Amsterdam Travel Guide

Amsterdam Sights

Dam (Dam Square)

  • Dam Map It
  • Centrum
  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Published 11/18/2015

Fodor's Review

Home to Het Koninklijk Paleis and De Nieuwe Kerk, Dam Square (or just "Dam"), is Amsterdam's main square. It traces its roots to the 13th century and the dam built over the Amstel River (hence the city's name). The waters of the Damrak (the continuation of the Amstel) once reached right up to the Dam, with ships and barges sailing to the weigh house. Folks came here to trade, talk, protest–-and be executed. In the 17th century, the square was hemmed in by houses and packed with markets. For a taste of that atmosphere, head into the warren of alleys behind the Nieuwe Kerk, with a 1650 proeflokaal (jenever tasting house) called De Drie Fleschjes (The Three Small Bottles) on Gravenstraat. In the 19th century, the Damrak was filled in to form the street leading to Centraal Station, and King Louis, Napoléon's brother, demolished the old weigh house in 1808 because it spoiled the view from his bedroom window in the Royal Palace. Today, the Dam is a teeming magnet for celebrations, fairs, and protests.

Sight Information

Address:

Dam, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 AA, Netherlands

Map It

Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 11/18/2015

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