Venice of the North

Am­s­ter­dam is in­for­mally known as the ‘Venice of the North’. The cap­i­tal city of the Nether­lands is fa­mous for its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, im­pres­sive ar­chi­tec­ture and more than 1,500 bridges that en­sure the city eas­ily earns its en­vied rep

Maxx-M - - FRONT PAGE - Pho­tos cour­tesy of Nether­lands Board of Tourism and Con­ven­tions

The Nether­lands lit­er­ally means ‘The Low Lands’ or ‘The Low Coun­tries’ in Dutch and in many other Euro­pean lan­guages. This is no sur­prise, since the name de­scribes the ge­o­graph­i­cal sit­u­a­tion of the land. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey, 20 per cent of its area and 21 per cent of its pop­u­la­tion are lo­cated be­low sea level, which means that only 50 per cent of the Nether­lands stand just un­der one me­ter above sea level. Most of the area be­low sea level is man-made, caused by cen­turies of ex­ten­sive and poorly-con­trolled peat ex­trac­tion. These ac­tiv­i­ties, un­ques­tion­ably, have low­ered the sur­face of the land level by sev­eral me­ters. But this also is what makes the coun­try look beau­ti­ful and unique in its own way. From the late 16th cen­tury, peo­ple of the Nether­lands started land recla­ma­tion and plan­ning elab­o­rate drainage sys­tems with dikes, canals and pump­ing sta­tions. Be­ing built since al­most 700 years ago, Am­s­ter­dam is cur­rent proof of the suc­cess of the Nether­land’s wa­ter drain age sys­tem. The city is full of nos­tal­gic feel­ings, and has some­thing for ev­ery­one, from cul­ture and his­tory to se­ri­ous par­ty­ing or just the re­lax­ing charm of an old Euro­pean city.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.