Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is home to about 860 thousand people. The city is located in the western part of the country, namely, in the province of North Holland at the mouth of the Amstel and Hey rivers. Amsterdam is a real city of freedom, one of the largest historical cities in Europe and a world-famous megalopolis.
The name of the city of Amsterdam comes from two words: the name of the river "Amstel" and the dam built on the river - "Dam", and literally means "dam on the Amstel river".
In the XII century, a small fishing village was built here, and then, in the Golden Age of the Netherlands, thanks to the development of trade, Amsterdam became the most important port in the world and a major trading center. In its heyday, the city was a financial center, as well as the main platform for buying and selling diamonds. In the XIX and XX centuries, the city expanded - many new microdistricts with suburban residential areas were formed. Currently, Amsterdam Airport is the fourth largest airport in Europe (the three leaders include London, Paris, Frankfurt). According to the latest data, annually more than 4 million tourists come to Amsterdam for recreation and sightseeing.
Amsterdam, as the largest city in Holland, has gone from a fishing village to a metropolis, has experienced glory and destruction, as well as the baptism of all the horrors of world war. To some extent, the history of the city is also a microcosm of Dutch history. In a security survey conducted in various European cities in 2017, Amsterdam was recognized as the safest city in Europe.
Climate in Amsterdam
In its history, Amsterdam and its environs have been heavily urbanized. The level of forest coverage of the city reached 12%. Amsterdam has a pleasant climate and weather conditions mainly depend on air flows from the North Sea. Winter temperatures are mild and rarely drop below 0 ° C. According to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture rating, Amsterdam, the northern part of the European continent and most of North Holland are classified as class 9 frost-resistant zones, namely, frost can be observed in a small number of areas affected by cold periods such as in continental Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia.
Since Amsterdam is surrounded on three sides by water and has a strong thermal effect, air temperature at night is rarely below -5 ° C. Summer is quite warm, but not hot. The maximum air temperature in August averages only +22 degrees. Celsius, and temperatures above +30 ° C are usually observed only about 3 days a year. Precipitation falls on average 175 days a year in the city, and the average annual rainfall is less than 760 mm. The rainy season in Amsterdam usually runs from October to March, and light rain prevails in the rainfall.
The main attractions of Amsterdam.
1) Amsterdam water channel
There are more than 2000 “boat houses” on the river, although this is a houseboat, it is fully equipped. Here you can truly appreciate the unique charm of a water city by visiting Amsterdam in a glass boat. The boat floats along the famous river course, along which traditional Dutch houses are built. A characteristic feature is that the front of the house and the windows are thin, because property tax was collected depending on the size of the facade. Experienced Dutchmen tried to reduce the area of the windshield in order to save taxes.
The most famous water canals of Amsterdam are: the Imperial Canal, the Princes Canal and the Gentle Canal. Walking in a boat along the canal, you can see various historical buildings, objects of culture and art, all kinds of attractions and many other popular places of the city. The city’s waterway was built in the 17th century, has about 160 canals, 75 kilometers long, and is an anchor for 2500 residential ships.
2) Dam Square (de Dam)
Dam Square (also known as Dome Square) is the central square of Amsterdam and one of the main places in the city where various fairs, concerts and other special events are held. The white national monument, which is located in the central part of the square, was built in 1956 in memory of the victims of World War II. Opposite is the Dutch royal palace. Near the cathedral there is the place where the Dutch monarchs were crowned. The area around the square is the busy business district of Amsterdam.
2) National Museum of Amsterdam - Rijksmuseum
The National Museum of Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) is included in the list of TOP-20 most visited museums in the world. Here are paintings by Dutch golden age artists. In addition, the main state museum of Amsterdam presents precious sculptures, ceramics, furniture, gold and silver and glass treasures from around the world. In total, the museum’s collection contains about 1 million pieces of art from 1200 to 2000.
3) Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum houses more than 200 oil paintings and more than 600 paintings by the famous Dutch artist Van Gogh (1853-1890), such as “Sunflower”, “Poppy Flower”, as well as four paintings made in the last year of his life . The museum also exhibits works by masters of the Impressionists - Oscar Claude Monet, Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin and many others. It is also worth noting that the Van Gogh Museum is located next to the Bonfire Diamond Factory.
4) Anne Frank Huis House Museum
Anne Frank's house is located on Prinsengracht embankment and is a museum in memory of the Jewish girl Anna and her family, who during the Second World War hid in the back rooms of the building from the Nazis and became one of the many victims of Nazi terror.
The house was built in 1942 and is now known throughout the world for the fact that the German Jewish girl Anna hid with her family in the secret rooms of the house for two years to avoid the Nazi massacre. Anne's famous diary, The Vault, is the best-selling diary in the world. It tells how the author and his relatives hid in the secret rooms of the building on the Prinsengracht Canal during World War II in order to escape from the Nazis. The diary was translated into 55 languages, and total sales exceeded 25 million.
5) Dutch Maritime Museum
The Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum was built at the canal harbor and used to be the arsenal of the Dutch fleet. The Maritime Museum presents unique historical information about the marine and colonial history of the Golden Age of Holland. Outside there is the original copy of the Dutch East India Company Amsterdam. Boat scenes allow visitors to learn about marine life at that time.
6) Heineken Brewery
The Heineken Brewery, which was founded back in 1864, is now a world-famous beer brand. Be sure to visit this brewery to learn about the history and production process of world-famous Heineken beer and try fresh Heineken.
It is worth noting that in Amsterdam there are only about 600 different museums and galleries.
Without a doubt, Amsterdam is exactly that city of Europe, which everyone should definitely visit.
Image by Abhishek Baadkar from Pixabay