Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the Dutch capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands though it is not the seat of the Dutch government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 813,562 within the city-proper, 1,112,165 in the urban region and 1,575,263 in the greater metropolitan area. The city itself, contrary to the Dutch national institute of statistics, calculates the number of inhabitants in the greater metropolitan area to be 2,332,773.
The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. It comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin as a dam of the river Amstel. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded, and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I spent a few months living in Holland a couple of decades ago and I have fond memories of the city.
This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.