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more maps of amsterdam and holland! Amsterdam the capital of the Netherlands, lies on the banks of two bodies of water, the IJ bay and the Amstel river.

Founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, it is now the largest city in the country and its financial and cultural centre. As of 2005, the population of the city proper is 742,951;

The population of the greater Amsterdam area is approximately 1.5 million. Amsterdam has one of the largest historic city centres in Europe, but dating largely from the 17th century, the Golden Age of the Netherlands, of which it was the focal point. Click Flag image above to see more maps from Amsterdam and Holland"
At this time, a series of concentric, semi-circular canals were built around the older city centre, which still defines its layout and appearance today. Many fine houses and mansions are situated along the canals; most are lived in, others are now offices, and some are public buildings.

Some of the narrow brick houses are gradually sinking because they are built on wooden piles to cope with the marshy subsoil.

Although Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, it is neither the capital of the province in which it is located, North Holland (which is Haarlem), nor the seat of government of the Netherlands (which is The Hague).