Dam Square, Amsterdam
The Dam Square is probably Amsterdam's most important town square. Its history dates back to the 13the century, when it was built as a link between the settlements on the banks of the river Amstel.
Nowadays the square is home to several sights, like the 22 m tall National Monument, which was errected in 1956 to commemorate the victims of the Second World War.
On the northern side of the Dam square the De Bijenkorf department store can be found. Its monumental building was designed by the Hungarian-American architect Marcel Breuer and inaugurated in 1957.
The grand neoclassical Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) dominates the western side of the square. It was actually built as the town hall in the 17th century.
Just next to the Royal Palace stands the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk). It was constructed in the 15th-century in Gothic style. Nowadays the church isn't used for church services anymore, but for exhibitions and alike.
Other notable buildings at the Dam Square include the Hotel Krasnapolsky and the Madame Tussauds Museum.
Several times per year, the square is also the location of a large funfair, which was also the case when we visited Amsterdam end of October 2012.
The Dam Square is situated right in the heart of Amsterdam's city centre, only 5 minutes on foot south of the Central Railway station.
Plot: Follows the cross-country adventures of the pot-smoking duo as they try to outrun authorities who suspect them of being terrorists when they try to sneak a bong on board their flight to Amsterdam.
Can you believe I was right there when they were shooting the Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle sequel??? Funny thing is no one knew or recognized these dudes as they were filming; then there I was flipping out like there's ants in my pants, trying to figure out whether to interrupt the filming and jump those guys or what. I wonder if they caught me on film...it would be nice to see myself, even just my hair or toes in the movie! :-)
Now here's the TIP -- walk around, do something, explore the city... you'll never know who you will run into.
Favorite thing: Dam square is a hive of activity there are the usual hot dog stands. Human statues which move when you put money in their hat. Sometimes there are more unusal street performer acts like the one in my photo of 2 sailors puppets dancing. There is a person inside the puppets making them dance
A famous song in the netherlands is: alle duiven op de dam (all the pigeons at the dam).
And there are a lot of pigeons there. as in every big city it is quit a problem. In some parts of the city it is unlawful to feed them.
They are descendants from rock pigeons, brought to Amsterdam in the middleages to be food for the population. The city did some research on the pigeon population, they counted at 225 locations in Amsterdam. There are 15.000 pigeons in the city. An average of 250 live on the Dam. And the Central Station is a good second with 125 pigeons.
Favorite thing: Situated in Dam Square is the Royal Palace, open to the public with guided tours daily during June-July 10am-6pm and August 12.30 to 5pm. It was built during the 17th century as the city's town hall and became an official royal residence in the early 1800's.
Favorite thing: Besides the boat tour you must walk the Damrak towards the 'Dam' (Damsquare). This is the centre of Amsterdam and here are – among others – the Royal Palace, the monument (WW-II) and the New Church. Buildings that you must have seen while visiting Amsterdam. The square is located at the place where in early medieval times a dam was constructed to control the river “Amstel”, leading to the place “Amstelerer-dam”, which later became pronounced as “Amsterdam”. From the river, nor the dam, you will see any reminders here. It all is now redirected through the canals that form perfect half circles around this square (see picture). This pattern is unique in the world and makes Amsterdam actually what it is today.
Dam Square is Amsterdam's semi-official "post-card place" with mimes, and the Royal Palace - originally the Town Hall - is perhaps its most photographed building. The baroque-era building (architect Jacob von Campen) was originally constructed to be Amsterdam's glorious showcase of civic pride, so it's probably a "mistake" that for two hundred years it has been used primarily as a palace - first for the Bonapartist (French) occupation forces of the country, and later as the official Amsterdam residence of the Orange Kings and Queens. (The Netherlands may be quite happy to remain a monarchy, but from what I've it seems that the royal family is occasionally popular in Amsterdam.)
The virtuouso poet and scholar Constantijn Huygens declared that this was "the eighth wonder of the world" - and perhaps the interiors merit that description. From the exterior - on Dam Square - it seems like "just another royal palace," even if it is a stately one. When I was here in March 2008, however, the interior of the palace was closed for updating and renovations, so I'll have to come back and visit the state rooms some other time.
You'll want to take a stroll to the rear of the palace as well, where you can look up and see the monumental rooftop statue of Atlas holding up the world. It's actually a 2200 ball of copper, with that pleasant green hue of age.
What I liked most about Amsterdam was that no matter where you end up walking to, you are almost always going to end up in Dam Square - the heart of the city... You get anywhere in minutes really, Amsterdam is smaller than you may think...
Fondest memory: Dam Square is a huge open space where lots happens... besides The Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk and the War Memorial (far right on photo) there are lots of cafes, shops, restaurants, street entertainers and so much more... You are bound to end up here anyway :)
Just keepwalking on the damrak and soon you will be in Dam Square..
Dam square isthe center of Amsterdam.. Everytime you will come around to this square.. And it is the best meeting point..
When you reached the square you have now three directions to continue...
Packed with locals and tourists day and night, there is always something going on here in DAM SQUARE. Expect lots of entertainment, like the man pictured here, playing with the pigeons.
The Highlight of the Square is the Royal Palace. Also in the square is Madame Tussauds' Wax Museum, National Memorial Statue and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk).
Honestly, I've never seen anything like it - hundreds of people, just sitting around enjoying themselves in the warm sunshine. And the pigeons - hundreds of them.
Favorite thing: Dam Square is the heart of Amsterdam. The square gets it name from the obvious fact that there was at onetime a dam here that impeeded the flow of the Amstel river. Today Dam Square is a whirlwind of tourists and business people clammering about to get to the city's attractions and shops. Such major attractions as the Royal Palace, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and the Nieuwe Kerk flank the square. From Dam Square there are many pedestrian malls stretching out through out all of the Central Amsterdam. Also the Red Light district and the Central train station are just a short walk away. In fact I took this picture as I was rushing off to the train station like so many other Amsterdam communters.
The ROYAL PALACE OF AMSTERDAM was built during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. It is situated in the west side of Dam Square in the center of Amsterdam, next to the Nieuwe Kerk.
The Palace is used by Queen Beatrix for entertaining and official functions during state visits.
Tours are available.
From the two sides of the national buildings roads are passing to the behind.. If you take the one of these roads you will come to N Z Voorburgwal street, which is paralel to Damrak..
The first spot you will see is the Magna Plaza, which is a very nice looking shopping mall..
Dont expect many stores inside but this four stored mall is an interesting place to visit....
When you continue to walk straight from Damrak and pass the dam square you will come to Rokin street.. Another live and active street..
This is the main street you should follow if you want to get to the two main squares Leidseplein and Rembrandts plain..
Rokin is more or like with Damrak but less souvenir shops, more fashion shops...
The monument in Dam square is the center for people to meet, wait and look around..
And once in an Amsterdam trip you would have such a chance to picture the monument without any people and just one car..
It looks so weird in the picture.. Cause it is almost not possible to see thiis place empty even in midnight.. But somehow I catch a picture like this.
It more looks like a place in a far east .. But this place is a real busy and active place in normal days..