Saturday, December 5, 2009

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The city, which had a population (including suburbs) of 1.36 million, comprises the northern part of the Randstad, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of around 6.7 million.
Its name is derived from Amstellerdam, 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 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. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world is located in the city centre.

thanks to Tjitske!:)

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