Short trip to Amsterdam
Netherlands’ capital Amsterdam lies on the shores of the gulf and Amstel River. Once a small fishing village, Amsterdam grew to biggest city in the country, its financial and cultural center. Amsterdam population is about 1,5 millions with suburbs. Amsterdam is an old city with a lot of attractions, but it’s more widely known as a symbol of liberal morals and a place where you can buy light drugs without fear to be arrested.
It gained a reputation of hippies’ paradise in the second half of XX century, but now Amsterdam government is taking all possible efforts to change the image of Amsterdam. They position Amsterdam as a city with highly developed economy, a business centre of European class and an attractive tourist destination with beautiful architecture.
By now, the city is a fusion of old and new. The samples of Amsterdam “Golden Age” (XVII century) neighbor with the squatters of hippies and ultra-modern structures. Traditional Dutch beer weld by the monks is served in contemporary minimalist-style cafes.
Comparing with the largest European capitals, such as London, Paris or Rome, Amsterdam is not that big, but its historical part is relatively large. The most of the houses there were raised in XVII century (the above-mentioned “Golden Age”). It this very time famous Amsterdam canals were dug through the city. It was the most important period for Amsterdam history and the monuments of that period still determine the look of the city.
One of the problems of Amsterdam is that is founded on the marsh soil and houses built along the canals now begin to go down.
Amsterdam charms you from the very first moment. It has about 1200 bridges and when they are enlighten at night it creates a fairy tale impression.
One of the most interesting historical sites of Amsterdam is Koninklijk Paleis – Royal Palace. This building created (like the most of that is worth visiting) in XVII century at first housed Amsterdam municipality. In 1808, according to Louis Napoleon order it became a palace. It is furnished in empire stile and decorated with the paintings of Rembrandt school artists.
Speaking about Rembrandt, this year this great Dutch artist celebrates his 400th anniversary and visiting his museum in Amsterdam – Rembrandtthuis – will be a tribute to his memory. Rembrandtthuis occupies a house where Rembrandt lived from 1639 till 1660. It displays a lot his engravings.
Holland is a country rich with talented painters. Rijksmuseum exhibits numerous masterpieces of the best representative of the Dutch school. Besides Rembrandt, there are works of Vermeer, Halts and some others. If observing these museums is not enough, then you can visit Van Gogh Museum and enjoy hundreds of his best drawings and paintings.
If you are not an admirer of the ancient palaces and classic art, then you way should lead to Erotic Museum or Hash-Marijuana-Hemp Museum.
Erotic Museum is one of the most famous in Amsterdam. It presents erotic art and devices of the different cultures and periods. If you are below 18, you may visit this museum only if accompanied by an adult. Hash-Marijuana-Hemp Museum presents various sorts of marijuana and tells how to cultivate this plant.
Red Lamp district is what is one of the first things Amsterdam is associated with and, of course, such notorious place shouldn’t be missed. It occupies a part of the old Amsterdam and attracts crowds of tourists. However, be extra careful – the quarter is not absolutely safe.
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