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Amsterdam -- Bird's Eye View

A woodcut by Cornelis Anthonisz, made in 1544 after his own oil painting of 1538.


Again, the city is shown as seen looking South from the IJ harbor in the North.


In the 15th century the area east of the waterway shown in the center of the woodcut -- Damrak and Rokin, intersected by Dam Square -- became known as 'Old Side.' This even though this area was at most just as old as the area to the west, which was referred to as the 'New Side.'


These terms came into use when -- early in the course of Amsterdam's rapid expansion in the 15th century -- the church now referred to as the 'Old Church' (built in the 13th century) was no longer able to cope with a growing number of parishioners. Therefore a new church was built at Dam Square, and from then on the east side of town gradually became known as the Old Side.


-- This illustration is in the Public Domain.

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Uploaded on October 20, 2008