Amsterdam Amsterdam is the most popular tourist destination in Holland. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, explore the beautiful canals, the many world class museums, the caf├ęs, the parks; there's so much to see and to do!
Amsterdam's history goes back around one thousand years. The area was one big swamp in those days and by digging canals and building dikes the land was made usable for living and working.

In the 13th century a dam was built in the river Amstel giving Amsterdam its name. The first document that mentions the settlement "Aemstelledam" is dated 1204.
Around 1300 Amsterdam got city rights. The city started to grow and soon became the most important trading city in Holland.
Fires destroyed the city twice in the 15th century and Emperor Charles decreed that new houses were to be built from stone.
The world famous canals were dug in the 17th century, Holland's Golden Age. Many of the stately houses along the canals were built in this period. Merchants made a lot of money and were building the houses to show off and celebrate their success.

The photos that go with this first article about Amsterdam show the city from above. Coming from the South over the river Amstel view photo the office buildings of the commercial area "Zuidas" dominate the skyline. One of my favorite bicycle tours is a trip along the river Amstel on a sunny day in the spring.

At Museum square view photo you'll find the Rijksmuseum (Rembrandt Vermeer), van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum (modern art), Diamond Museum and Concert Gebouw (concert hall).

More photos include the canals, the Royal Palace at Dam Square view photo views of the old city from the Wester Tower view photo and the cruise terminal in Amsterdam harbor view photo.

Welcome to my beautiful Amsterdam!

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