Photographer's Note

Seaport and principal city of the western Netherlands, in Noord-Holland (North Holland) Province, on the IJ (an arm of the IJsselmeer), near The Hague. Amsterdam is the country's constitutional capital; the real seat of government, however, is in The Hague. Amsterdam is divided by more than 80 km of canals into about 90 islands joined by about 400 bridges. Almost the entire city rests on a foundation of piles driven through peat and sand to a firm substratum of clay
Amsterdam, chartered as a city in 1300, became a member of the Hanseatic League in 1369. In the 17th century, after the successful conclusion of the Dutch wars for independence from Spain, Amsterdam became the chief commercial center of northern Europe. The city held this position until the late 18th century, when trade declined as a result of the silting of the Zuider Zee and the British blockade before and during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). In 1810 Napoleon incorporated the Netherlands into the French Empire. After his downfall the Netherlands regained its independence and the seat of government was moved to The Hague. In the latter part of the 19th century, commercial activities revived with the opening of the North Sea and North Holland canals. During World War II (1939-1945), Amsterdam was occupied by the German army for five years. The people suffered great hardship and the port was badly damaged, but it has since been rebuilt and improved.

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Additional Photos by Burak Erek (berek) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7512 W: 201 N: 7196] (50508)
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