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article imagePhoto Essay: Architectural highlights of Amsterdam Special

By Tim Sandle     Feb 19, 2016 in Travel
Amsterdam - Amsterdam is a beautiful city with impressive buildings, a concentric network of canals, and friendly people. Digital Journal presents the key things to see in a day.
Amsterdam has, at times, an unfair reputation where the focus is on coffee shops (that don't sell much coffee, for that non-inhaled pursuit you need to find a cafe) and its seedy red light district. It is a city with fine museums and cultural pursuits.
Dam square in Amsterdam  a popular tourist hot spot. Many hotels surround the square.
Dam square in Amsterdam, a popular tourist hot spot. Many hotels surround the square.
Amsterdam is also one of the most relaxed and friendly cities in the world. One of the best places to spend some time in is Dam Square, it is most well-known and important locations in the city. The name relates to a former dam on the Amstel River.
Example of the friendly and relaxed nature of Amsterdam  as people ponder a giant game of chess.
Example of the friendly and relaxed nature of Amsterdam, as people ponder a giant game of chess.
Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Among the cultural highlights is the museum dedicated to the master painter Rembrandt van Rijn: the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum possesses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art.
The Rijksmuseum is a Netherlands national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam.
The Rijksmuseum is a Netherlands national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt himself is celebrated throughout the city. The artist is widely considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art
Rembrandt monument on Rembrandtplein. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher.
Rembrandt monument on Rembrandtplein. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher.
A must see place in the Anne Frank House. Visiting this museum is an emotional experience. Here visitors can see where and how Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank and her family hid out for a long period of time from the occupying German army during World War II.
The Anne Frank House is a writer s house and biographical museum.
The Anne Frank House is a writer's house and biographical museum.
More traditional tourist offerings are the waxworks, such as Madame Tussauds, based on the waxworks begun by Marie Tussaud in 1777. Outside the museum there is plenty of activity, including street artists and entertainers.
Popular street artists amuse the crowds in Amsterdam.
Popular street artists amuse the crowds in Amsterdam.
A different museum, in a traditional Dutch townhouse, is one dedicated to trade union banners. This is the Vakbondsmuseum. The building is called De Burcht (meaning Stronghold).
The building - De Burcht - was originally constructed in 1903 for the Trade Union of the Diamond Wor...
The building - De Burcht - was originally constructed in 1903 for the Trade Union of the Diamond Workers (ANDB).
Amsterdam, like most of the Netherlands, is synonymous with clogs. Clogs are a type of footwear made in part or completely from wood. Clogs are also used in several different styles of dance. A girl models a slightly oversize pair of clogs in the photo below:
A tourist spot fopr clog wearing. Traditional clogs remain in use as protective footwear in agricult...
A tourist spot fopr clog wearing. Traditional clogs remain in use as protective footwear in agriculture and in some factories and mines.
One of the recurrent delights, because there are many of them, are the canals. The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning, with the first canal built in 1613.
The canals of Amsterdam originally served for defense  water management and transport. Today they ar...
The canals of Amsterdam originally served for defense, water management and transport. Today they are mainly used for tourism.
Many of the buildings are impressive:
Amsterdam has a rich architectural history.  Dam Square  is the main town square and has the Royal P...
Amsterdam has a rich architectural history. Dam Square, is the main town square and has the Royal Palace and National Monument.
Some of which are in classic common Dutch Renaissance style:
A clock tower in Amsterdam. Amsterdam quickly developed its own Renaissance architecture. These buil...
A clock tower in Amsterdam. Amsterdam quickly developed its own Renaissance architecture. These buildings were built according to the principles of the architect Hendrick de Keyser.
The buildings looks as impressive at night as the do during the day.
A well-illuminated street in central Amsterdam  with buildings lit up brightly.
A well-illuminated street in central Amsterdam, with buildings lit up brightly.
Amsterdam has many bars and ale houses. Popular drinks are beer and a form of gin, called jenever. The gin is richly juniper-flavored.
A picturesque bar in Amsterdam  serving drinks like  oude jenever   which has a smooth  very aromati...
A picturesque bar in Amsterdam, serving drinks like' oude jenever', which has a smooth, very aromatic taste with malty flavors.
Food, as well as beer, features strongly. A semi-soft cheese called Edam is popular. Edam is traditionally sold in rounded cylinders with a pale yellow interior and a coat, or rind, of red paraffin wax.
Edam is softer than other cheeses  such as Cheddar  due to its low fat-content.
Edam is softer than other cheeses, such as Cheddar, due to its low fat-content.
Also popular are pancakes, served either sweet or savory. Many restaurants are dedicated to selling pancakes (or 'pannekoek'.) The pancakes are thinner and much bigger than the types found in most other countries.
Tasty Dutch pancakes. Basic ingredients are flour (plain  self-rising or both)  milk  salt  and eggs...
Tasty Dutch pancakes. Basic ingredients are flour (plain, self-rising or both), milk, salt, and eggs.
For shoppers, there are many markets, which offer more interesting fare (although a lot of tulip bulbs) compared with the high street shops. One lively market is called Bloemenmarkt, which specializes in flowers; another worth visiting is Boerenmarkt, where a range of farm food is available.
Shopping in Amsterdam’s colorful and lively markets is a great way to clinch a bargain .
Shopping in Amsterdam’s colorful and lively markets is a great way to clinch a bargain .
Amsterdam is still an active port, leading out the North Sea. This seagull remains focused out to the choppy waters, rather than inland towards the city.
The Port of Amsterdam is the 4th port in Europe  the 38th port in the world and the second port in t...
The Port of Amsterdam is the 4th port in Europe, the 38th port in the world and the second port in the Netherlands by metric tons of cargo.
Looking out to the North Sea: a seagull s view?
Looking out to the North Sea: a seagull's view?
An interesting place to visit is the Heineken Experience, whether one likes the beer or not. The visitor center is well designed, tracing the history of brewing, as well as celebrating the brand and it history. Many of the exhibits are interactive, such as this drum kit.
The Heineken Experience  located in Amsterdam  is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center fo...
The Heineken Experience, located in Amsterdam, is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center for the internationally distributed Dutch pilsner, Heineken beer.
Spending time in Amsterdam is enjoyable. There is a rich amount of culture to take in; a relaxed, bustling atmosphere; and plenty to see and do.
More about Amsterdam, Netherlands, Architecture, Dutch
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