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Full nameAmsterdam
Official nameAmsterdam
Settlement typeMunicipality/city
MottoHeldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig
(Valiant, Steadfast, Compassionate)
ProvinceNorth Holland
MayorEberhard van der Laan
AldermenLodewijk Asscher
Eric van der Burg
Andrée van Es
Carolien Gehrels
Freek Ossel
Maarten van Poelgeest
Eric Wiebes
SecretaryHenk de Jong
Total Area84.5 sq mi (219 km2)
Land Area64.1 sq mi (166 km2)
Water Area20.5 sq mi (53 km2)
Metro Area700.6 sq mi (1815 km2)
Elevation6.6 ft (2 m)
Total Population780152 (31 December 2010)
Density (pop.)3506/km2 (9080.5/sq mi)
Urban (pop.)1209419
Metro (pop.)2158592
Other information
Time zoneCET (UTC+01) (UTC)
- Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+02) (UTC)
Postal codes1011 1109
Area code020

     Home | City | Amsterdam

Amsterdam (c-enˈæmstərdæm; Dutch -nlˌɑmstərˈdɑmNl-Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of 24 August 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population of 1,209,419 and a metropolitan population of 2,158,592. The city is in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. It comprises the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million.

Its name is derived from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel. Settled 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, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded, and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were formed.

The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam (in Dutch: 'Grachtengordel'), located in the heart of Amsterdam, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2010.

The city is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and 7 of the world's top 500 companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2010, Amsterdam was ranked 13th globally on quality of living by Mercer, and previously ranked 3rd in innovation by 2thinknow in the Innovation Cities Index 2009.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city centre. Amsterdam's main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 3.66 million international visitors annually.

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