Dam Square is the square many consider the “center of Amsterdam.” At this important square, you can find attractions, museums, shops, and restaurants, and it is easy to get around from here. It is less than 1 kilometer from the train station to Dam Square, so for people coming by train to Amsterdam, it is easy to get to this square.
The most important buildings on Dam Square are the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Royal Palace, the Madame Tussauds wax museum, and a white monument in the middle of the square in memory of those killed during II World War.
Even though the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) sounds new, it is actually from the 15th century. The reason it was called the New Church was to make it easier to distinguish it from the Old Church, located only a few hundred meters from the “new church.” Before the church was built, a wooden church was at the same location. To create something stronger and more permanent, the new church was built at the same location as the former wooden church. If there are some royal weddings or big royal ceremonies taking place in the Netherlands, this church is normally used.
The Royal Palace was first used as a town hall. It only became a royal palace in the start of the 19th century. The royal family doesn’t live in the palace, but they often visit it and use it for different tasks.
Besides these important attractions, Hotel Krasnapolsky can be found at the square, and so can De Bijenkorf, a department store with luxury products.
Some important historical facts about Dam Square.
The square received its name from the many dams in Amsterdam, the first being built in the 13th century. As the city grew and became a center of commerce in Europe during the Golden Age (17th century), the square became the center of the city where all sorts of buying and selling took place.
During the 17th century, the most important building on the square was built, the Royal Palace. Originally, it was meant to be the Town Hall, but it later became the palace for the royal family of the Netherlands.
The square has witnessed peaceful demonstrations, violent demonstrations, public executions, royal processions, and much more. If you visit the square today, you will immediately notice the monument raised in 1956 in memory of the victims of the Second World War.