History of Amsterdam

Brief history of Amsterdam summarized

A brief overview of the history of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, in a summarized way.

Amsterdam Principles

The city of Amsterdam began as a town on the banks of the Amstel River. However, in the Middle Ages it grew rapidly as a center of commerce. In 1275 Floris V, the Count of Holland gave the people of ‘Amstelledamme’ to transport their goods by water through his territory.

In 1306 the Bishop of Utrecht gave Amsterdam certain rights and the small town grew rapidly. In 1323 Amsterdam became a port for Hamburg beer. Herring curing was invented in 1385. This meant that the fish lasted longer and thus the Amsterdam herring trade boomed.

However, Amsterdam suffered a serious fire in 1421. Another disastrous fire took place in 1452. Fire was a constant danger when buildings were made of wood, but after the second fire wood was banned as a building material. The Schreierstoren tower was built in 1480. The Waag gate house was built in 1488.

In the 16th century Amsterdam continued its growth. Meanwhile, the Protestant Reformation swept through the Low Countries despite persecution. In the 17th century, Amsterdam grew and three large canals were built around the city. Many immigrants came to Amsterdam and its population amounted to 200,000 people.

Amsterdam’s population increase occurred despite outbreaks of the plague, which killed many people. The last outbreak occurred in 1663. The Illustrious Athenaeum opened in 1632 and became the University of Amsterdam in 1977.

In the 18th century Amsterdam remained wealthy and was also known for its tolerance. However, in the early 19th century Amsterdam stagnated, although in 1839 a railway was built to Haarlem. At the end of the 19th century, Amsterdam began to revive.

The Industrial Revolution began to transform the city. At first industrialization caused many social problems and in 1886 26 people were killed in the Palingoproer riots.

On the other hand, new public buildings were built. The Rijksmuseum opened in 1885 and the Central Station was built in 1889. The Stedelijk Museum opened in 1895. The Rembrandt House Museum opened in 1911.

Modern Amsterdam

The Netherlands remained neutral during World War I, but there was a food shortage. As a result, there were riots in Amsterdam in 1917. After the war, new housing estates were built in Amsterdam to replace the slums. In 1928 the Olympic Games were held in Amsterdam.

Then, in the 1930s, work began on creating a park called the Amsterdamse Bos. In 1939 the Dutch remained neutral, but Germany invaded anyway in 1940. During World War II, most of the Jews in Amsterdam were deported. (Anne Frank House opened to the public in 1960). After the war, Amsterdam flourished again.

Then, in the 1960s, Amsterdam was a haven for hippies. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, new museums were opened in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum opened its doors in 1973.

The Joods Historical Museum opened in 1987. The Foam Photography Museum opened in 2001 and the Diamond Museum in 2007. Hermitage Amsterdam opened in 2009. Today Amsterdam has a population of 820,000.

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