Where is Amsterdam? If this has been your question, you have found yourself in the right place for your answer. Let’s begin the journey already.
Some award-winning movies have been shot in Amsterdam, and if you have seen movies like Weekender and Soul Assasin, you would agree with us that Amsterdam is heaven on earth.
If you are considering where to go for a vacation holiday or you have wanted to study abroad, you should consider Amsterdam.
Its population is stipulated to be about 851,373 within the city proper, 1,351,587 in the urban area with 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area.
With such a population, it is of a truth that, one could achieve vocational, scholarship, healthwise and even business goals in this country.
Amsterdam is a municipality in the Western parts of the Netherlands. Asides being Netherlands’ capital, it is the municipality with the largest population in the country.
Despite this, Amsterdam is not the Netherlands’ seat of government. The name “Amsterdam”, is derived from “Amstelredamme”, which indicates the origin of the city around a dam in the river Amstel.
This course is split into three parts, we will consider; Brief historical background of Amsterdam; Tourist attraction sites; Interesting/fun/weird fact about Amsterdam.
Let us briefly consider the historical background of Amsterdam.
Brief Historical Background Of Amsterdam
Amsterdam came into existence as a small fishing village in the late 12th century but has since grown and thrived so much as to be considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group.
The city currently plays home to the headquarters of some of the largest companies, including Philips, TomTom, etc. Also, Uber, Netflix, and Tesla have their European headquarters in Amsterdam.
Prosperity did not come to Amsterdam on a platter. Amsterdam has had its fair share of struggles. In the 17th century, Amsterdam was considered to have been in its Golden Age.
During this period, Amsterdam was the wealthiest city in the western world with ships sailing from the city to different continents. The city soon became the financial center of the western world.
In the period between the 18th and the early 19th centuries, Amsterdam’s prosperity took a hit. This period is often considered to be Amsterdam’s lowest moment.
This resulted from the wars of the Dutch Republic with England and France. This went on for a while, but the city soon found its footing again, towards the end of the 19th century.
Unfortunately, this was short-lived as Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands. However, at the end of the second world war, the country struggled to put things back in order. Amsterdam has since developed into the city it now is.
The economy of Amsterdam
Amsterdam serves as the Netherlands’s financial and political capital. It is among the most friendly business locations in Europe. Apart from Paris, Frankfurt, Barcelona and London, it is the leading ease of doing business capital in the European continent.
You can find many global headquarters of multilateral corporations and big businesses. They include:
- Heineken International
- ING Group
- ABN AMRO
- Delta Lloyd Group
Amsterdam is home to some of Europe most prestigious newspapers and financial report businesses including De Telegraaf, Gemeentelijk and Deloitte. Amsterdam Stock Exchange, a member of Euronext is the oldest stock exchange in the world.
Education in Amsterdam
There are two universities in Amsterdam namely:
- the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
- University of Amsterdam (Universiteit van Amsterdam, UvA)
Other higher institutions of learning in Amsterdam include:
- Gerrit Rietveld Academie
- Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten
- Hogeschool van Amsterdam
- International Institute of Social History
Amsterdam also has one of the world oldest botanical gardens called Hortus Botanicus. It has in its collection, a lot of rare and old plant species.
Amsterdam has more than 230 primary schools. There are Montessori schools as well as missionary schools ( Roman Catholic, Protestant dominations, Jewish and Islamic owned schools), owned by religious bodies.
Tourist Attraction Sites
Amsterdam offers a wide variety of attractions apt for recreational and cultural sightseeing. They range from museums, churches, bridges, buildings, squares, zoos, etc. This makes it an excellent place to go on a vacation.
Some of the places under these categories are listed below.
- The Rijksmuseum
- The Anne Frank Museum
- The Van Gogh Museum
- The West Church
- Rembrandt House Museum
- The Royal Palace
- Amsterdam Parks – Vondelpark, Beatrixpark, Sarphatipark, Amstelpark etc.
- Artis zoo
- The Jewish Historical Museum
- The Stedelijk: Amsterdam’s Municipal Museum
- The Begijnhof
- The Old Church
Interesting/Fun/Weird Facts About Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol lies 4 meters under sea level. This is because the inhabitants dug out the land which consists of peat, to use in heating their homes.
- Dutch people are the tallest in the world.
- There are more women than men in Amsterdam.
- Amsterdam has three mayors – the normal mayor, the nightlife mayor, a bike mayor. The city also has a poet.
- Amsterdam is sinking while some of it is built on water. Some buildings are lop-sided.
- There is a treasure beneath the Amsterdam Canals.
- Amsterdam has 165 Canals.
- Amsterdam has 1,281 bridges.
- The number of bicycles in Amsterdam is approximately 881,000.
- Amsterdam enjoys visits from 20 million tourists and day-trippers.
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