Dam Square or simply, ‘Dam’ is a town square in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. With the erection of a causeway (or dam, as the Dutch name it) across the Amstel river, Amsterdam’s main public plaza flourished from its earliest days as Holland’s capital. This is also where the name Amsterdam comes from.
Damrak street (the roadway from central station to Dam Plaza) now splits the square in half, just as the Amstel formerly did. Unlike many other large squares in Europe, Dam Square grew gradually and has no architectural consistency.
The Royal Palace, which is positioned along the western edge of Amsterdam’s Dam Square and side by side with the New Church, is a huge structure. One of the nicest sights to visit in Amsterdam is the 17th century Royal Palace, known in Dutch as Koninklijk Paleis. The town hall of the former city exemplifies Dutch riches and grandeur at the height of the Golden Age.
The Royal Palace and the New Church in Amsterdam’s Dam Square are among the highlights of an Amsterdam History Tour. Do you want to learn more about the capital of Holland and the tolerant people who live there? Join us on a fascinating city tour.
The tall white National Monument, erected in 1956 to memorialize the fallen of WWII, lies on the eastern extremity of Dam Square. J.J.P Oud, a Dutch architect, designed it. The monument, which lies in the middle of a series of central rings that form steps up to the base and is flanked by two lions, is a popular gathering spot in Amsterdam. War, peace, and resistance are represented by the figures on Amsterdam’s National Monument, which include a woman, four males and a child, and two men with dogs.
The Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is located behind the National Monument on the Warmoesstraat, one of Amsterdam’s oldest streets. This street is a part of the Red Light District as well.
Madame Tussauds and the famed Dutch shopping complex De Bijenkorf (established in 1914) are two more notable structures.
This attraction, which opened in 1970, features lifelike wax figures of national figures. Dutch Queen Maxima and King Willem Alexander, Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer, Dutch kick boxing champion Rico Verhoeven, and model Doutzen Kroes are among the country’s most famous citizens. Armin van Buuren (2.3 million Instagram followers) and DJ Tiesto (6.3 million Instagram followers) are also on display at Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam.
However, many international superstars are represented at Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Rafael Nadal, and others.
A tumultuous past
The square was the site of Anabaptist rioting in 1535. The robbery of the silver fleet was the catalyst for an uprising less than a century later. This square was also in the center of the problems that arose in 1935 as a result of the reduction in unemployment payments. During a terrible shoot-out near the end of WWII, German forces killed innocent civilians here. Students protests, as well as anti-Vietnam war rallies, took place here in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent decades, Dam Square has been deafeningly quiet. The most recent rioting occurred in 1980, after HRH Queen Beatrix’ investiture in Nieuwe Kerk.