The Dam Square in Amsterdam's historical city centre, is a town square also known as Dam. The square is a short distance away from Centraal Station, Amsterdam's main rail station.
A vibrant atmosphere surrounds the area; a magnet not only for city-pigeons but locals and tourists alike who can enjoy various forms of street entertainment all year around reaching from mime artists to ferries wheels.
Many historical buildings surround Dam Square. On the west side, you can find the neoclassical Royal Palace. Nowadays, the former royal residence is used for official receptions. On the south side of the square towers the National Monument, a white stone pillar built in 1956 to remember the victims of World War II.
Family orientated entertainment can be found at the Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum while art lovers can visit art exhibitions at the 15th century Gothic New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) or at the former stock exchange building Beurs van Berlage.
The name of the square derived from its original purpose as a dam which was built 1270 on the Amstel River. Back then it was the first connection between settlements along the river.
After further expansion of the dam, this area eventually turned into a town square acting as a large fish market, trading place for imported goods and as the financial and political heart of the city.
In more recent history the Dam has been the location for all kind of events such as demonstrations, fun fairs and National Memorial Day - a celebration which takes place every year on the 4th May.
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