Amsterdam is the City of Freedom. From starting as a fishing city on the banks of the river Amstel (from where it partly gets its name), it is now a major business and tourism hub with people from different parts of the world. The Rijksmuseum is one of the main attractions of the city and this article will show you the birth of modern Amsterdam and the museum.
The Early History (1200- 1585)
The city of Amsterdam was noticed in the 14th and 15th centuries when the city underwent major changes. These changes led to the rise of buildings, largely built out of wood, which is a material that cannot survive time. Hence, you will find very few ancient wooden buildings today. The ones that are still standing are old churches and the HoutenHuis. The city still has buildings with timber frames.
The Golden Age of Amsterdam (1585- 1672)
It is during this period that Amsterdam became rich. The city had merchants buzzing through its streets and it prospered because of its commercial success. Amsterdam was the staple market of the world, back then. It was between the years 1613 and 1663 that the city saw enormous and haughty buildings rise. These buildings completely changed the way the city was perceived. Some of these buildings are the town hall in the Dam Square, Westerkerk, and canal houses like De Dolfijn, De GecroondeRaep, the bartolottihois, the poppenhuis, etc.
The Golden And Silver Times (1672- 1795)
This period can be marked dark in the history of the Dutch Republic because of the attacks they faced at the same time from the French and English. The city, however, managed to hold itself together and remained the centre of the market during the period despite the crisis. During the beginning of the era, the situation of the city was different. It was during the 18th century that the major buildings of the city were built.
The city had darker days waiting for it- a recession. However, it was during this time that the precursor of the renowned Rijksmuseum was founded. Later, it was moved to Amsterdam, from where it was taken to Trippenhuis and then to Hague and Haarlem. In 1867, officials finally took the decision to find a permanent place for the priceless artifacts that had grown in number over the years. The collection included famous painter’s works and other artifacts that belonged to the royals. The Rijksmuseum was finally built and opened to the public in 1885.
Today, the museum is the home of masterpieces like ‘The Night Watch’ and ‘Jewish Bride’. You should definitely visit the museum to understand and appreciate the city’s history. A simple Rijksmuseum highlights tour will show you everything you should see.
The city recovered from the recession in 1813 and went through the Industrial revolution to grow into the city you now see.