Join me on this introduction to the history of Amsterdam, and find out how this fisherman’s hamlet in a swamp became Europe’s most powerful trading hub in the 17th century.
How did this happen? Let’s trace the clues along the canals and dykes, and uncover the history buried beneath these cobbled streets. Our walk takes us from the bustle of Central Station, along the old port and the remains of the medieval city defenses to the maze of little streets around the oldest building in Amsterdam: the Old Church. We’ll take in the Red Light District and Chinatown along the way, and end our exploration at Nieuwmarkt and the 15th century city gate. There’s a marvel of engineering at the centre of the story too because for trade to flourish, Amsterdam had to keep the waters at bay.
The tour’s highlights include:
How land was reclaimed using the mighty sea arm that connected Amsterdam to the ocean in the late medieval period.
How the disastrous consequences of the drainage of the original peat marshes still affect us today.
Why the city’s complicated water management system led to the name Amsterdam.
Why the Dutch have a reputation for tolerance
You’ll see a medieval tower and city gate
You’ll also find out why there’s so little of medieval Amsterdam left.
There’s so much to uncover in Amsterdam if you know where to look and what streets to follow. Let me be your guide.
Please allow at least one hour for this walk – or more, if you visit places of interest along the way.