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
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.