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  • Happy Birthday Amsterdam!

    Sunday 27 October 2013 Amsterdam will celebrate its 738th birthday. But how can you tell when a city was born? When did the small settlement next to the river Amstel become a city? Perhaps it was on June 13 1306, it is said that on that day bisshop Gwijde van Avesnes granted Amsterdam town privileges. However, the original document was lost in a fire in the 17th century and all that is left of the town privileges is an undated copy. There is no way of knowing for sure but researchers have dated the document between 1301 and 1306. So the bisshop’s grant is out, but there is another document that can provide some clarity. It is even older, dating from 27 October 1275, and it was written by count Floris V of Holland (known as ‘the God of Peasants’ ). The paper granted merchants from Amsterdam free passage through the canals. According to Walther Schoonenberg, who organises Amsterdam’s birthday, this is when Amsterdam’s history truly began.

    Birthday celebrations will take place in the Amsterdam Museum. From 13:30 onwards children can enjoy old Dutch games and several workshops and tours will also take place.

    Happy Birthday Amsterdam! Many happy returns …



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