The city of Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and its largest city. It is located centrally in the Netherlands, about 20km east of the coast. The origins of Amsterdam go back to the 12th century, when it was a small fishing village. During the Dutch golden age in the 17th century Amsterdam was one of the world's most important ports and a leading centre for finance and diamond trade. Nowadays the historic centre of Amsterdam, with its maze of concentric canals and waterways, is a UNESCO world heritage site. The area is picturesque and attracts a large number of tourists each year.
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