Amsterdam Reborn

Above: Thousands gather in Dam Square after the royal inauguration and speech of King Willem-Alexander, April 30, 2013, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Photo credit: Gertan/Shutterstock)
Above: Thousands gather in Dam Square after the royal inauguration and speech of King Willem-Alexander, April 30, 2013, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Photo credit: Gertan/Shutterstock)

The Dutch capital of Amsterdam has long been famous around the world for its’ somewhat relaxed drug laws, its’ seedy red light district, and its’ laidback residents who are up for anything… Well what you do on your holiday is up to you, but there really is more to the historic city of canals. 2013 marks the 160th anniversary of Van Gogh with his somewhat strange but comical paintings; and this year is extra special because a once in a lifetime Dutch Royal event has taken place in the capital, Queen Beatrix has abdicated the throne to her son, the first Dutch King in over a century, Willem Alexander, Prince of Orange. If you thought the British Diamond Jubilee was spectacular you haven’t seen how the Dutch celebrate.

Vincent Van Gogh is arguably the most famous and most influential Dutch artist that has ever lived. He only painted for ten years of his life, but in this short period he managed to leave an impressive legacy of 864 paintings and 1,200 drawings ranging from the classic to the downright bizarre. After extensive refurbishment work the world renowned Dutch Van Gogh Museum on Museumplein reopened on 1 May 2013 allowing guests to pay homage to a collection of over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters to some of the world’s most famous people at the time. What better way to spend a long weekend away than in the city of canals and paintings of sunflowers.

Amsterdam, as the heart and soul of The Netherlands was the focus of the once in a lifetime Royal event, the abdication of Queen Beatrix. Beatrix, the 75 year old Monarch gave up the throne in favour of her son, Willem Alexander, Prince of Orange, a 46 year old Father of 3 and somewhat hands-off Prince. On 30 April 2013 the many squares and streets of Amsterdam lit up with a wash of orange as the flocks of crowds wanted to see the first King crowned since 1890. The new King and his Queen sailed along the IJ Canal passing the thousands of loyal subjects from across the Kingdom and beyond. Dutch sports stars, performers, singers and ballet stars celebrated the crowning of King Willem Alexander late into the night as a vast outdoor stage was unveiled to the waiting crowds. Don’t worry if you missed the celebrations, Amsterdam will be re-living these celebrations throughout the rest of the year and there are numerous museums and pop-up attractions throughout the city.

The Dutch city of Amsterdam is a welcoming and warm-hearted city with a population to match. Van Gogh has left a lasting impression of the city, and the Royal House of Orange and new King Willem Alexander has brought the populous out onto the streets partying and rejoicing. Welcome to the city, Amsterdam reborn.

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Joe Worthington

Joe Worthington is a multi-published travel writer and a successful political journalist, editor & analyst with hundreds of commissions in his portfolio. Joe has worked with clients across the whole spectrum ranging from inflight magazines to the European Parliament and UNESCO. He is always on the lookout for new work opportunities and loves to travel whenever he has the opportunity to do so. You can find more of his work via his Twitter handle: @travelwith_joe.

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