The Dam

If any monument in Amsterdam is a witness to the dramatic upheavals in the history of the place, it surely has to be The Dam! One of the best examples is that it was used as a reception area for Napoleon and his troops during the 1808 Take-over of the city.

Known as both The Dam and Dam Square in local jargon, it was built in approximately 1270 and derives it name from its original function, a dam on the Amstel River. It was originally built around the Amstel to prevent the Zuiderzee Sea from swarming the city. The Dam also marks the endpoint of other well-used streets, Nieuwendjik, Kalverstraat and Damstraat.

The Attractions

The Dam boasts of contemporary structures as the jazzy Magna Plaza and the Amsterdam Diamond Centre. In fact, the Dam Square is known to be a spot for ongoing entertainment, be it the carnival or rounds on the colourful Ferris wheel.

Once here, you must visit the historical Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum, the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) and the National Memorial statue, erected in memory of the Dutch soldiers and members of resistance who lost their lives in WWII.

In fact, the Dutch celebrate the National Memorial Day (Nationale Dodenherdenking) on May 4 every year, in regard to which the National Monument was set-up in 1956.

Undoubtedly, of all the beautiful attractions you can see here, the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) stands out in its beauty, architectural marvel and above all its historical importance. Once home to the Dutch Royal Family, this grand ancient palace is still used to hold official receptions.

To access

Just a five-minute walk down the Damrak from the Central Station will take you to this busy square.