Founded in the thirteenth century as a simple fishing village, built around a castle of the Counts of Holland, built the dam in the (Amsterdam), the city developed on the water, thanks to the water and in some cases despite the water. It became part of the powerful Hanseatic League, met great commercial success, especially when the Spanish troops invaded Antwerp, her rival in the shipping business. In 1490 it had been granted by the Emperor Maximilian of Austria with the insignia of the imperial city, and later, for the arrival of many Jewish craftsmen who emigrated from Spain and Portugal, also became the major center of European commerce and cutting of diamonds. His power reached its peak in the seventeenth century. In 1813 was the first Dutch city to rebel against the domination of Napoleon.
Telling the story of Amsterdam is basically equivalent to telling Holland that, in turn attached to the Netherlands until the end of the sixteenth century, it was then that the people revolted against Habsburg hegemony, reversing it and placing the center of Amsterdam to the events of the year to come. The seventeenth century has passed into history as the “Golden Age” during which the city became a major commercial and cultural hub of the entire country, while in the eighteenth century, a brief was not bad enough to affect the rise of the that with the advent of the nineteenth century would become one of the most influential cities of Europe. The hippie culture, however, has its roots to the 60s of last century, when the city was invaded by thousands of young people from social policy ultraprogressista.
Speaking of Amsterdam the first thing he remembers is the openness that characterizes it. Many tourists visit because of coffeeshops that sell marijuana for prostitutes who have their own union and are available virtually 24 hours and 24 the opportunity to celebrate a marriage between homosexual couples in the presence of the mayor. But do not forget that Amsterdam is also one of the most advanced in the world, that its artistic and cultural heritage is second to few, and that the gastronomic offer can not be underestimated. To this was added the unique atmosphere that characterizes its center, pleasant to explore on foot or by bicycle, which show his irreverent soul of a capital that has nothing to do with any other in Europe.
The area most loved by most tourists is the medieval town center, an oval crossed by a maze of narrow streets and picturesque canals bordered on the south-west and north by the river Singel dall’IJ. If arriving by train will come down to Centraal Station, before which lies the bustling square of introducing Stationsplein on Damrak, the street that divided the Zijde Oude, or the “Old Party”, the Nieuwe Zidje, located to the west. Along the way you will not notice the imposing Beurs, the old Stock Exchange, a red brick building designed by Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856-1934), the Beurs has long lost its commercial and now houses concerts and exhibitions of modern art and design. At the bottom you can see Damrak to Dam Square, the heart of downtown, dominated by two main monuments of Amsterdam: the Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace), built as a sumptuous town hall nel1665, and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the church where Dutch monarchs are traditionally crowned.
On the east side of Dam Square you can see the Nationaal Monument, which commemorates the victims of World War II, while further south is Spui, a popular meeting place for young people, surrounded by bookshelves, bars and pubs. Beyond the city walls north of Spui are the Begijnhof (Beguine), a group of old houses arranged around a large courtyard built to accommodate a community semireligious founded in the 40s of the fourteenth century, and the Amsterdams Historical Museum . The latter is housed in the old orphanage is home to hundreds of municipal and religious objects and porcelain, arranged to tell the long history of Dutch trade. From the courtyard of the building is no way to access the Gallery of the Civic Guard, where he admired the dynamic contrast between the subjects painted by Rembrandt in “Night Watch” and the static figures of the civil guards in medieval paintings.
Despite the ongoing ethical debate, largely dell’Oude Zidje is still occupied by the sprawling red light district, which extends along and around Warmoesstraat and two channels: the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal, who identified the heart of ‘ Medieval Amsterdam. The squalor of some glimpses puts a little ‘in the shade of the many architectural merits of buildings, but something still remembers that this is still the oldest district of the city: the Amstelkring, the beautiful Catholic Church illegal in the seventeenth century, and the ‘Oude Kerk, built nel1306 in honor of St. Nicholas, patron saint of the city. In particular, it is worth visiting the church bell tower, the most beautiful city.
To the east of Oude Kerk is Nieumarkt, a large square which begins Kloveniersburgwal, a channel that identifies the boundary of the stately red-light district. Nearby you can visit several museums, including the Museum het Rembrandt, Rembrandt van Rijn’s residence where he had to study, and the Joods Historical Museum, a museum on Jewish history housed in a magnificent complex which includes 4 Ashkenazi synagogues of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Further east, another channel, the Groenburgwal, marks the beginning of one of the most attractive of the old center, characterized by beautiful old houses that line one of the most picturesque canals of the capital.
The Medieval Amsterdam was bounded on the west by the Singel, who was part of the moat of the city, but now this channel is only the first of five that run around the center, extending counterclockwise from the river Amstel in a Brouwersgracht Grachtengordel a “belt of channels.” The three main canals are Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, which together form a harmonious urban landscape of great refinement and full of surprises and twists. The most interesting buildings of Grachtengordel are concentrated along the so-called Gouden Bocht (Elbow d’Oro), the stretch between the Herengracht Leidsestraat and Amstel, but the charm of the neighborhood is more about the overall atmosphere in a monument or specific place, with the exception dell’Anne Frank Huis, the house where the young Anne Frank hid from the Germans during the Second World War and today attracts almost one million visitors a year.
In the nineteenth century Amsterdam had to expand beyond the circle of channels, engulfing the surrounding countryside is now covered by largely residential suburbs. Emblematic of this is the Old South, the “Old South”, an exclusive district is often called a wedge-shaped museum district as the home of 2 major productions in the city: the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. The first, currently under restoration, is the largest art museum in the Netherlands and houses paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen, and the Van Gogh Museum, designed by Gerrit Rietveld and opened in 1973, houses the collection belonging to Vincent’s younger brother, Theo, the owner of “The Potato Eaters”, “Yellow House in Arles” and “Wheatfield with Crows”, to name only the most famous paintings. Finally, do not miss the little advertised Stedelijk Museum, built in 1895 and designed by AM Weissman, and the National Museum of Modern Art, which contains masterpieces by Monet, Picasso, Mondrian and Chagall.
Next to the museum district extends Vondelpark, the largest urban park in the city, which stretches trees are particularly popular in part because of the lack of green space in Amsterdam. Modelled on English, the park is dotted with ponds and woods crossed by winding paths and cycle trails. Nearby you can also visit the Nederlands Filmmuseum, more like a movie than an art-house museum, the Vondelkerk, a church designed by Cuypers in 1872 but only completed in 1880, and the Hollandse Manege, a century old stables where look at a riding lesson. Not far from here there is also the Heineken Experience, which has redeveloped the spaces of the old plant of the most famous Dutch beers, transforming it into a sort of museum, after which you can not miss the tasting phase.
Among the monuments do not miss the Tower of Tears (Screijersttoren) built in 1482, its facade a plaque marks the exact spot where, in 1609, Hendrik Hudson sailed for America. Not far from the warehouses of West India Company.
A separate chapter deserves the contemporary architecture of a European paradise for lovers of the genre. The starting point of this tour is the NEMO architecture, “New Metropolis,” the museum / science center shaped like a ship designed by Renzo Piano near the train station. Next door is the ARCAM, the “Centre of Architecture in Amsterdam”, born in 1986 from an idea of Rene van Zuuk as a foundation designed to promote interest in the subject. From here you can go to the quarter-Sporenburg Borneo, the masterplan which MVRDV have built among others, Ben van Berkel, E. Miralles, West 8 and Hans Kollhoff, then browse The Wale (The Whale) and the species of de Architekten Wozoco of MVRDV, other spectacular examples of residential architecture.
Festivals and events, mostly musical, are not counted in the annual calendar of the city. With the arrival of warm weather, April 30, we start with Koninginnedag, the “Queen’s Day”, celebrated throughout the state, but particularly in Amsterdam, followed dall’Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival and the World Press Photo between April and May. June is the month of the Holland Festival, the largest event of theater, dance, music and cinema in the country, while in July and August for the largest music festivals, the Over het IJ Festival and the 5 Days Off, in addition to ‘Amsterdam International Fashion Week, five days of festivities dedicated to fashion, and all’Uitmarkt, which marks the reopening of the cultural season. In October, the Amsterdam Marathon are scheduled and the Amsterdam Dance Event, which enlivens the city with numerous clubs and festivals in the exhibition of nearly 700 dj year, while falls in November Cannabis Cup, or the festival of marijuana.
Dutch cuisine is very simple and is based mainly on milk, eggs, cheese, fish and produce. The best known is the rr.inestra erwtensoep, pea soup Snert that im in a variant, the most dense and topped with bacon and pork. Others are beginning to taste the soup of asparagus and eel soup with vegetables. For meat dishes, the Netherlands has habits very similar to qudle other European countries. The only variation was introduced by the spread of Indonesian cuisine, which has led to a very frequent use of spices. Among the fish, the true wealth of the board in this city, born of the sea, the most common is the herring, which can also be eaten raw. Excellent oysters of Zeeland. The most popular drink is beer. Among the pastimes at least a look at famous houses with red-light district near the Central Dam During the day these roads have a completely normal life. In the evening, offering women on display, a fixture for tourists in search of local curiosities. and emotions. What to buy in the Dutch capital? Who has a lot of money and can invest a lot of expertise in diamonds. Very beautiful and very expensive, even the porcelain. Interesting, for bibliophiles, the shops in the area dell’Oudemanhuispoort, ancient books and manuscripts that have yellowed by time. For last minute purchases remind the airport duty-free shop of Schijol. And one of the best stocked and most affordable of the world: you can buy anything, even cars and motorcycles.
The climate of Amsterdam is purely maritime, characterized by mild winters and cool summers with the constant risk of rain. The variability is indeed a distinctive feature of the local weather, but that does not have a whole lot of weeks of sunshine. The high season runs from June to August, when it’s warm temperatures to grow well and the prices and the number of tourists, but it is preferable to opt for an intermediate period, from mid-March to May and from September to mid October, during which transpires the true heart of the city. In winter, between December and February, temperatures drop and stood at around zero and there may be sporadic snowfall, particularly bothersome especially for those who plan to travel by bicycle. The best month to go to Amsterdam, as in the rest of Holland, is May. In late spring it is the flowering of the tulips and the city at that time offers a glance really superb. Among the most typical aspects of the Dutch character is the great tolerance and great love of freedom. No coincidence that the country has hosted all the phenomena of a dispute, and has often avant-garde positions.
To reach Amsterdam has not spoiled for choice given the range of possibilities to decide. The easiest and fastest is obviously the plane, which landed in Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport, daily linked to several Italian cities, while the alternative is more practical car, with which you will arrive at your destination covering nearly all highways. The train ride is a bit ‘more uncomfortable in that it provides at least one change in Germany, Cologne or Frankfurt, or in France , in Paris , and at least 13 hours of travel, more or less the same that are used by coach starting from Milan . The integrated network of public transport, including trams, buses and subways, is extremely efficient and can reach every corner of the settlement, although there is no better bike to move in either the center or nearby.
Originally posted 2012-07-29 05:21:06.