By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (October 27, 2021) – In Issue 2021-208 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we visit historic Amsterdam on the anniversary of her founding.


Today is the traditional date for the founding of the city of Amsterdam in 1275.

The small fishing village, founded at the dam of the Amstel River, quickly became one of the most important port cities in Europe in the 1600s as the Dutch trading ships sailed around the world and returned home with highly prized exotic spices, textiles, gems, and bulbs.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the oldest “modern” securities stock exchange in the world, as is befitting to the cities’ heritage in the realm of finance and trade.

Amsterdam’s canal system earned the city the nickname, “Venice of the North.” The canals served as defensive, transportation, and water management systems for the growing city in the 17th century.

The central city is easily explored on foot, but many tourists may want to imitate the locals and hop on a bike to get around.  It is estimated that there are 1.33 bikes per person in the city.

Here is an early map of Amsterdam by Guicciardini from 1581.

Early Amsterdam – 1581 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.