While the area now occupied by the city of Amsterdam has been occupied by humans for at least 3,000 years, the city itself wasn't established until 1170, after the All Saint's Flood. This flood overtook parts of the Northern Netherlands and Holland. The settlement of Rotta became uninhabitable, thus creating Amsterdam. A dam was built to prevent future flooding.
One of the biggest differences that make the foundation of Amsterdam different from that of other cities in the Netherlands is that right from its start, the settlement of the area focused on three primary economic points— traffic, production and trade. By the year 1306, Amsterdam had been granted city rights, which allowed its economy to flourish due to trading with the Hanseatic League.
Today, Amsterdam is known as one of the most liberal cities in the world. Its architecture is a feat of engineering in and of itself, as the city stands on over 11 million poles that prevent the buildings from sinking into the clay upon which they are built. The use of these wooden poles is so common that they were even used to stop the trees from sinking into the wet ground. It is estimated that the Royal Palace is supported by around 13,500 poles, while an average home requires only about 10.
It is due to the marshy ground that supports the city of Amsterdam that the city has developed over 160 miles of canals, which is even more than Venice! Because of this, the city has become known as The Venice of the North. The canals are crossed by 1,281 bridges, most of which are for bicycle traffic only. Speaking of bicycles, in Amsterdam, you can find about 3 bicycles per car. It is said there are more bicycles in the city than people! Amsterdam is also the first capital city in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and one in which you can purchase and smoke cannabis in over 20 coffee shops. Because of all this, together with its rich history, liberal lifestyle, and much more, Amsterdam is a great place to visit!