Amsterdam (wheat beer. Amsterdam [ˌɑmstərˈdɑm]) is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. Is the capital of the Kingdom since 1814. Located in the province of North Holland in the West of the country at the mouth of the river Amstel and Hey. Amsterdam is connected to the North sea channel.
As at January 1, 2012, the population of the municipality of Amsterdam is 790 044 pers., together with the suburbs (urban district) and 2.3 million inhabitants. Amsterdam is part of the agglomeration Рандстад, which is the 6th largest in Europe.
The name of the city comes from two words: «Amstel» and the «ladies». The Amstel — the name of the river on which the city is located, and the «ladies» means in the translation of the «dam». In the XII century it was a small fishing village, but during the Golden age of the Netherlands Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world and a major trading center.
The city is a place of concentration of different cultures — in April 2009, there were representatives of 177 Nations.
Amsterdam is also a financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands. Here one can find headquarters 7 of the 500 most of the major world companies, for example, Philips and ING Groep N.V.. Also in the centre of the town is located the oldest in the world stock exchange.
In Amsterdam is the head office of Greenpeace.
Many sights, such as Рейксмюзеум, Vincent van Gogh Museum, the Municipal Museum, the Hermitage on the Amstel, the red light district, annually attracts the town is about 4.2 million tourists.
The first documented mention of the city belongs to 27 October 1275 year. The city was required dam, to protect the area from flooding. The origin of the city is recorded in its name (literally — «the dam on the river Amstel»). To the XV century Amsterdam was the largest commercial city of the Netherlands.
In the course of Восьмидесятилетней war largest port-the competitor of Amsterdam, Antwerp, was captured by the Spaniards (1585), which led to a mass migration антверпенских merchants and craftsmen and the huge number of Jews who had taken refuge from the Spanish Inquisition, in Amsterdam. In the XIV and XV centuries, the city became a trade centre. In the XVI century Jewish merchants brought in Amsterdam from Antwerp technique of diamond cutting. In the 1960s, Amsterdam became the centre of the movement European hippies. «Provo» and «кабаутеры» forced to tremble from fear of the law abiding citizens.