Where it all began…..
Welcome to Amsterdam! Your new home for the upcoming years. When you first moved to Amsterdam it may all seem daunting considering there is so much to learn about the beautiful city. However, we got you covered! Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of 12 provinces, and Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland. Fun fact: the provincial capital is not Amsterdam but Haarlem!
The Netherlands is often referred to as Holland, but this is not completely correct. Holland only refers to the provinces North Holland and South Holland. ‘Netherlands’ literally translates to ‘lower lands’, this is very accurate considering the Netherlands is, for the most part, placed below sea-level.
As you may have noticed by now, Amsterdam is always represented by the iconic XXX. The iconic XXX has nothing to do with the Red Light District as some may believe, but it stands for St. Andrew. St. Andrew was a fisherman that was tortured on a X-shaped cross. The iconic symbol of Amsterdam can be dated back to 1505. These days, the St. Andrew crosses appear both horizontally (on the flag) and vertically (walls or seals). Spot them in the University of Amsterdam and Intreeweek’s logo!
The city of Amsterdam counts more than 170 nationalities meaning it is suuuuuper multi-cultural. Every corner you turn you come across different cultures that have all made their contributions to create the beautiful city of Amsterdam we all know and love. The best part of Amsterdam is that there is something for everyone! Meaning no matter who you are, where you come from or what your interests are you will for sure feel at home in Amsterdam! During the rest of the week, we will try and teach as much as we can about Amsterdam. Maybe by the end of the week you’ll even feel confident enough to call yourself a true Amsterdammer!