I always thought that The Hague is the Capital of Holland, but now I know that it is just the seat of Parliament, the Government and the Supreme Court. But as of the revision of the Constitution in 1983, the capital city of the Netherlands is Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is known for its artistic heritage, narrow houses and elaborate canal system. Here are a few of the Top attractions.
Amsterdam is called the "Venice of the North" for its canals
The city has more one hundred kilometers of grachten in English Canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), were dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the Grachtengordel. Amsterdam is called the "Venice of the North".
Rijksmuseum the most important one in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s most important museum, was founded in 1809 to house the country’s vast collection of antiquities and rare art. It includes about 7 million pieces of art, among them about 5,000 very important paintings spread out on 250 rooms.
It is also a library with some 35,000 books and displays of documents about art and culture in the Netherlands.
Take advantage of their tours in many languages including English and the “Fun and Art History Canal Cruise” taking you to many of the sites represented in the Rijksmuseum's collections.
The Anne Frank Museum
Located on Prinsengracht, it is dedicated to the short life of one of the world's best-known Holocaust victims. This is the actual home where she hid for much of WWII, as Jewish refugees coming from Frankfurt, Germany. The home has been kept as it was during Anne’s time.
The Van Gogh Museum
This is regarded as one of the world’s most important art galleries attracting almost a million and a half visitors a year, making it the second most visited museum in Holland. It houses the world’s greatest collection of Van Gogh paintings. There are English language audio guides and phone applications, throughout the museum.
The West Church
Westerkerk, famous as the location of the wedding of former Queen Beatrix in 1966, is the most popular church in the city. Completed in 1630, it is a Renaissance church with many external and internal Gothic features. Its 85-meter tall tower is the tallest in the city,
It includes an organ dating from 1622, and an impressive marble columns places there in 1906 in memory of Rembrandt.
Rembrandt Square in the Capital of Holland
It was here in the Jewish Quarter, that Rembrandt, together with his wife Saskia spent the happiest days of their lives. Located on Jodenbreestraat, it is the home to the Rembrandt House Museum.
A two-minute walk from Rembrandt House Museum, is Zuiderkerk where three of Rembrandt's children are buried. On Rembrandt Square you’ll find the statue of the famous artist and many cafes and restaurants.
The Jewish Historical Museum
The Joods Historisch Museum is housed in four synagogues, one of which, the Grote Synagogue, dates back to 1670. It includes religious artifacts, Torah Robes and many more. It also has a large library, while in one of them the Obbene Sjoel, there's a kosher restaurant. Of interest is the Portuguese Sephardic Synagogue dating from the 17th century, with the Etz Haim Library, the oldest of its kind.
This is a quiet section of Amsterdam to stroll and relax. Most of the homes are occupied, but there is access through tiny lanes around them for public access. See the well-kept lawns, the courtyards of some of the oldest homes in the city, some of them wooden.
The Old Church
Oude Kerk, built in 1306, is the first hall church in North Holland, which became the model for many other churches in the region. It has seen many additions over the centuries, such as the large side chapels from the early 1500s.
The tower was added in the 16th century and has a carillon from 1658 that's considered one of the finest in the country with great views over the city.
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam the Capital of Holland
The Royal Palace
The King’s Residence when he is in the city, was formerly the Town Hall. Built in 1648 it is based on the architecture of Ancient Rome, being the exterior classical, while the interior is magnificently furnished, decorated with reliefs, ornamentations and marble sculptures, with the ceilings painted by Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck, pupils of Rembrandt.
The largest and most important room is the Council Hall, elegantly decorated and one of the most beautiful staterooms in Europe. English language guided tours are available.
Map of the City of Amsterdam
images for capital of holland
rijksmuseum by voytikof
anne frank by dietmar rabich
van gogh by silva1994
west church public domain
rembrandt square n/a
jewish by lijjccoo
beginhof by txllxt
old church public domain
royal palace by diego delso
all courtesy of wikimedia commons