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Dam with Royal Palace

The dam which separates the Amstel River from the IJ Canal and which gave the city its name is no longer the geographical center of the Dutch metropolis, but it is still its focal point. In particular, the 72-foot high National Monument in the middle of the cobbled square is a favorite meeting point for locals and tourists alike.

With 11 urns (each filled with earth from one of the provinces of the Netherlands) built into the monument, it is a memorial to the liberation from German occupation during World War II. Opposite it stands the Royal Palace, which was designed as a representative town hall by Jacob van Campen between 1648 and 1655 and sits on top of 13,659 supporting piles. The strictly-classical structure, with its magnificent interior decoration, still serves the Royal Family today as a city residence on special occasions. Especially worth seeing is the Empire furniture with which Louis Bonaparte had the palace furnished.

© Berlitz Publishing/Apa Publications GmbH & Co KG, Singapore Branch, Singapore

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