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Old map of Amsterdam

History of Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a rich and fascinating history. Here is an overview of the most important events and developments in the city's history:

Amsterdam was founded in the late 12th century to serve as a small fishing village for fishermen on the river Amstel. The name 'Amsterdam' derives from 'Amstelredamme', indicating a dam (sluice) in the river Amstel.

Development and growth

13th and 14th century: Count Floris IV 'opened up the customs' in the 13th century. The city grew as an important trading center and received city rights, probably around the 14th century. After the founding of Amsterdam, trade flourished throughout the Netherlands.

1400s and 1500s: Amsterdam strengthened its position as an important trading city, and its port began to attract traders from all over Europe.

17th century: Golden Age - The Dutch East India Company (VOC) was founded, becoming the world's first multinational company. Amsterdam became the center of world trade, and its stock exchange was the first stock exchange in the world.

The city grew rapidly both economically and geographically. The great canals were dug, and the city's famous belt of canals was built. It was also a flourishing time for art and science, with prominent figures such as Rembrandt and Van Rijn. During that century, Amsterdam was the richest city in Europe and its merchants travelled all over the world.

18th - 19th century: After the Golden Age, Amsterdam experienced some economic decline but remained a significant European city.

19th century: The city was industrialized, leading to new development projects and the emergence of neighbourhoods outside the canal belt.

1806-1810: Amsterdam became the capital of the Kingdom of Holland under Napoleonic rule.

20th century

World War II: During the German occupation of the Netherlands between 1940 and 1945, Amsterdam suffered greatly.

The Jewish population, which historically had a significant presence in the city, was particularly hard hit by persecution and deportations.

The post-war period
Amsterdam became the center of the cultural and social revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. The city developed a reputation for openness and liberal values.

Present day
Much has happened since then and today Amsterdam has one of Europe's largest historic city centers. It is a center of art, commerce, tourism and education and is famous for its tolerance and diversity.

In summary, Amsterdam has gone from a small fishing village to one of Europe's most prominent cities, which is quite impressive.

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie - VOC) operated for nearly 200 years, from 1602 to 1799. Wikipedia.

The Castle of Batavia by Andries Beeckman

The Castle of Batavia by Andries Beeckman

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