Thursday, August 12, 2010
Netherlands - Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht
Zandhoek within the area of the Canals of Amsterdam (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Sent by Peter, a postcrosser who lives in Hoofddorp, a suburb town close to the city of Amsterdam.
In the 13th century Amsterdam was a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel River and its mouth on the IJ, an arm of the Zuiderzee inlet. The name comes from the combination of Amstel and Dam, the latter word indicating a dyke or dam built to hold back the sea. This earth levee was also used to carry traffic and was extended by a bridge over the Amstel, made toll-free by a decision of the Count of Holland, Floris V. Amsterdam was proclaimed a city in 1306, and by the end of the Middle Ages it had become an important centre for maritime trade in northern Holland as its port developed on the river mouth. It mainly traded with the Hanseatic League, which it joined in 1369; but it was Antwerp that still dominated the maritime trade of The Netherlands and the North Sea.