Dam Square - Dam Square information and pictures

Dam Square is at the center of Amsterdam’s old world district, first created in the 13th century from a dam on the Amstel River. This cobblestone square, covered with flocks of pigeons, is a short distance away from the Central Station and filled day and night with locals and tourists. The Dam Square has the requisite outdoor terraces, street performers, food stalls, a stunning 17th century Royal Palace and a 15th century gothic church. In a city with many fine squares, the Dam is considered the main square of Amsterdam.

The Buildings - The elaborate 17th century Royal Palace building, originally built for use as a city hall and designed by architect Jacob van Campen, dominates this popular square. Visitors can tour the interior to view the period Empire style furnishings and magnificent works of art. Next to the Royal Palace is the medieval Nieuwe Kerk or New Church. Built in the 1400s as a parish church, it now serves as the Netherlands’ Protestant national church. Monarchs are now inaugurated there and the church features regular art exhibitions.

Other buildings of note are the grand 19th century Hotel Krasnapolsky and the beloved De Bijenkorf department store, known locally as the Beehive, offering six floors of luxury goods. The red brick, glass roofed, early 20th century Beurs van Berlage, a former stock exchange building, is now used for concerts and art exhibitions. Visitors can take a guided tour of the interior that includes a stock exchange museum and a café.

Dutch National Monument - Soaring above the Dam Square is a 22 meters high, white obelisk commemorating the victims lost to World War II. Designed by J.Radeker in 1956, the monument features twelve decorative urns that contain soil from various Dutch regions and Indonesia. The steps leading up to the monument serve as a popular spot to sit and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this vibrant historic square.

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