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The Blauwbrug, which translates as "Blue Bridge," may no longer be blue, but it's importance as an Amsterdam landmark is as strong as ever. The bridge connects Waterlooplein to the bustling Rembrandtplein area across the Amstel river and shows Amsterdam's history as a shipping city. The current bridge was built in 1884 and replaced the original blue wooden bridge that had stood in this spot from the 1600s. The bridge's stonework is carved in the likeness of ship's bows while the lantern poles across the bridge have similar shipping motifs. The Imperial Crown of Maximillian of Austria can be found carved onto this bridge as well as on the Westerkerk church to the west of the city center.
This bridge, as it stands today, was constructed in 1934. Its history, however, goes back all the way to 1691, when it was a 13-arch bridge known as Kerkstraatbrug. Renowned for its limited width, it began to be called magere brug, or "skinny bridge." Situated centrally in Amsterdam, this bridge over the Amstel River was given its present form in 1934, and its final touches in 1969. One of the city's most famous landmarks, the Skinny Bridge has been featured in movies such as Diamonds are Forever. It is particularly beautiful in the evening, when 1200 lightbulbs exude a wonderful glow.
Koningsplein is a busy square ideally located in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. It is nestled between the Herengracht and Singel canals. Surrounded by several cafes, restaurants and shopping outlets, the square remains a popular meeting point among the locals as well as tourists.
This historic footbridge dates from the 19th Century and can be found just outside the University of Amsterdam campus in the city center. It was erected in 1893 to make life easier on Amsterdam's traders and brokers. Situated as it is on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, a canal very close to the divide between the old side and new side of the city center, the Makelaarsbruggetje would have been part of an important route for the city's merchant classes. It is from this that the bridge gets its name, which translates as the "Little Bridge of Brokers."
A vibrant square in the heart of the city, Spui was formerly a water body embracing Amsterdam's southern end till the 15th Century. The square remains a bustling spot among book worms and its hosts a weekly market with several types of books on sale. The square is also home to the Het Lieverdje statue which represents the city's cheerful youth. An ancient courtyard called Begijnhof can be accessed from the square.
Markenplein square lies in the heart of Amsterdam. Prior to World War II, the square belonged to the Jewish district territory of the city. The square's name represents the link between the ancient Jewish settlement and the new environs. The pattern on the square's pavement is credited to Sol LeWitt, a celebrated American pavement artist. Netherlands Film and Television Academy can be accessed from the square.
Originally a lively fish and cloth market, this square upon which the castle-like De Waag building stands was the holding place for Jews arrested during World War II. In the 1970s, Chinese immigrants created a small Chinatown, and a decade later, locals protested the construction of a subway station here. On weekdays the square is a cool gathering place surrounded by pubs and small restaurants where you can eat well for very little money. While Saturdays sees the square occupied by the weekly farmers' market, where you will find everything from from fruits and vegetables to cosmetics and curios. A delightful walk along the canals amid some of Amsterdam's oldest houses is highly recommended.
In the 13th Century, the river Amstel was dammed here, and on the banks of the river, a small fishing community called Amstelerdam was founded. Boats could unload their freight there and alongside the Damrak. When the Nieuwe Kerk was rebuilt and the Royal Palace (originally the town hall) was built, the enclosed square served as the city center, both socially and for administrative purposes. The city was governed and law and order was maintained from there, as can be seen in pictures of public executions on a scaffold in front of the town hall. After World War II, the War Memorial was erected in Dam Square, which is now a gathering place for thousands of people and numerous pigeons.