Amsterdam- The Venice of the North
Amsterdam is the Capital city of the Netherlands, situated at the western part of the country, at the North Holland province. It has one million habitants and is the largest city in the country and one of the most important and influential cities in Northern Europe and Scandinavia.
The name of the city comes from the River Amstel that crosses the city; it refers to the dam of the river where the Dam Plaza is located today. Although it was just a fishing village back in the 11th century, it developed enough so as to become one of the most important ports in the world. The city grew during the 19th century and became what it is today; the centre of commercial and industrial life in the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries.
Amsterdam boasts a lovely architectural design; many people call it ‘the Venice of the North’ due to the complicated canal system that makes the city stand out. This system was consciously created as part of the city planning, during the 17th century. The canals today bear names: there is the Emperor’s Canal, the Prince’s Canal and the Gentleman’s Canal – which are the three biggest canals in the country. Moreover, the construction of the canals served an additional purpose, the defence purpose.
Amsterdam is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Europe today, as millions of tourists travel to the Netherlands, or fly to the Amsterdam Airport which is supposed to be one of the biggest in Europe. The city boasts also numerous cultural attractions and historic buildings, such as the Van Gogh Museum. It is the only city in Europe where cannabis and pot are smoked and sold freely in the streets, and is also considered to be the Gay Capital of Europe, as gay marriages are allowed in this very romantic city.