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Amsterdam About & Short History

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Amsterdam About & Short History, Amsterdam Travel Guide and Online Tourist Information

Modern Amsterdam

The land of wooden shoes was a small fishing hamlet in 1204 when the first castle was built. Thirty-six years went by before a dam was built to keep the North Sea from devouring the small village. Local fisherman built a bridge across the Amstel River in 1275 and the people living in the village gradually became known as "hominess manentes apud Amestelledamme," which means people living near the Amstel dam. By 1327 the city was formally called Amsterdam and began to expand when it became a trade partner with the cities along the coast of Northern Europe.

Today, Amsterdam is a city that sits around a concentric canal system, which was developed in the early part of the 17th century. The canal system consists of four canals which were built so residential areas could be developed, as well as for water management. The people of Amsterdam are a mixture of immigrants that began to arrive in the 16th century and they continued to arrive through the 20th century. People from other parts of Europe as well as from Indonesia, Asia and Africa find Amsterdam irresistible in terms of size, culture and freedom. Today the population of non-western immigrants is over 33% of the city’s population.