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A Field Producers photos of Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam is the official capital of the Netherlands. It is the basic municipality (hemmeente) of the province of North Holland and the largest city in the Netherlands. It has a population of 820,654 (2012 figures) and a metropolitan area population of 2,289,762. It is one of the leading world cities in Europe, with a thriving commercial and tourist industry. The name means "dam (embankment) on the Amstel River" (see Dam Square). Although it is the constitutional capital of the Netherlands, most of the capital's functions are located in Den Haag, including the parliament, central government offices, royal palace, and embassies of various countries. Originally a small fishing village, the city was founded in the 13th century with the construction of a dam at the mouth of the Amstel River, and in the 16th century it developed into one of the leading cities in Europe as a port town for shipping trade. Today, Amsterdam is widely known for its network of canals, centered on Amsterdam Central Station, and the mansions of wealthy merchants from the era of the Governor-General that line the canals, bicycles, women with decorative windows, and Anne Frank's house.