stream in peatland behind beach ridges. This secluded area was able to grow into an important local settlement center, especially in the late Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Roman Age. Neolithic and Roman artefacts have been found in the prehistoric Amstel bedding under Amsterdam's Damrak and Rokin, such as shards of Bell Beaker culture pottery (2200-2000 BC) and a granite grinding stone (2700-2750 BC).[1][2] But the location of these artefacts around the river banks of the Amstel probably point to a presence of a modest semi-permanent or seasonal settlement. Until water issues were controlled, a permanent settlement would not have been possible, since the river mouth and the banks of the Amstel in this period in time were too wet for permanent habitation.[3][4]

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'.[5] In this area, land reclamation started as early as the late 10th century.[6] Amestelle was located along a side arm of the IJ. This side arm took the name from the eponymous land: Amstel. 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, and later at the other side of the river at Amstelveen. The Van Amstel family, known in documents by this name since 1019,[5] held the stewardship in this northwestern nook of the ecclesiastical district of the bishop of Utrecht. The family later served also under the count of Holland.

A major turning point in the development of the Amstel river mouth was 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, IJssel 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.[7] 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.[8] The construction of a dam at the mouth of the Amstel, eponymously named Dam, 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'.[9] This allowed the inhabitants of the village to travel freely through the County of Holland, paying no tolls at bridges, locks and dams.[10] By 1327, the name had developed into Aemsterdam.[11][12]

Middle Ages
 
The Oude Kerk was consecrated in 1306 AD.

Amsterdam was granted city rights in either 1300 or 1306.[13] From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely from trade with the Hanseatic League. In 1345, what is known as Eucharistic miracle in Kalverstraat rendered the city an important place of pilgrimage until the Protestant Reformation. The Miracle devotion went underground but was kept alive. In the 19th century, especially after the jubilee of 1845, the devotion was revitalized and became an important national point of reference for Dutch Catholics.[14] The Stille Omgang—a silent walk or procession in civil attire—is the expression of the pilgrimage within the Protestant Netherlands since the late 19th century.[15] In the heyday of the Silent Walk, up to 90,000 pilgrims came to Amsterdam. In the 21st century, this has reduced to about 5,000.[citation needed]

Conflict with Spain
 
Amsterdam citizens celebrating the Peace of Münster, 30 January 1648. Painting by Bartholomeus van der Helst

The Low Countries were part of the Hapsburg inheritance and came under the Spanish monarchy in the early sixteenth century. The Dutch rebelled against Philip II of Spain, who led a defense of Catholicism during the Protestant Reformation. The main reasons for the uprising were the imposition of new taxes, the tenth penny, and the religious persecution of Protestants by the newly introduced Inquisition. The revolt escalated into the Eighty Years' War, which ultimately led to Dutch independence.[16] Strongly pushed by Dutch Revolt leader William the Silent, the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance. Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, Protestant Huguenots from France, prosperous merchants and printers from Flanders, and economic and religious refugees from the Spanish-controlled parts of the Low Countries found safety in Amsterdam. The influx of Flemish printers and the city's intellectual tolerance made Amsterdam a center for the European free press.[17]

Center of the Dutch Golden Age
 
Courtyard of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by Emanuel de Witte, 1653. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange was the first stock exchange to introduce continuous trade in the early 17th century.[18]

During the 17th century, Amsterdam experienced what is considered its Golden Age, during which it became the wealthiest city in the Western world.[19] Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, North America, and Africa, as well as present-day Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil, forming the basis of a worldwide trading network. Amsterdam's merchants had the largest share in both the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch West India Company. These companies acquired overseas possessions that later became Dutch colonies.

Amsterdam was Europe's most important hub for the shipment of goods and was the leading financial center of the western world.[20] In 1602, the Amsterdam office of the Dutch East India Company became the world's first stock exchange by trading in its own shares.[21] The Bank of Amsterdam started operations in 1609, acting as a full-service bank for Dutch merchant bankers and as a reserve bank.

Beginning during this period, Amsterdam also became involved in the trade in African slaves. The city was a major destination port for Dutch slave ships beginning in the 17th century, which lasted until the United Netherlands abolished the Dutch involvement in the trade in 1814 under pressure by the British government. Amsterdam was also a member of the Society of Suriname, an organization founded to oversee the management of Surinam, a Dutch slave colony. On 1 July 2021, the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, apologized for the city's involvement in the African slave trade, which had contributed to the city's wealth.[22][23]

Decline and modernization

Amsterdam's prosperity declined during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The wars of the Dutch Republic with England (latterly, Great Britain) and France took their toll on the city. During the Napoleonic Wars, 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 in 1815 marked a turning point.

 
View of Vijzelstraat looking towards the Muntplein, 1891

The end of the 19th century is sometimes called Amsterdam's second Golden Age.[24] New museums, a railway station, and the Concertgebouw were built; in this same time, the Industrial Revolution reached the city. The Amsterdam–Rhine Canal was dug to give Amsterdam a direct connection to the Rhine, and the North Sea Canal was dug to give the port a shorter connection to the North Sea. Both projects dramatically improved commerce with the rest of Europe and the world. In 1906, Joseph Conrad gave a brief description of Amsterdam as seen from the seaside, in The Mirror of the Sea.

20th century–present
 
Photochrom of Amsterdam's Dam Square at the beginning of the 20th century

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.[25]

 
The rebuilt Magere Brug, around 1938.

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.[26][27] Between the wars, the city continued to expand, most notably to the west of the Jordaan district in the Frederik Hendrikbuurt and surrounding neighbourhoods.

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 were deported to Nazi concentration camps, of whom some 60,000 lived in Amsterdam. In response, the Dutch Communist Party organized the February strike attended by 300,000 people to protest against the raids. The most famous deportee was the young Jewish girl Anne Frank, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.[28] 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 traveled to the countryside to forage. Dogs, cats, raw sugar beets, and tulip bulbs—cooked to a pulp—were consumed to stay alive.[29] Many trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and wood was taken from the houses, apartments and other buildings of deported Jews.

 
People celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II on 8 May 1945

Many new suburbs, such as Osdorp, Slotervaart, Slotermeer and Geuzenveld, were built in the years after the Second World War.[30] 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,[clarification needed] 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.[31] A metro started operating in 1977 between the new suburb of Bijlmermeer in the city's Zuidoost (southeast) exclave and the centre of Amsterdam. Further plans were to build a new highway above the metro to connect Amsterdam Centraal and the city centre with other parts of the city.

The required large-scale demolitions began in Amsterdam's former Jewish neighborhood. 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;[32] 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 organizations, 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.[31] 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 (the three concentric canals: Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht) was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.[33]

 
The 17th-century Canals of Amsterdam were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2010,[34] contributing to Amsterdam's fame as the "Venice of the North".[35][36] Along with De Wallen, the canals are the focal-point for tourists in the city.

In 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.[37] These developments have evoked comparisons with Venice, a city thought to be overwhelmed by the tourist influx.[38]

Construction of a new metro line connecting the part of the city north of the IJ to its southern part was started in 2003. The project was controversial because its cost had exceeded its budget by a factor of three by 2008,[39] because of fears of damage to buildings in the centre, and because construction had to be halted and restarted multiple times.[40] The new metro line was completed in 2018.[41]

Since 2014, renewed focus has been given to urban regeneration and renewal, especially in areas directly bordering the city centre, such as Frederik Hendrikbuurt. 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.[42][43]

^ Gawronski, J (2017). "Ontstaan uit een storm; De vroegste geschiedenis van Amsterdam archeologisch en landschappelijk belicht" [Born from a storm; The earliest history of Amsterdam from an archaeological and landscape perspective.] (PDF). Jaarboek van Het Genootschap Amstelodamum (in Dutch). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. 109. Retrieved 5 January 2021., pp. 69-71. ^ "Below the Surface - Archeologische vondsten Noord/Zuidlijn Amsterdam". belowthesurface.amsterdam. Retrieved 25 February 2021. ^ Gawronski, J (2017). "Ontstaan uit een storm; De vroegste geschiedenis van Amsterdam archeologisch en landschappelijk belicht" [Born from a storm; The earliest history of Amsterdam from an archaeological and landscape perspective.] (PDF). Jaarboek van Het Genootschap Amstelodamum (in Dutch). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. 109. Retrieved 5 January 2021., pp. 62-63. ^ Kranendonk, P.; Kluiving, S. J.; Troelstra, S. R. (December 2015). "Chrono- and archaeostratigraphy and development of the River Amstel: results of the North/South underground line excavations, Amsterdam, the Netherlands". Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. 94 (4): 333–352. doi:10.1017/njg.2014.38. ISSN 0016-7746. S2CID 109933628. Retrieved 25 May 2021. ^ a b "Plaatsnamen en hun betekenis". www.volkoomen.nl. Retrieved 21 February 2021. ^ "Amsterdam 200 jaar ouder dan aangenomen" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 22 October 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008. ^ Gawronski, J (2017). "Ontstaan uit een storm; De vroegste geschiedenis van Amsterdam archeologisch en landschappelijk belicht" [Born from a storm; The earliest history of Amsterdam from a landscape and archaeological perspective.] (PDF). Jaarboek van Het Genootschap Amstelodamum (in Dutch). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. 109. Retrieved 5 January 2021., pp. 75-77. ^ Gawronski, J (2017). "Ontstaan uit een storm; De vroegste geschiedenis van Amsterdam archeologisch en landschappelijk belicht" [Born from a storm; The earliest history of Amsterdam from afrom a landscape and archaeological perspective.] (PDF). Jaarboek van Het Genootschap Amstelodamum (in Dutch). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. 109. Retrieved 5 January 2021., pp. 84-85. ^ Gawronski, J (2017). "Ontstaan uit een storm; De vroegste geschiedenis van Amsterdam archeologisch en landschappelijk belicht" [Born from a storm; The earliest history of Amsterdam from afrom a landscape and archaeological perspective.] (PDF). Jaarboek van Het Genootschap Amstelodamum (in Dutch). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. 109. Retrieved 5 January 2021., p. 55. ^ "The toll privilege of 1275 in the Amsterdam City Archives". Stadsarchief.amsterdam.nl. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2010. ^ Berns & Daan 1993, p. 91. ^ Mak 1994, pp. 18–20. ^ "De geschiedenis van Amsterdam" (in Dutch). Municipality of Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ Charles Caspers & Peter Jan Margry, Het Mirakel van Amsterdam. Biografie van een betwiste devotie (Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2017) p. 59-60. ^ "Mirakel van Amsterdam" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ "Eighty Years' War" (in Dutch). Leiden University. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ A case in point is that after his trial and sentencing in Rome in 1633, Galileo chose Lodewijk Elzevir in Amsterdam to publish one of his finest works, Two New Sciences. See Wade Rowland (2003), Galileo's Mistake, A new look at the epic confrontation between Galileo and the Church, New York: Arcade Publishing, ISBN 1-55970-684-8, p. 260. ^ Braudel, Fernand (1983). Civilization and capitalism 15th–18th century: The wheels of commerce. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0060150914. ^ E. Haverkamp-Bergmann, Rembrandt; The Night Watch (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1982), p. 57 ^ Amsterdam in the 17th century Archived 26 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke ^ "The oldest share". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008. ^ Balkenhol, Markus (2021). Tracing Slavery: The Politics of Atlantic Memory in The Netherlands. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781800731615.[page needed] ^ "Amsterdam mayor apologises for city's past role in slave trade". The Guardian. Associated Press. 1 July 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2022. ^ "Amsterdam through the ages -A medieval village becomes a global city". Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ "Aardappeloproer – Legermuseum" (PDF) (in Dutch). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ "Amsterdam city archives". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. ^ "Historie". centaledorpenraad.nl. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. ^ "Deportation to camps". Hollandsche Schouwburg. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ "Kou en strijd in een barre winter" (in Dutch). NOS. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008. ^ "Stadsdeel Slotervaart – Geschiedenis" (in Dutch). Municipality Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008. ^ a b "Stadsherstel Missie/Historie" (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 May 2008. ^ "Typisch Metrostad" (in Dutch). Municipality Amsterdam. Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008. ^ "Grachtengordel Amsterdam Werelderfgoed" (in Dutch). Gemeente Amsterdam. Retrieved 5 August 2015. ^ "Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht – UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 31 January 2012. ^ "Amsterdamhotspots.nl". Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2007. ^ "World Executive City Guides – Amsterdam". Retrieved 19 April 2007. ^ "Amsterdam als koelkastmagneetje" [Amsterdam as a fridge magnet]. De Groene Amsterdammer. 27 July 2016. ^ "Winkelomzet in Amsterdamse binnenstad explodeerde in 2015". Het Parool. 28 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016. ^ "Geschiedenis van een debacle". Het Parool. 17 April 2008. ^ "Werk aan Amsterdamse Noord-Zuidlijn hervat". NOS.nl. Retrieved 22 June 2016. ^ "Bouw Noord/Zuidlijn is voltooid: metrostations en lijn klaar om proef te draaien". at5.nl. Retrieved 16 September 2018. ^ "Plan Openbare Ruimte Frederik Hendrikbuurt" (PDF) (in Dutch). Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 26 September 2016. ^ "Structural Vision Amsterdam 2040" (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 September 2016.
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