Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Top 10 Funny Facts About Amsterdam

1. During WWII the Dutch had to eat their own tulip bulbs to survive the "Winter of Hunger" - the bitter winter of 1944.

2. Even though prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, streetwalking is illegal. This is why the women working in the Red Light District cannot leave their windows to solicit customers.

3. Marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands – it is merely tolerated by officials.

4. The Royal Palace in Dam Square was built during Amsterdam's Golden Age and its original purpose was that of city hall. The Magna Plaza behind it was a mere post office.

5. When France invaded and Louis Bonaparte became king, Louis converted the city hall into his Royal Palace. He wanted to learn Dutch and address his new people. Unfortunately, the Dutch word for "king" and "rabbit" are very similar, and when Louis spoke from the balcony of his palace, he proclaimed: "I am your new rabbit!"

6. Rembrandt's world famous painting, the Nightwatch, was cut down in size so it could fit in the hall of the Royal Palace.

7. Bloedstraat, or "Blood Street", is a small street off Nieuwmarkt. It got its morbid name because Nieuwmarkt was the site of public executions, Amsterdam is a rainy city, and Bloedstraat is a sloping street.

8. Amsterdam has a population of 750 000, but there are over 1 000 000 bikes on the streets at any point in time.

9. Amsterdam's main train station, Centraal Station, is built on four man made islands on the site of the city's old port. This is done to preserve that site as the city's main entry point despite changing modes of transportation.

10.Amsterdam has over 100 kilometers of canals, 1500 bridges and 90 islands.

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