The history of Amsterdam also starts around the year 1000. At that time the swamps in that area were dug out from Utrecht all the way to Amsterdam. In that area there were many farmer communities who were digging out the peat. There were many little streams that already existed that were protected by dikes. These dikes served as stopping points for the farmers to continue digging out the peat.
In the 13th century many dikes were made along the south sea and the Ij region. At that time, the dam was built in the mouth of the Amstel, which is how Amster-dam was founded. This was the base for the trading in Amsterdam that became a very powerful trading city. The harbor where the trading began was called Damrak, which is no longer a harbor. The water on the opposite side of the dam became Rokin, which still exists and is comprised of shopping areas and restaurants.
At the beginning of the 20th century, they found pieces of the historical dam between the National Monument and the building of the Bijenkorf. The original buildings that began at the mouth of the Amstel began construction on both sides, at the Nieuwendijk and Warmoesstraat. The Warmoesstraat was the high class, expensive street in Amsterdam. Because Amsterdam was in a swamp area, they dug the canals, which was then used to raise the city above the level of the swamp. In turn, this also led to the redirection of the water-drainage into the Amstel and away from recreating a swamp in the capital city. This is the why the beautiful canals in the city of Amsterdam exist today.
Every new canal was dug out parallel to the Damrak, which is why Amsterdam has the semi-circle shape. At the end of the 15th century, they made several new rings around the city called Singel, Kloveniersburgwal en Gelderse Kade. Later in the 15th century, Amsterdam had expanded to the most integral trade city in of all of Holland.
History of Amstel River Countryside (Amstelland):