Portray of the Destination
The origins of Amsterdam date back to the late 12th C, when a small fishing village was settled on
the banks of the Amstel river. The city was named after said river.
In the 17th C, a series of concentric canals were dug around the old city center and several
houses and warehouses were erected. The canals still define the current layout and appearance of
this city. By those times, Amsterdam flourished mainly due to trade. It was the most important
point for shipment of goods in Europe and the leading financial center of the world. During the
following two centuries, Amsterdam’s prosperity declined. However, by the end of the 19th C, the
situation started to improve.
Despite the fact that Amsterdam is the official capital of the Netherlands, it has never been
the seat of the court, government, or parliament (which are all located at The Hague).
Not only does Amsterdam maintain its ancient and traditional buildings but also it encourages
new design and architecture styles. Many festivals are held to promote modern art, which is
reflected in furniture, glass and ceramic objects, fashion, and interior design. Freedom and
openness to new ideas serve as inspiration for young and renowned artists. Needless to say, this
city features interesting museums, cultural events, amazing parks and canals, and many other
We would like to thank the Tourism Office of Amsterdam for the texts and pictures provided.