Amsterdam is the Netherlands' capital and financial, cultural and creative centre with more than 850,000 inhabitants. Amsterdam is known for the canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. The city has a heritage dating back to the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century as well as a diverse art scene and a bustling nightlife.
Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important trading centres in the world during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. The city's small medieval centre rapidly expanded as the Jordaan and the Canal District were constructed; the latter's cultural significance was acknowledged when it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded in all directions, with many new neighbourhoods and suburbs designed in modernist styles.