Bicycles are the fastest and most efficient way of going around the city, however they can also be a bit of a nuisance when walking around the city. Before crossing the road, make always sure you look in all directions as you cannot normally hear their approach.
AMSTERDAM’S THREE CROSSES
The city’s official motto “Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig” (Valiant, Resolute, Merciful) which is displayed on the coat of arms, was bestowed on it by Queen Wilhelmina in 1947 in recognition of the city’s bravery during World War II.
AMSTERDAM: 17TH CENTURY
In the 17th Century Amsterdam was the most important city in the world in terms of trade. The most successful businessmen had houses on the main canals and in the nearby countryside along the rivers, like the Amstel and the Vecht. The inner ring of city canals has recently been nominated by UNESCO as World Heritage.
Built in 1648, this former town hall was build during the Golden era of the Netherlands but turned into a Royal Palace in 1800 by Napoleon’s brother Louis. As the Amsterdam soil consists mainly of marshy subsoil (peat) it was built on 13.600 piles driven 20 metres deep.