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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Amsterdam, the netherlands

When you think about Netherlands, the first name that comes into mind is Amsterdam. This is Netherlands’ official capital and the largest city in the country. 

It was first recorded with its actual name by count Floris V in a document dating 27 October 1275 and received city rights in the early 14th century most probably from the bishop of Utrecht, Guy de Avesnes. The 17th century is considered to be Amsterdam’s “Golden Age”, the time when the city became one of the richest cities in the world. After a period of decline during Holland’s Napoleonic occupation, the 19th century takes Amsterdam in a new era of development. 

Everything about Netherlands is related to trade due to the fact that it has important sea ports. That makes Amsterdam a multicultural city due to the fact that people from all over the world visited it in their business travels. Its inhabitants’ tolerant attitude and early religion freedom was sought by immigrants. The cultural life flourished and its main attractions were the festivals. By the late 16th century the Chamber of Rhetoric was organizing lectures of poetry and drama. The first theatre was built in 1638 and starting 1642 it housed ballet performances.   1677 is the year in which the opera made its first appearance in Amsterdam through French and Italian representations and starting the 18th century German opera and music started to influence Amsterdam’s culture.  . During the 19th century the Nes area in Amsterdam was the cultural center revolved mainly around vaudeville and music-hall. One of the most important advances in classical music was made here by the invention of the metronome in 1812 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel. The end of the century brought an expansion of cultural life; new buildings were built such as the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum. The Hollandese Opera of Amsterdam was built in 1888 with the sole purpose to promote Dutch opera. This year also saw the establishment of The Concert Hall. The 20th century brought the technological developments into people’s lives through the radio, cinema and television.
Amsterdam history teaches you a lot about Netherland. But if you want to go deeper you have to experience the restaurants in Amsterdam. The Dutch cuisine may not impress you on a first glimpse but you have to scratch beneath the surface. You will find that the restaurants in Amsterdam are easy to book and offer some of the best value for money culinary experience. One of the most famous local specialties is the Dutch pancakes. A simple and cheap delight found in the smallest restaurants. When talking about Netherlands’ food you cannot avoid the apple pie, appeltaart.
Amsterdam’s local attractions satisfy every tourist’s tastes from cultural sites, relaxing sightseeing to night life.  It is a city filled with history. Roads and bridges, castle walls, gardens and fountains, houses and public markets give the city its individuality. Everyone who visits it must take a boat ride through the channels. Their complexity and number made Amsterdam “The Northern Venice”. Another local attraction is the Jordan neighborhood known as one of the poorest area of Amsterdam in the 17th century. Its reputation has changed since then and is now famous for its narrow streets, picturesque channels, coffee shops, art galleries and souvenir shops.  If you are looking for a piece of history, you cannot miss the Oude Kerk. It is the oldest building in Amsterdam situated in the old medieval center. The building of the church started in the 13th century and it was destined for a fisherman community. Its gothic architectural style suffered numerous modifications; the only original elements are the tower and the chapel. One of the places you have to visit while in Amsterdam is the Albert Cuypmarkt market. It is Holland’s best known and busiest open market. Here you can find over 300 stands with products varying from fresh fruits and vegetables to clothes and souvenirs.
 But one of the most popular Amsterdam’s local attractions is the red light district. This is a designated area for legalised prostitution. Here you can find sex services provided to you by sex workers displayed behind windows and glass doors illuminated with red lights. The red light district is made up of a network of alleys and roads containing hundreds of small one room apartments in which the tourist can satisfy his pleasures. This is considered to be a safe area and from confidentiality reasons photography is strictly forbidden. The red light district gives Amsterdam a chick and unique perspective on city life.

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