Amsterdam

Amsterdam (/ˈæmstərdæm/, UK also /ˌæmstərˈdæm/;[9][10] Dutch: [ɑmstərˈdɑm] (listen)) is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands,[11] although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague.[12] Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city proper, 1,351,587 in the urban area[13] and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area.[8] The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 8 million.[14]

Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme,[15] indicative of the city's origin around a dam in the river Amstel. 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 (17th century), as a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds.[16] 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 and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since the annexation of the municipality of Sloten in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, the oldest historic part of the city lies in Sloten (9th century).

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 (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands.[17] Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, including Philips, AkzoNobel, TomTom and ING.[18] Also, many of the world's largest companies are based in Amsterdam or established their European headquarters in the city, such as leading technology companies Uber, Netflix and Tesla.[19] In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)[20] and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer.[21] The city was ranked 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009.[22] The Port of Amsterdam to this day remains the second in the country, and the fifth largest seaport in Europe.[23] Famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city centre. Amsterdam's main attractions include its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House, the Scheepvaartmuseum, the Amsterdam Museum, the Heineken Experience, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Natura Artis Magistra, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, NEMO, the red-light district and many cannabis coffee shops. They draw more than 5 million international visitors annually.[24] The city is also well known for its nightlife and festival activity; several of its nightclubs (Melkweg, Paradiso) are among the world's most famous. It is also one of the world's most multicultural cities, with at least 177 nationalities represented.[25]

Amsterdam
KeizersgrachtReguliersgrachtAmsterdam
Amsterdam - Boat - 0635
Concertgebouw 04
Amsterdam - Rijksmuseum - panoramio - Nikolai Karaneschev
From top down, left to right: Grachtengordel, canal in the Centrum borough, Royal Concertgebouw and Rijksmuseum
Flag of Amsterdam
Flag
Coat of arms of Amsterdam
Coat of arms
Nicknames: 
Motto(s): 
Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig (Valiant, Steadfast, Compassionate)
Location of Amsterdam in the province of North Holland
Location of Amsterdam in the province of North Holland
Amsterdam is located in Netherlands
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Location of Amsterdam in the Netherlands
Amsterdam is located in Europe
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam (Europe)
Coordinates: 52°22′N 4°54′E / 52.367°N 4.900°ECoordinates: 52°22′N 4°54′E / 52.367°N 4.900°E
CountryNetherlands
Province North Holland
City HallStopera
Boroughs
Government
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorFemke Halsema
Area
 • Municipality219.32 km2 (84.68 sq mi)
 • Land165.76 km2 (64.00 sq mi)
 • Water53.56 km2 (20.68 sq mi)
 • Randstad3,043 km2 (1,175 sq mi)
Elevation−2 m (−7 ft)
Population
(municipality and urban area, 2017; metro region, 2014; Randstad, 2016)[3][5][6][7][8]
 • Municipality851,573
 • Density5,135/km2 (13,300/sq mi)
 • Urban
1,351,587
 • Metro region
2,431,000
 • Randstad
8,116,000
Demonym(s)Amsterdammer
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postcode
1000–1183
Area code020
GeoTLD.amsterdam
Websitewww.amsterdam.nl

Etymology

After the floods of 1170 and 1173, locals near the river Amstel built a bridge over the river and a dam across it, giving its name to the village: "Aemstelredamme". The earliest recorded use of that name is in a document dated 27 October 1275, which exempted inhabitants of the village from paying bridge tolls to Count Floris V.[26][27] This allowed the inhabitants of the village of Aemstelredamme to travel freely through the County of Holland, paying no tolls at bridges, locks and dams. The certificate describes the inhabitants as homines manentes apud Amestelledamme (people residing near Amestelledamme).[28] By 1327, the name had developed into Aemsterdam.[26][29]

History

Founding and Middle Ages

Amsterdam (6578772447)
The Oude Kerk was consecrated in 1306 CE.

Amsterdam is much younger than Dutch cities such as Nijmegen, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. In October 2008, historical geographer Chris de Bont suggested that the land around Amsterdam was being reclaimed as early as the late 10th century. This does not necessarily mean that there was already a settlement then, since reclamation of land may not have been for farming—it may have been for peat, for use as fuel.[30]

Amsterdam was granted city rights in either 1300 or 1306.[31] From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely from trade with the Hanseatic League. In 1345, an alleged Eucharistic miracle in the Kalverstraat rendered the city an important place of pilgrimage 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 revitalized and became an important national point of reference for Dutch Catholics. 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.[32] 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

Bartholomeus van der Helst, Banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in Celebration of the Peace of Münster
Amsterdam citizens celebrating the Peace of Münster, 30 January 1648; painting by Bartholomeus van der Helst.

In the 16th century, the Dutch rebelled against Philip II of Spain and his successors. 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.[33] Strongly pushed by Dutch Revolt leader William the Silent, the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance. Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, 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 centre for the European free press.[34]

Centre of the Dutch Golden Age

Emanuel de Witte - De binnenplaats van de beurs te Amsterdam
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.[35]

The 17th century is considered Amsterdam's Golden Age, during which it became the wealthiest city in the western world.[36] Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the Baltic Sea, 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 and the Dutch West India Company. These companies acquired overseas possessions that later became Dutch colonies.

Amsterdam was Europe's most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading Financial centre of the western world.[37] In 1602, the Amsterdam office of the international trading Dutch East India Company became the world's first stock exchange by trading in its own shares.[38] 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 of the Dutch Republic with England and France took their toll on Amsterdam. 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.

Old-Amsterdam 1891-street-1
A view of Vijzelstraat looking towards the Muntplein, 1891.

The end of the 19th century is sometimes called Amsterdam's second Golden Age.[39] 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

Amsterdam photochrom2
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.[40]

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.[41][42] 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 organised the February strike attended by 300,000 people to protest against the raids. Perhaps the most famous deportee was the young Jewish girl Anne Frank, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.[43] 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 beets, and Tulip bulbs—cooked to a pulp—were consumed to stay alive.[44] Most of the trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and all the wood was taken from the apartments of deported Jews.

Enorme menigte op de Amstellaan te Amsterdam Op de achtergrond de zgn wolkenkrabber, Bestanddeelnr 900-2830
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.[45] 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.[46] A metro started operating in 1977 between the new suburb of Bijlmer and the centre of Amsterdam. Further plans were to build a new highway above the metro to connect Amsterdam Centraal and 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, were widened and almost all of their houses were demolished. At the peak of the demolition, the Nieuwmarktrellen (Nieuwmarkt Riots) broke out;[47] 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 was never 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 with the aim of restoring the entire city centre. Although the success of this struggle is visible today, efforts for further restoration are still ongoing.[46] 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.[48]

Amsterdam Canal Tour
The 17th-century Canals of Amsterdam were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010,[49] contributing to Amsterdam's fame as the "Venice of the North".[50][51] Along with De Wallen, the canals are the focal-point for tourists in the city.

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 million 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.[52] These developments have evoked comparisons with Venice, a city thought to be overwhelmed by the tourist influx.[53]

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 is controversial because its cost had exceeded its budget by a factor three by 2008,[54] because of fears of damage to buildings in the centre, and because construction had to be halted and restarted multiple times.[55]

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.[56][57]

Geography

Amsterdam-plaats-OpenTopo
Topographic map of Amsterdam and its surrounding municipalities, 2014.
Amsterdam-centrum-OpenTopo
Large-scale map of the city centre of Amsterdam, including sightseeing markers, as of April 2017.

Amsterdam is located in the Western Netherlands, in the province of North Holland, although it is not its capital which is Haarlem. The river Amstel ends in the city centre and connects to a large number of canals that eventually terminate in the IJ. Amsterdam is about 2 metres (6.6 feet) below sea level.[58] 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 through the long North Sea Canal.

Amsterdam is intensely urbanised, as is the Amsterdam metropolitan area surrounding the city. Comprising 219.4 square kilometres (84.7 square miles) of land, the city proper has 4,457 inhabitants per km2 and 2,275 houses per km2.[59] Parks and nature reserves make up 12% of Amsterdam's land area.[60]

Water

1210 Amsterdamse grachten 101a
Reguliersgracht, Autumn 2010.

Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) of 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 makes the city centre a horseshoe shape. The city is also served by a seaport. It has been compared with Venice, due to its division into about 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1,200 bridges.[61]

Climate

Amsterdam has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) strongly influenced by its proximity to the North Sea to the west, with prevailing westerly winds. Both winters and summers are considered mild, although winters can get quite cold, while summers are quite warm occasionally.

Amsterdam, as well as most of the North Holland province, lies in 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 heat-island effect, nights rarely fall below −5 °C (23 °F), while it could easily be −12 °C (10 °F) in Hilversum, 25 kilometres (16 miles) southeast.

Summers are moderately warm with a number of hot days every month. The average daily high in August is 22.1 °C (71.8 °F), and 30 °C (86 °F) or higher is only measured on average on 2.5 days, placing Amsterdam in AHS Heat Zone 2. The record extremes range from −19.7 °C (−3.5 °F) to 35.7 °C (96.3 °F).[62] Days with more than 1 millimetre (0.04 in) of precipitation are common, on average 133 days per year.

Amsterdam's average annual precipitation is 838 millimetres (33 in),[63] more than what is measured at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. 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.

Climate data for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
16.6
(61.9)
24.1
(75.4)
28.0
(82.4)
31.5
(88.7)
33.2
(91.8)
35.7
(96.3)
34.5
(94.1)
31.0
(87.8)
25.3
(77.5)
18.2
(64.8)
15.5
(59.9)
35.7
(96.3)
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
(42.4)
6.3
(43.3)
9.6
(49.3)
13.5
(56.3)
17.4
(63.3)
19.7
(67.5)
22.0
(71.6)
22.1
(71.8)
18.8
(65.8)
14.5
(58.1)
9.7
(49.5)
6.4
(43.5)
13.8
(56.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.4
(38.1)
3.5
(38.3)
6.1
(43.0)
9.1
(48.4)
12.9
(55.2)
15.4
(59.7)
17.6
(63.7)
17.5
(63.5)
14.7
(58.5)
11.0
(51.8)
7.1
(44.8)
4.0
(39.2)
10.2
(50.3)
Average low °C (°F) 0.8
(33.4)
0.5
(32.9)
2.6
(36.7)
4.6
(40.3)
8.2
(46.8)
10.8
(51.4)
13.0
(55.4)
12.8
(55.0)
10.6
(51.1)
7.5
(45.5)
4.2
(39.6)
1.5
(34.7)
6.4
(43.6)
Record low °C (°F) −16.3
(2.7)
−19.7
(−3.5)
−16.7
(1.9)
−4.7
(23.5)
−1.1
(30.0)
2.3
(36.1)
5.0
(41.0)
5.0
(41.0)
2.0
(35.6)
−3.4
(25.9)
−8.1
(17.4)
−14.8
(5.4)
−19.7
(−3.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66.6
(2.62)
50.6
(1.99)
60.6
(2.39)
40.9
(1.61)
55.6
(2.19)
66.0
(2.60)
76.5
(3.01)
85.9
(3.38)
82.4
(3.24)
89.6
(3.53)
87.2
(3.43)
76.3
(3.00)
838.2
(33.00)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 12 10 11 9 10 10 10 10 12 13 13 13 132
Average snowy days 6 6 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 26
Average relative humidity (%) 88 86 83 78 76 78 79 80 83 86 89 90 83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 63.2 87.5 126.3 182.7 221.9 205.7 217.0 197.0 139.4 109.1 61.7 50.5 1,662
Source #1: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010 normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000)[64]
Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1971–2000 extremes)[65]

Demographics

Historical population

Estimated population, 1300–1564
YearPop.±% p.a.
13001,000—    
14004,700+1.56%
151411,000+0.75%
YearPop.±% p.a.
154613,200+0.57%
155722,200+4.84%
156430,900+4.84%
Source: Bureau Monumentenzorg en Archeologie (1300)[66]
Ramaer 1921, pp. 11–12, 181 (1400 and 1564)
Van Dillen 1929, pp. xxv–xxvi (1514, 1546 and 1557)
Historical population in 10-year intervals, 1590–present
YearPop.±%
159041,362—    
160059,551+44.0%
161082,742+38.9%
1620106,500+28.7%
1630135,439+27.2%
1640162,388+19.9%
1650176,873+8.9%
1660192,767+9.0%
1670206,188+7.0%
1680219,098+6.3%
1690224,393+2.4%
1700235,224+4.8%
1710239,149+1.7%
1720241,447+1.0%
1730239,866−0.7%
1740237,582−1.0%
1750233,952−1.5%
1760240,862+3.0%
1770239,056−0.7%
1780228,938−4.2%
1790214,473−6.3%
1800203,485−5.1%
YearPop.±%
1810201,347−1.1%
1820197,831−1.7%
1830206,383+4.3%
1840214,367+3.9%
1850223,700+4.4%
1860244,050+9.1%
1870279,221+14.4%
1880323,784+16.0%
1890417,539+29.0%
1900520,602+24.7%
1910573,983+10.3%
1920647,427+12.8%
1930757,386+17.0%
1940800,594+5.7%
1950835,834+4.4%
1960869,602+4.0%
1970831,463−4.4%
1980716,967−13.8%
1990695,221−3.0%
2000731,289+5.2%
2010767,773+5.0%
Source: Nusteling 1985, p. 240 (1590–1670)
Van Leeuwen & Oeppen 1993, p. 87 (1680–1880)
Department for Research, Information and Statistics (1890–present)

Compared to other important towns in the County of Holland, such as Dordrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, Delft and Alkmaar, Amsterdam is a relatively young city. In stark contrast to the relative decline of those other towns, Amsterdam's population grew in the 15th and 16th centuries, mainly due to the rise of the profitable Baltic maritime trade after the Burgundian victory in the Dutch–Hanseatic War. Still, the population of Amsterdam and other towns in Holland was only modest compared to the towns and cities of Flanders and Brabant, which comprised the most urbanised area of the Low Countries.

This changed when, during the Dutch Revolt, many people from the Southern Netherlands fled to the North, especially after Antwerp fell to Spanish forces in 1585. In thirty years, Amsterdam's population more than doubled from 41,362 inhabitants in 1590 to 106,500 inhabitants in 1620. 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.

At the turn of the 18th century, Amsterdam was the fourth largest city in Europe, behind Constantinople (about 700,000), London (550,000) and Paris (530,000). This was all the more remarkable as Amsterdam was neither the capital city nor the seat of government of the Dutch Republic, 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 (30,000).[67]

The city's population declined in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, 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 sharpest population decline ever, and by 1985 the city had only 675,570 residents. This was soon followed by reurbanisation and gentrification, however, leading to renewed population growth in the 2010s.

Immigration

City of Amsterdam (2017)
population by country of origin
(includes 2nd generation immigrants)[68]
Country or territory Population
Netherlands Netherlands 401,260 (47.49%)
Morocco Morocco 75,758 (8.97%)
Suriname Suriname 65,468 (7.75%)
Turkey Turkey 43,168 (5.11%)
Indonesia Indonesia 25,522 (3.02%)
Germany Germany 18,445 (2.18%)
United Kingdom United Kingdom 12,670 (1.50%)
Netherlands Dutch Caribbean 12,288 (1.45%)
Ghana Ghana 12,133 (1.44%)
United States United States 9,108 (1.08%)
Italy Italy 8,553 (1.01%)
Other 160,574 (19.00%)

In the 16th and 17th century non-Dutch immigrants to Amsterdam were mostly Huguenots, 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 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 Jewish. Just twenty per cent of them survived the Shoah.[69]

The first mass immigration in the 20th century were by people from Indonesia, who came to Amsterdam after the independence of the Dutch East Indies in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s 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 Bijlmer area. Other immigrants, including refugees asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, came from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, many 'old' Amsterdammers moved to 'new' cities like Almere and Purmerend, prompted by the third 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 abandoned by these Amsterdammers. The non-Western immigrants settled mostly in the 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.[70][71][72] Ethnic Dutch (as 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.[73] 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 Nieuw-West, Zeeburg, Bijlmer and in certain areas of Amsterdam-Noord.[74][75]

In 2000, Christians formed the largest religious group in the city (17% of the population). The next largest religion was Islam (14%), most of whose followers were Sunni.[76][77]

Religion

Religions in Amsterdam (2015)[78]

  Irreligion (62.2%)
  Roman Catholic (11.2%)
  Other Christian denominations (5.9%)
  Islam (12.1%)
  Hinduism (1.1%)
  Buddhism (1.0%)
  Judaism (0.7%)

In 1578, the previously Roman Catholic city of Amsterdam joined the revolt against Spanish rule, late in comparison to other major northern Dutch cities. Following the Dutch takeover, all churches were converted to Protestant worship. Calvinism became the dominant religion, and although Catholicism was not forbidden and priests allowed to serve, the Catholic hierarchy was prohibited. This led to the establishment of schuilkerken, covert churches, behind seemingly ordinary canal side house fronts. One example is the current debate centre de Rode Hoed. A large influx of foreigners of many religions came to 17th-century Amsterdam, in particular Sefardic Jews from Spain and Portugal, Huguenots from France, and Protestants from the Southern Netherlands. This led to the establishment of many non-Dutch-speaking religious churches. In 1603, the first notification was made of Jewish religious service. In 1639, the first synagogue was consecrated. The Jews came to call the town Jerusalem of the West, a reference to their sense of belonging there.

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. Regular services there are still offered in English under the auspices of the Church of Scotland.[79] The Huguenots accounted for nearly 20% of Amsterdam's inhabitants in 1700. Being Calvinists, they 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 Ashkenazim, Jews from Central and Eastern Europe, which continued into the 19th century. Jews often fled the pogroms in those areas. The first Ashkenazi who arrived in Amsterdam were refugees from the Chmielnicki Uprising in Poland and the Thirty Years' War. They not only founded their own synagogues, but had a strong influence on the 'Amsterdam dialect' adding a large 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.[80] 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 and the neighbourhood was rebuilt with smaller-scale residence buildings on the basis of its original layout.

Westerkerk Amsterdam
The Westerkerk in the Centrum borough, one of Amsterdam's best known churches.

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, Cuypers, was also responsible for the Amsterdam Central station and the Rijksmuseum, which led to a refusal of Protestant King William III to open 'that monastery'.

In 1924, the Roman Catholic Church of the Netherlands hosted the 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 Catholic clergy chose to place its episcopal see of the city in the nearby provincial town of Haarlem.[81]

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 and Nigerian immigrants have established African churches, often in parking garages in the Bijlmer area, where many have settled. In addition, a broad array of other religious movements have established congregations, including Hinduism, and Buddhism. Jews make up about 2% of the city's total population.

Diversity and immigration

Amsterdam experienced an influx of religions and cultures after the Second World War. With 180 different nationalities,[82] Amsterdam is home to one of the widest varieties of nationalities of any city in the world.[83] The proportion of the population of immigrant origin in the city proper is about 50%[84] and 88% of the population are Dutch citizens.[85]

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.[86]

Cityscape and architecture

Amsterdam Cityscape
View of the city centre looking southwest from the Oosterdokskade.
Amsterdam in 1538
A 1538 painting by Cornelis Anthonisz showing a bird's-eye view of Amsterdam; the famous Grachtengordel had not yet been established.

Amsterdam fans out south from the Amsterdam Centraal railway station and 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, 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 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 neighbourhood, with the 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

Herengracht-december-2
Herengracht
Prinsengracht towads Lekkeresluis from Bridge Prinsenstraat 2016-09-12
Prinsengracht

The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning.[87] 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, 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 the name can be roughly translated as "Canal of the Lords"), Keizersgracht (Emperor's Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal).[88] 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 most inner canal Singel.

The canals served for defence, water management and transport. The defences took the form of a moat and earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry superstructures.[89] 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.[90]

Construction started in 1613 and proceeded from west to east, across the breadth of the layout, like a gigantic 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.[91] Over the years, several canals have been filled in, becoming streets or squares, such as the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Spui.[92]

Expansion

Brug 127 in de Lijnbaansgracht over de Egelantiersgracht foto 4
The Egelantiersgracht lies west of the Grachtengordel, in the Jordaan neighbourhood.

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. 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.[93][94][95]

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.[96] Most of these neighbourhoods became home to the working class.[97]

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 Berlage, and West. These plans involved the development of new neighbourhoods consisting of housing blocks for all social classes.[98][99]

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 situated among green spaces, connected to wide roads, making the neighbourhoods easily accessible by 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.[100][101]

Architecture

Amsterdam Scheepvaarthuis 002
The Scheepvaarthuis, by architects Johan van der Mey, Michel de Klerk, Piet Kramer is characteristic of the architecture of the Amsterdam School.

Amsterdam has a rich architectural history. The oldest building in Amsterdam is the Oude Kerk (English: Old Church), at the heart of the Wallen, consecrated in 1306.[102] The oldest wooden building is Het Houten Huys[103] at the 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 build 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 Renaissance. Buildings of this period are very recognisable with their 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.[104] One of the most striking buildings designed by Hendrick de Keyer 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 leading architects of this style in Amsterdam were Jacob van Campen, Philips Vingboons and Daniel Stalpaert.[105]

BegijnhofAmsterdamNederlandPanorama
Begijnhof is one of the oldest hofjes in Amsterdam.
Öffentliche Bibliothek und Konservatorium Amsterdam
The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, two examples of 21st-century architecture in the centre of the city.

Philip Vingboons designed splendid merchants' houses throughout the city. A famous building in baroque style in Amsterdam is the Royal Palace on Dam Square. Throughout the 18th century, Amsterdam was heavily influenced by 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.[106] Most Gothic style buildings date from that era and are therefore said to be built in a neo-gothic style. At the end of the 19th century, the 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 Museum Square in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid are an example of Jugendstil. The last style that was popular in Amsterdam before the modern era was Art Deco. Amsterdam had its own version of the style, which was called the Amsterdamse School. Whole districts were built this style, such as the Rivierenbuurt.[107] 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 map indicating parks - 01

Amsterdam has many parks, open spaces, and squares throughout the city. The Vondelpark, the largest park in the city, is located in the 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 Zuid borough, is the Beatrixpark, named after Queen Beatrix. Between Amsterdam and Amstelveen 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.[108] The Amstelpark in the Zuid borough houses the Rieker windmill, which dates to 1636. Other parks include the Sarphatipark in the De Pijp neighbourhood, the Oosterpark in the Oost borough and the Westerpark in the 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 and National Monument. Museumplein hosts various museums, including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum. Other squares include Rembrandtplein, Muntplein, Nieuwmarkt, Leidseplein, Spui, and Waterlooplein. Also, near to Amsterdam is the Nekkeveld estate conservation project.

Economy

20151120 BeursvanBerlage 002-6972
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world.
Zuidas pano
The Zuidas, the city's main business district.

Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands.[109] Amsterdam is ranked fifth best of European cities in which to locate an international business, surpassed by London, Paris, Frankfurt and Barcelona.[110] Many large corporations and banks have their headquarters in Amsterdam, including AkzoNobel, Heineken International, ING Group, ABN AMRO, TomTom, Delta Lloyd Group, Booking.com and Philips. KPMG International's global headquarters is located in nearby Amstelveen, where many non-Dutch companies have settled as well, because surrounding communities allow full land ownership, contrary to Amsterdam's land-lease system.

Though many small offices are still located on the old canals, companies are increasingly relocating outside the city centre. The Zuidas (English: South Axis) has become the new financial and legal hub.[111] The five largest law firms of the Netherlands, a number of Dutch subsidiaries of large consulting firms like Boston Consulting Group and Accenture, and the World Trade Center Amsterdam are also located in Zuidas.

There are three other smaller financial districts in Amsterdam. The first is the area surrounding Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station, where several newspapers like De Telegraaf have their offices.

Also, Deloitte, the Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (municipal public transport company) and the Dutch tax offices (Belastingdienst) are located there. The second Financial District is the area surrounding the Johan Cruyff Arena. The third is the area surrounding Amsterdam Amstel railway station. The tallest building in Amsterdam, the Rembrandt Tower, is situated there, as is the headquarters of Philips.[112][113]

Port of Amsterdam

The 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. 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.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX), now part of Euronext, is the world's oldest stock exchange and is one of Europe's largest bourses. It is near Dam Square in the city centre.

Together with Eindhoven (Brainport) and Rotterdam (Seaport), Amsterdam (Airport) forms the foundation of the Dutch economy.[114]

Tourism

Wim Sonneveld tour boat, Rederij Lovers, Amsterdam-9218
Boats give tours of the city, such as this one in front of the EYE Film Institute Netherlands.
Brug 97 in de Spiegelgracht over de Lijnbaansgracht foto 1
Spiegelgracht

Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, receiving more than 4.63 million international visitors annually, this is excluding the 16 million day trippers visiting the city every year.[115] 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 78% in 2006, up from 70% in 2005.[116] 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.[116] 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 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.[116]

De Wallen (Red-light district)

Red-light district of Amsterdam by day. 2012
De Wallen, Amsterdam's Red-light district, offers activities such as legal prostitution and a number of coffee shops that sell cannabis. It is one of the main tourist attractions.[117]

De Wallen, also known as Walletjes or Rosse Buurt, is a designated area for legalised prostitution and is Amsterdam's largest and most well known red-light district. This neighbourhood has become a famous attraction for tourists. It consists of a network of roads 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.

Retail

Shops in Amsterdam range from large high end department stores such as De Bijenkorf founded in 1870 to small specialty 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 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. But as the Negen Straatjes are dominated by fashion stores the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk offer a very wide variety of all kinds of stores, just to name some specialties: 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 on a daily basis, like the Albert Cuypmarkt and the Dappermarkt. Others, like the Westerstraatmarkt, are held on a weekly basis.

Fashion

AmsterdamBikeGirl
A typically well-attired Amsterdamer waits for a traffic light to change at Muntplein in the heart of Amsterdam.

Fashion brands like G-star, Gsus, BlueBlood, PICHICHI, Iris van Herpen, fair trade denim brand MUD Jeans, 10 feet and Warmenhoven & Venderbos, and fashion designers like Mart Visser, Viktor & Rolf, Sheila de Vries, Marlies Dekkers and Frans Molenaar are based in Amsterdam. Modelling agencies Elite Models, Touche models and Tony Jones have opened branches in Amsterdam. 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. Buildings which formerly housed brothels in the red light district have been converted to ateliers for young fashion designers, AKA eagle fuel. Fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin were born in Amsterdam(Netherland).

Culture

Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum houses the world's largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and letters.
De nieuwe vleugel van het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is an international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design.

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 1638, Amsterdam opened its first theatre. Ballet performances were given in this theatre as early as 1642. 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.[118] In the 19th century, popular culture was centred on the Nes area in Amsterdam (mainly vaudeville and music-hall). The metronome, one of the most important advances in European classical music, was invented here in 1812 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel. At the end of this century, the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum were built. In 1888, the Concertgebouworkest 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 Broadcasting Group is located in Amsterdam.[119]

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 World's fair. The northeastern part of the square is bordered by the very 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.[120] The northwestern part of the square is bordered by the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk 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 situated across this street from the square. To the southeast of the square are situated a number of large houses, one of which contains the American consulate. A 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.[121]

The Rijksmuseum possesses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art.[122] It opened in 1885. Its collection consists of nearly one million objects.[123] The artist most associated with Amsterdam is Rembrandt, whose work, and the work of his pupils, is displayed in the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch is one of top pieces of art of the museum. It also houses paintings from artists like Van der Helst, Vermeer, Frans Hals, Ferdinand Bol, Albert Cuyp, Jacob van Ruisdael and Paulus Potter. Aside from paintings, the collection consists of a large variety of decorative art. This ranges from Delftware to giant doll-houses from the 17th century. The architect of the 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 established itself as the most visited museum in Amsterdam with 2.2 million visitors in 2013.[124]

Van Gogh lived in Amsterdam for a short while and there is a 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.[125][126] Some of Van Gogh's most famous paintings, like The Potato Eaters and Sunflowers, are in the collection.[127] The Van Gogh museum is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam, with 1.4 million annual visitors.[128]

Next to the Van Gogh museum stands the Stedelijk Museum. 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 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, and the Rembrandt House Museum, to the very large, like the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics), Amsterdam Museum (formerly known as Amsterdam Historical Museum), Hermitage Amsterdam (a dependency of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg) and the Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum). The modern-styled Nemo is dedicated to child-friendly science exhibitions.

Music

Coldplay perform "Adventure of a Lifetime", Amsterdam Arena, June 2016 (5)
Coldplay performing at the Amsterdam Arena, 2016.

Amsterdam's musical culture includes a large collection of songs which 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 ("Bij ons in de Jordaan"). Colleagues and contemporaries of Johnny include Tante Leen and Manke Nelis. Other notable Amsterdam songs are "Amsterdam" by Jacques Brel (1964) and "Deze Stad" by De Dijk (1989).[129] A 2011 poll by Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool that Trio Bier's "Oude Wolf" was voted "Amsterdams lijflied".[130] Notable Amsterdam bands from the modern era include the Osdorp Posse and 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 and the Melkweg are located near the Leidseplein. Both focus on broad programming, ranging from indie rock to hip hop, 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 DJ's hail from the Netherlands and perform frequently 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.[131] Another popular dance festival is 5daysoff, which takes place in the venues Paradiso and Melkweg. In summer time there are several big outdoor dance parties in or nearby Amsterdam, such as Awakenings, Dance Valley, Mystery Land, Loveland, A Day at the Park, Welcome to the Future, and Valtifest.

Amsterdam Concertgebouw
The Concertgebouw or Royal Concert Hall houses performances of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and other musical events.

Amsterdam has a world-class symphony orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Their home is the Concertgebouw, which is across the Van Baerlestraat from the Museum Square. It is considered by critics to be a 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.[132] The opera house of Amsterdam is situated 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 Stopera is the homebase of Dutch National Opera, Dutch National Ballet and the Holland Symfonia. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a concert hall, which is situated in the IJ near the central station. Its concerts perform mostly modern classical music. Located adjacent to it, is the Bimhuis, a concert hall for improvised and Jazz music.

Performing arts

Stadsschouwburg amsterdam
Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam's best known theatre.

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, will open in late 2009 or early 2010.

The 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. 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 situated 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 bath house, 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). 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

DeWolff Paradiso
DeWolff performing at Paradiso.
Amsterdam Magere Brug
The Magere Brug or "Skinny Bridge" over the Amstel at night.

Amsterdam is famous for its vibrant and diverse nightlife. Amsterdam has many cafés (bars). They range from large and modern to small and cozy. The typical Bruine Kroeg (brown café) breathe a more old fashioned atmosphere with dimmed lights, candles, and somewhat older clientele. 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, Melkweg 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. 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

Queen's Day in Amsterdam 2013 (8697415382)
Queen's Day in Amsterdam on 2013.
Amsterdam's Canals
People dressed in orange on the canals of Amsterdam in 2010 during Koningsdag or King's Day.

In 2008, there were 140 festivals and events in Amsterdam.[133]

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 silent Roman Catholic evening procession held every March); Amsterdam Gay Pride; The Cannabis Cup; and the Uitmarkt. On Koninginnedag—that was held each year on 30 April—hundreds of thousands of people travel to Amsterdam to celebrate with the city's residents and Koningsdag is held on 27 April. The entire city becomes overcrowded with people buying products from the freemarket, or visiting one of the many music concerts.

Amsterdam Gay Pride 2013 boat no37 Hot Spot Cafe pic7
One of the decorated boats participating in the 2013 Canal Parade of the Amsterdam Gay Pride.

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.[134] 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 podia.[135]

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 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 De Meer Stadion.[136] In 1928, Amsterdam hosted the Summer Olympics. The Olympic Stadium built for the occasion has been completely restored and is now used for cultural and sporting events, such as the Amsterdam Marathon.[137] 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 Y.

Feyenoord tegen Ajax 1-0. Nummer 26 Israel in duel met Cruyff
AFC Ajax player Johan Cruyff, 1967.

The city holds the Dam to Dam Run, a 16-kilometre (10 mi) 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. 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 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. The basketball team MyGuide Amsterdam competes in the Dutch premier division and play their games in the Sporthallen Zuid.[138]

There is one rugbyclub 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 Sports Awards. Boxer Raymond Joval and field hockey midfielder Carole Thate were the first to receive the awards, in 1999.

Politics

Femke Halsema-roel
Femke Halsema has been Mayor of Amsterdam since 2018.

The city of Amsterdam is a municipality under the Dutch Municipalities Act. It is governed by a directly elected municipal council, a municipal executive board and a mayor. Since 1981, the municipality of Amsterdam has gradually been divided into semi-autonomous boroughs, called stadsdelen or 'districts'. Over time, a total of 15 boroughs were created. In May 2010, under a major reform, the number of Amsterdam boroughs was reduced to eight: Amsterdam-Centrum covering the city centre including the canal belt, Amsterdam-Noord consisting of the neighbourhoods north of the 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 covering the Port of Amsterdam area.[139]

City government

As with all Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is governed by a directly elected municipal council, a municipal executive board and a mayor (burgemeester). The mayor is a member of the municipal executive board, but also has individual responsibilies in maintaining public order. On 27 June 2018 Femke Halsema (former member of House of Representatives for GroenLinks from 1998 to 2011) was appointed as the first women to be Mayor of Amsterdam by the King's Commissioner of North Holland for a six-year term after being nominated by the Amsterdam municipal council. and began serving a six-year term on 12 July 2018. She replaces Eberhard van der Laan (Labour Party) who was the Mayor of Amsterdam from 2010 until his death in October 2017. After the 2014 municipal council elections, a governing majority of D66, VVD and SP was formed – the first coalition without the Labour Party since World War II.[140] Next to the Mayor, the municipal executive board consists of eight wethouders ('alderpersons') appointed by the municipal council: four D66 alderpersons, two VVD alderpersons and two SP alderpersons.[141]

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.[142] 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, called stadsdelen or 'districts', a system that was implemented gradually in the 1980s to improve local governance. The boroughs are responsible for many activities that had previously been run by the central city. In 2010, the number of 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 borough system was restructured, in which many smaller boroughs merged into larger boroughs. 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.

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.

Amsterdam Amstel
View of the Stopera (left, behind the blue bridge), where the Amsterdam city hall and opera house are located, and the Hermitage Museum (right) on the Amstel.

Metropolitan area

Police Headquarters, Amsterdam
Police Headquarters of Amsterdam.

"Amsterdam" is usually understood to refer to the 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).[7] 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 municipality of Amsterdam with a population of 802,938 in 2013.[7] The conurbation had a population of 1,096,042 in 2013.[7] It includes the municipalities of Zaanstad, Wormerland, Oostzaan, Diemen and Amstelveen only, as well as the municipality of Amsterdam.[7] Greater Amsterdam includes 15 municipalities,[7] and had a population of 1,293,208 in 2013.[7] 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.[143] It includes for instance Zaanstad, Wormerveer, 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.[144]

Of these various metropolitan area configurations, only the Stadsregio Amsterdam (City Region of Amsterdam) has a formal governmental status. Its responsibities include regional spatial planning and the metropolitan public transport concessions.[145]

National capital

King Willem-Alexander, Princess Beatrix en Queen Maxima
King Willem-Alexander, Princess Beatrix, and Queen Máxima greeting Amsterdammers from the Royal Palace of Amsterdam during Willem-Alexanders inauguration in 2013.

Under the 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").[11] Previous versions of the constitution only mentioned "the city of Amsterdam" ("de stad Amsterdam").[146] 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 on Dam Square, immediately after the former monarch has signed the act of abdication at the nearby Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Normally, however, the Parliament sits in The Hague, the city which has historically been the seat of the Dutch government, the Dutch monarchy, and the 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 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 cityshields of neighbours Amstelveen 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 awarded Amsterdam the right to adorn its coat of arms with the 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 Emperor Rudolph II, a crown that became the Imperial Crown of Austria. The lions date from the late 16th century, when city and province became part of the 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 Queen Wilhelmina, in recognition of the city's bravery during the Second World War.

Transport

Metro, tram and bus

Amsterdam - Keizersgracht - 1316
A tram crossing the Keizersgracht.
NoordZuidLijn Metrostation Europaplein hnapel 004
The Amsterdam Metro is a mixed subway and above ground rapid transit system consisting of five lines.

Currently, there are sixteen tram routes and five 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 lake to the 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 EBS. International coach services are provided by Eurolines from Amsterdam Amstel railway station, IDBUS from Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station, and Megabus from the Zuiderzeeweg in the east of the city.

In order to facilitate easier transport to the center 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.[147]

Car

Amsterdam was intended in 1932 to be the hub, a kind of Kilometre Zero, of the highway system of the Netherlands,[148] with freeways numbered One to Eight planned to originate from the city.[148] 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. The A3 to Rotterdam was cancelled in 1970 in order to conserve the Groene Hart. Road A8, leading north to Zaandam and the A10 Ringroad were opened between 1968 and 1974.[149] Besides the A1, A2, A4 and A8, several freeways, such as the A7 and A6, carry traffic mainly bound for Amsterdam.

The A10 ringroad surrounding the city connects Amsterdam with the Dutch national network of freeways. 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.[150] The local government sponsors carsharing and carpooling initiatives such as Autodelen and Meerijden.nu.[151]

National rail

Amsterdam Central Station1
Amsterdam Centraal station, the city's main train station.

Amsterdam is served by ten stations of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways).[152] Five are intercity stops: Sloterdijk, Zuid, Amstel, Bijlmer ArenA and Amsterdam Centraal. The stations for local services are: Lelylaan, RAI, Holendrecht, Muiderpoort and Science Park. Amsterdam Centraal is also an international railway station. From the station there are regular services to destinations such as Austria, Belarus, Belgium, the Czech Republic, 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 InterCityExpress (Amsterdam–Cologne–Frankfurt).[153][154][155]

Airport

Schiphol Airport Pier D (7325966610)
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol ranks as Europe's third-busiest airport for passenger traffic.

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, Transavia, Martinair and Arkefly.[156] As of 2014, Schiphol was the fifth busiest airport in the world measured by international passenger numbers.[157]This airport is 4 meters below sea level.[158]

Cycling

Amsterdam - Bicycles - 1058
Police bicyclist crossing a bridge over the Prinsengracht.

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 (fietsenstalling) which can be used.

In 2013, there were about 1,200,000 bicycles in Amsterdam outnumbering the amount of citizens in the city.[159] Theft is widespread—in 2011, about 83,000 bicycles were stolen in Amsterdam.[160] Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience, Amsterdam's small size, the 400 kilometres (249 miles) of bike paths,[161] the flat terrain, and the inconvenience of driving an automobile.[162]

Education

Agnietenkapel Gate
The Agnietenkapel Gate at the University of Amsterdam, founded in 1632 as the Athenaeum Illustre.

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 schoolGerrit Rietveld Academie, a 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 history of the labour movement. Amsterdam's Hortus Botanicus, founded in the early 17th century, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world,[163] with many old and rare specimens, among them the coffee plant that served as the parent for the entire coffee culture in Central and South America.[164]

There are over 200 primary schools in Amsterdam.[165] Some of these primary schools base their teachings on particular pedagogic theories like the various 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 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.

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 Sp!ts, 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. However, Amsterdam is not considered 'the media city of the Netherlands'. The town of Hilversum, 30 kilometres (19 miles) 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, 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, Ocean's Twelve, Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Hitman's Bodyguard. Amsterdam is also 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.

Housing

The housing market is heavily regulated. In Amsterdam, 55% of existing housing and 30% of new housing is owned by Housing Associations, which are Government sponsored entities.

Squat properties are common throughout Amsterdam, due to property law strongly favouring tenants. A number of these squats have become well known, such as OT301, Paradiso, Vrankrijk (closed down by city government), and the Binnenpret, and several are now businesses, such as health clubs and licensed restaurants.

See also

Notes and references

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Literature

  • Berns, Jan; Daan, Jo (1993). Hij zeit wat: de Amsterdamse volkstaal. The Hague: BZZTôH. ISBN 9062917569.
  • Frijhoff, Willem; Prak, Maarten (2005), Geschiedenis van Amsterdam. Zelfbewuste stadsstaat 1650–1813, Amsterdam: SUN, ISBN 9058751384
  • Mak, Geert (1994), Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam, Amsterdam & Antwerp: Atlas, ISBN 9045019531
  • Charles Caspers & Peter Jan Margry (2017), Het Mirakel van Amsterdam. Biografie van een betwiste devotie (Amsterdam, Prometheus).
  • Nusteling, Hubert (1985), Welvaart en werkgelegenheid in Amsterdam 1540–1860. Een relaas over demografie, economie en sociale politiek van een wereldstad, Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, ISBN 9067070823
  • Ramaer, J.C. (1921), "Middelpunten der bewoning in Nederland, voorheen en thans", TAG 2e serie, 38
  • Van Dillen, J.G. (1929), Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen van Amsterdam, The Hague
  • Van Leeuwen, M.; Oeppen, J.E. (1993), "Reconstructing the Demographic Regime of Amsterdam 1681–1920", Economic and Social History in the Netherlands, 5: 61–102

See also

External links

Preceded by
Herning, Denmark (1987)
World Gymnaestrada host city
1991
Succeeded by
Berlin, Germany (1995)
1928 Summer Olympics

The 1928 Summer Olympics (Dutch: Olympische Zomerspelen 1928), officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 28 July to 12 August 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city of Amsterdam had previously bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but was obliged to give way to war-torn Antwerp in Belgium for the 1920 Games and Pierre de Coubertin's Paris for the 1924 Games.

The only other candidate city for the 1928 Olympics was Los Angeles, which would eventually be selected to host the Olympics four years later. In preparation for the 1932 Summer Olympics, the United States Olympic Committee reviewed the costs and revenue of the 1928 Games. The committee reported a total cost of US$1.183 million with receipts of US$1.165 million, giving a negligible loss of US$18,000, which was a considerable improvement over the 1924 Games.

AFC Ajax

Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈaːjɑks]), also known as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or simply Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam. Historically, Ajax (named after the legendary Greek hero) has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 33 Eredivisie titles and 18 KNVB Cups. It has continuously played in the Eredivisie, the Dutch football top division, since its inception in 1956 and, along with Feyenoord and PSV, it is one of the country's "big three" clubs that have dominated that competition.

Ajax has historically been one of the most successful clubs in the world. According to the IFFHS, Ajax were the seventh-most successful European club of the 20th century and The World's Club Team of the Year in 1992. According to German magazine Kicker, Ajax were the second-most successful European club of the 20th century. The club is one of the five teams that has earned the right to keep the European Cup and to wear a multiple-winner badge; they won consecutively in 1971–1973. In 1972, they completed the continental treble by winning the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, and the European Cup. It also won the first organized UEFA Super Cup in 1972 against Glasgow Rangers (played in 1973). Ajax's last international trophies were the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, 1995 UEFA Super Cup and the 1995 Champions League, where they defeated Milan in the final; they lost the 1996 Champions League final on penalties to Juventus. In 1995, Ajax was crowned as World Team of the Year by World Soccer magazine.

Ajax is also one of four teams to win the continental treble and the Intercontinental Cup or Club World Cup in the same season/calendar year; This was achieved in the 1971–72 season. Ajax, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United are the five clubs to have won all three major UEFA club competitions. They have also won the Intercontinental Cup twice, the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, as well as the Karl Rappan Cup, a predecessor of the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1962. Ajax plays at the Johan Cruyff Arena, which opened as the Amsterdam ArenA in 1996 and was renamed in 2018. They previously played at De Meer Stadion and the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium (for international matches).

Amsterdam (city), New York

Amsterdam is a city in Montgomery County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 18,620. The city is named for Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The city of Amsterdam is surrounded on the north, east, and west sides by the town of Amsterdam. The city developed on both sides of the Mohawk River, with the majority located on the north bank. The Port Jackson area on the south side is also part of the city.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM), known informally as Schiphol Airport (Dutch: Luchthaven Schiphol, pronounced [ˌlʏxtɦaːvə(n) ˈsxɪp(ɦ)ɔl]), is the main international airport of the Netherlands. It is located 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, North Holland. It is the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume. The airport is built as a single-terminal concept: one large terminal split into three large departure halls.

Schiphol is the hub for KLM and its regional affiliate KLM Cityhopper as well as for Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair, Transavia and TUI fly Netherlands. The airport also serves as a European hub for Jet Airways and as a base for EasyJet and Vueling.

Schiphol opened on 16 September 1916 as a military airbase. The end of the First World War also saw the beginning of civilian use of Schiphol Airport and the airport eventually lost its military role completely. By 1940, Schiphol had four asphalt runways at 45-degree angles. The airport was captured by the German military that same year and renamed Fliegerhorst Schiphol. The airport was destroyed through bombing but at the end of the war the airfield was restored quickly. In 1949, it was decided that Schiphol was to become the primary airport of the Netherlands.

Anne Frank

Annelies Marie Frank (German: [anəliːs maˈʁiː ˈʔanə ˈfʁaŋk]; Dutch: [ɑnəˈlis maːˈri ˈʔɑnə ˈfrɑŋk]; 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945) was a German-born Jewish diarist. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl (originally Het Achterhuis in Dutch; English: The Secret Annex), in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world's most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, Netherlands, having moved there with her family at the age of four and a half when the Nazis gained control over Germany. Born a German national, she lost her citizenship in 1941 and thus became stateless. By May 1940, the Franks were trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the Franks went into hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne's father, Otto Frank, worked. From then until the family's arrest by the Gestapo in August 1944, she kept a diary she had received as a birthday present, and wrote in it regularly. Following their arrest, the Franks were transported to concentration camps. In October or November 1944, Anne and her sister, Margot, were transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they died (probably of typhus) a few months later. They were originally estimated by the Red Cross to have died in March, with Dutch authorities setting 31 March as their official date of death, but research by the Anne Frank House in 2015 suggests they more likely died in February.Otto, the only survivor of the Franks, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved by his secretary, Miep Gies, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch version and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl, and has since been translated into over 60 languages.

Dutch East India Company

The Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early-17th century. It was originally established on March 20,1602 as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. The Company has been often labelled a trading company (i.e. a company of merchants who buy and sell goods produced by other people) or sometimes a shipping company. However, the VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade (especially intra-Asian trade), shipbuilding, both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, the VOC became the world's first formally-listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. The VOC was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalization in the early modern period.

With its pioneering institutional innovations and powerful roles in global business history, the Company is often considered by many to be the forerunner of modern corporations. In many respects, modern-day corporations are all the 'direct descendants' of the VOC model. It was the VOC's 17th-century institutional innovations and business practices that laid the foundations for the rise of giant global corporations in subsequent centuries — as a highly significant and formidable socio-politico-economic force of the modern-day world – to become the dominant factor in almost all economic systems today. The VOC also served as the direct model for the organisational reconstruction of the English/British East India Company in 1657. The Company, for nearly 200 years of its existence (1602–1800), had effectively transformed itself from a corporate entity into a state or an empire in its own right. One of the most influential and best expertly researched business enterprises in history, the VOC's world has been the subject of a vast amount of literature that includes both fiction and nonfiction works.

The company was historically an exemplary company-state rather than a pure for-profit corporation. Originally a government-backed military-commercial enterprise, the VOC was the wartime brainchild of leading Dutch republican statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the States-General. From its inception in 1602, the Company was not only a commercial enterprise but also effectively an instrument of war in the young Dutch Republic's revolutionary global war against the powerful Spanish Empire and Iberian Union (1579–1648). In 1619, the Company forcibly established a central position in the Indonesian city of Jayakarta, changing the name to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta). Over the next two centuries the Company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory. To guarantee its supply, the Company established positions in many countries and became an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. In its foreign colonies, the VOC possessed quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, strike its own coins, and establish colonies. With increasing importance of foreign posts, the Company is often considered the world's first true transnational corporation.

Along with the Dutch West India Company (WIC/GWIC), the VOC was seen as the international arm of the Dutch Republic and the symbolic power of the Dutch Empire. To further its trade routes, the VOC-funded exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (Duyfken), Henry Hudson (Halve Maen), and Abel Tasman, who revealed largely unknown landmasses to the western world. In the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography (c. 1570s–1670s), VOC navigators and cartographers helped shape geographical knowledge of the world as we know it today.

Socio-economic changes in Europe, the shift in power balance, and less successful financial management resulted in a slow decline of the VOC between 1720 and 1799. After the financially disastrous Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780–1784), the company was first nationalised in 1796, and finally dissolved in 1799. All assets were taken over by the government with VOC territories becoming Dutch government colonies.

In spite of the VOC's historic roles and contributions, the Company has long been heavily criticised for its monopoly policy, exploitation, colonialism, uses of violence, and slavery.

El Al Flight 1862

On 4 October 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft of the state-owned Israeli airline El Al, crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer (colloquially "Bijlmer") neighbourhood (part of Amsterdam-Zuidoost) of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. From the location in the Bijlmermeer, the crash is known in Dutch as the Bijlmerramp (Bijlmer disaster).

A total of 43 people were officially reported killed, including the aircraft's three crew members, a non-revenue passenger in a jump seat, and 39 people on the ground. In addition to these fatalities, 11 people were seriously injured and 15 people received minor injuries. The exact number of people killed on the ground is in dispute, as the building had a large number of illegal immigrants.

Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York is a 2002 American epic period drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, set in the New York slums, and inspired by Herbert Asbury's non-fiction book, The Gangs of New York. The screenplay was by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, and Kenneth Lonergan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz.

In 1863, a long-running Catholic–Protestant feud erupts into violence, just as an Irish immigrant group is protesting about low wages caused by an influx of freed slaves, as well as the threat of conscription. Scorsese spent twenty years developing the project until in 1999 Harvey Weinstein and his production company Miramax Films acquired it. Made in Cinecittà, Rome and in New York, the film was completed by 2001, but was delayed following the September 11 attacks. Released on December 20, 2002, it grossed $193 million worldwide against its $100 million budget. The film received positive reviews from critics for Day-Lewis' performance, Scorsese's directing, the production design and costume design. It was nominated for ten Oscars at the Academy Awards.

Johan Cruyff Arena

The Johan Cruyff Arena (Dutch: Johan Cruijff Arena [ˈjoːɦɑn ˈkrœyf aːˌreːnaː]; officially stylised as Johan Cruijff ArenA) is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam. Built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost equivalent to €140 million, it is the largest stadium in the country. The stadium was previously known as the Amsterdam Arena (stylised as Amsterdam ArenA) until the 2018–19 football season, when it was officially renamed in honour of legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff after he died in March 2016.The stadium is the home of the association football club AFC Ajax since 1996. In addition, it was the home of the now-defunct American football club Amsterdam Admirals (1997–2007). It was one of the stadiums used during Euro 2000, and also held the 1998 Champions League and 2013 Europa League finals. The stadium will also host three group stage matches and one match in the round of 16 of the Euro 2020.

Both international and Dutch artists have given concerts in the stadium, including Coldplay, Take That, Celine Dion, Madonna, Michael Jackson, André Hazes, David Bowie, AC/DC, One Direction, The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé and Rihanna. The dance event Sensation was held in the stadium every year, up until the final edition in 2017.

The stadium has a retractable roof combined with a grass surface. It has a capacity of 54,990 people during football matches, and of 68,000 people during concerts if a centre-stage setup is used (the stage in the middle of the pitch); for end-stage concerts, the capacity is 50,000, and for concerts for which the stage is located in the east side of the stadium, the capacity is 35,000. It held UEFA five-star stadium status, which was superseded by a new system of classification.

Joram van Klaveren

Joram Jaron van Klaveren (born 23 January 1979) is a Dutch politician. As a member of the Party for Freedom he was an MP from 17 June 2010 until 21 March 2014. He subsequently was an independent until his term in office ended on 23 March 2017. He focused on matters of desegregation, employment-to-population ratio, egalitarianism and emancipation. From 24 March 2011 until 11 June 2014 he also was a member of the States-Provincial of Flevoland. He became well-known for anti-Muslim comments. In October 2018 he converted to Islam halfway through writing an anti-Islam book. After becoming a Muslim, he decided to rededicate his book to his search for religiosity and the subsequent conversion to Islam.

Montgomery County, New York

Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 50,219. The county seat is Fonda. The county was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 at the Battle of Quebec.

Historically occupied by the Mohawk people, one of the original Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, the county was created in 1772 during the period of British colonial rule as Tryon County. In 1784, after the Americans gained independence in the War, it was renamed Montgomery County for one of the heroes.Montgomery County comprises the Amsterdam, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area. The county borders the north and south banks of the Mohawk River.

Netherlands

The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland, [ˈneːdərlɑnt] (listen)) is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Including three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

The five largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed 'the world's legal capital'.Netherlands literally means 'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level, and nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.25 million people, all living within a total area of roughly 41,500 square kilometres (16,000 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres (13,000 sq mi)—the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products (after the United States), owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, and intensive agriculture.The Netherlands was, historically, the third country in the world to have representative government, and it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion, prostitution and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, and became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, and quality of life, as well as happiness. Its strong performance on these indexes is owed in large part to a generous welfare state that provides universal healthcare, public education and infrastructure, in addition to social benefits. The country is also known for its "polder model", a leading socioeconomic model based on consensus decision-making.

New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam, pronounced [ˌniʋɑmstərˈdɑm] or [ˌniuʔɑms-]) was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island that served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland. The factorij became a settlement outside Fort Amsterdam. The fort was situated on the strategic southern tip of the island of Manhattan and was meant to defend the fur trade operations of the Dutch West India Company in the North River (Hudson River). In 1624, it became a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic and was designated as the capital of the province in 1625.

By 1655, the population of New Netherland had grown to 2,000 people, with 1,500 living in New Amsterdam. By 1664, the population had exploded to almost 9,000 people in New Netherland, 2,500 of whom lived in New Amsterdam, 1,000 lived near Fort Orange, and the remainder in other towns and villages.In 1664 the English took over New Amsterdam and renamed it New York after the city of York, administrative centre of the county of Yorkshire.. After the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665–1667, England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands agreed to the status quo in the Treaty of Breda. The English kept the island of Manhattan, the Dutch giving up their claim to the town and the rest of the colony, while the English formally abandoned Surinam in South America, and the island of Run in the East Indies to the Dutch, confirming their control of the valuable Spice Islands. Today much of what was once New Amsterdam is New York City.

Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam)

The Olympic Stadium (Dutch: Olympisch Stadion) is the main stadium for the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

The venue is currently used mostly for football, athletics and music events.

When completed, the stadium had a capacity of 31,600. Following the completion of the rival De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam in 1937, the Amsterdam authorities increased the capacity of the Olympic Stadium to 64,000 by adding a second ring to the stadium. In 1987 the stadium was listed as a national monument.

AFC Ajax used the Olympic Stadium for international games until 1996, when the Amsterdam Arena was completed. Renovation started in 1996, and the stadium was refurbished into the original construction of 1928. The second ring of 1937 was removed, reducing capacity to 22,288, and the stadium was made suitable for track and field competitions again.

Since 2005, the stadium is home to a sports museum, the Olympic Experience Amsterdam.

Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (; Dutch: [ˈrɛmbrɑnt ˈɦɑrmə(n)soːn vɑn ˈrɛin] (listen); July 15, 1606 – October 4, 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 the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting), although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres. Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was also an avid art collector and dealer.

Rembrandt never went abroad, but he was considerably influenced by the work of the Italian masters and Netherlandish artists who had studied in Italy, like Pieter Lastman, the Utrecht Caravaggists, and Flemish Baroque Peter Paul Rubens. Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters.Rembrandt's portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible are regarded as his greatest creative triumphs. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity. Rembrandt's foremost contribution in the history of printmaking was his transformation of the etching process from a relatively new reproductive technique into a true art form, along with Jacques Callot. His reputation as the greatest etcher in the history of the medium was established in his lifetime and never questioned since. Few of his paintings left the Dutch Republic whilst he lived, but his prints were circulated throughout Europe, and his wider reputation was initially based on them alone.

In his works he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization". The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, "Compare me with Rembrandt! What sacrilege! With Rembrandt, the colossus of Art! We should prostrate ourselves before Rembrandt and never compare anyone with him!" Vincent van Gogh wrote, "Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandt—magician—that's no easy occupation."

Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛiksmyˌzeːjʏm]; English: 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 Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. The current main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and first opened in 1885. On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix. In 2013 and 2014, it was the most visited museum in the Netherlands with record numbers of 2.2 million and 2.47 million visitors. It is also the largest art museum in the country.

The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in the Asian pavilion.

University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (abbreviated as UvA, Dutch: Universiteit van Amsterdam) is a public university located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The UvA is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the VU University Amsterdam (VU). Established in 1632 by municipal authorities and later renamed for the city of Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam is the third-oldest university in the Netherlands. It is one of the largest research universities in Europe with 31,186 students, 4,794 staff, 1,340 PhD students and an annual budget of €600 million. It is the largest university in the Netherlands by enrollment. The main campus is located in central Amsterdam, with a few faculties located in adjacent boroughs. The university is organised into seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry.

The University of Amsterdam has produced six Nobel Laureates and five prime ministers of the Netherlands. In 2014, it was ranked 50th in the world, 15th in Europe, and 1st in the Netherlands by the QS World University Rankings. The university placed in the top 50 worldwide in seven fields in the 2011 QS World University Rankings in the fields of linguistics, sociology, philosophy, geography, science, Economics and econometrics, and accountancy and finance.Close ties are harbored with other institutions internationally through its membership in the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Institutional Network of the Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), European University Association (EUA), the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP), and Universitas 21.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: [ˈvɪnsɛnt ˈʋɪləm vɑŋ ˈɣɔx] (listen); 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. However, he was not commercially successful and his suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.

Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept up a long correspondence by letter. His early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished his later work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include series of olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor, when in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression continued and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.

Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide, and exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge". His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical, commercial and popular success over the ensuing decades, and is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh's works are among the world's most expensive paintings to have ever sold at auction, and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world's largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (abbreviated as VU, VU Amsterdam, "Free University Amsterdam") is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1880. The VU is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the University of Amsterdam (UvA).The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is "Free University". "Free" refers to independence of the university from both the State and the Dutch Reformed Church. Both within and outside the university, the institution is commonly referred to as "the VU".

Although founded as a private institution, the VU has received government funding on a parity basis with public universities since 1970. The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern Buitenveldert neighbourhood of Amsterdam and adjacent to the modern Zuidas business district.

In 2014, the VU had 23,656 registered students, most of whom were full-time students. That year, the university had 2,263 faculty members and researchers, and 1,410 administrative, clerical and technical employees, based on FTE units. The university's annual endowment for 2014 was circa €480 million. About three quarters of this endowment is government funding; the remainder is made up of tuition fees, research grants, and private funding.The official university seal is entitled The Virgin in the Garden. Personally chosen by Abraham Kuyper, the Reformed-Protestant leader and founder of the university, it depicts a virgin living in freedom in a garden while pointing towards God, referring to the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th century. In 1990, the university adopted the mythical griffin as its common emblem.

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