from Wikipedia Amsterdam:
Amsterdam (IPA: [ɑmstərˈdɑm]) is the capital and the largest city of The Netherlands. Its name is derived from Amstel dam, pointing to the city's origin: a dam on the river Amstel. The city is known for its historic port, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, its red-light district, its liberal coffee shop policy, and its many canals which have led to Amsterdam being called the "Venice of the North".
Founded as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, because of its innovative developments in trade. During this time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds.
The city proper comprises 751,251 inhabitants, of at least 175 nationalities. Amsterdam and its surrounding metropolitan area has a population of 1 to 1.5 million people, depending on definition. This area is part of the Randstad conurbation, which has a population of 6,659,300. Moreover, Amsterdam is a six-point Gamma Global City.