10 Interesting Facts About Amsterdam
1. Amsterdam is built on poles
The whole city is built on hundreds of thousands of poles. At one time 40 were needed for a single house and 13,600 for the Royal Palace. The poles were driven about eleven meters deep into the silty subsoil to reach a stable layer of sand.
Nowadays, houses are still built on piles, but they are now made of concrete instead of wood and reach even deeper into the ground.
2. It is below sea level
The Dutch did not have enough land and what they did have was constantly flooded by the seas. So they started building dikes, dams and windmills to create more land for themselves.
Did you know that windmills lifted water from low-lying areas and returned it to the sea?
3. And actually also located on 90 small islands
This one is self-explanatory, but also very interesting.
4. They love their bikes
There are more than 1 million bicycles in Amsterdam, but only about 870,000 people. So there are more bikes than people. But about 30,000 bicycles disappear every year in the Amsterdam canals. And about 100,000 bicycles are reported stolen every year.
5. And houseboats
There are more than 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam. Many even offer overnight stays as an alternative to the typical hotel.
6. They have a floating flower market
Amsterdam has a floating flower market that exists since 1862. This has become one of the most famous flower markets in the Netherlands and is the only floating flower market in the world. The flower stalls are on boats, which is a remnant of the time when flowers were delivered by boat.
7. And they have more Canals than Venice
Amsterdam has more canals than Venice. About 200 of them, whereas Venice has ‘only’ about 150.
8. Amsterdam is multicultural
Who would have thought that Amsterdam is one of the most multicultural cities in the world?
The city population consists of about180 nationalities.
9. Their coffeeshops don’t offer coffee
In the coffeeshops of Amsterdam, instead of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, you can find all kinds of weed offers (some of them serve coffee as well).
10. Orange is the new red white and blue
This fact is not Amsterdam specific but still worth mentioning.
Although the colors of the official Dutch flag are red, white and blue, the national color of the Netherlands is orange.
This comes from the royal family, which comes from the House of Orange.
This is especially visible when you are in Amsterdam on April 27, King’s Day. Then the whole city is flooded with people wearing orange!
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