In the center of Amsterdam you will find a square with two national monuments. It’s called ‘Dam Square’ and usually it’s crowded with people. You can walk there from Central Station in about 5 minutes.
The first monument is the Royal Palace. Jacob van Campen finished this City Hall in 1665. However, it became a Royal Palace in 1808, when King Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (younger brother of the French Emperor) decided to live there. According to some this change of ownership is still controversial. These days our King uses the Palace to welcome and accommodate foreign Heads of State. When our former Queen Beatrix abdicated, she introduced the current King, Willem-Alexander, standing on the balcony of the Palace.
The second monument is a war memorial, also known as ‘the National Monument on Dam Square’. Originally J.J.P. Oud built it to commemorate all casualties of WWII. These days every 4th of May it is one of the main locations where we have our 2 minutes of silence. It is no longer just for those who have fallen during WWII, but also for those fallen in the wars that followed.
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Check out our photo album about the Bay of islands.
At 3,5 hours driving of Auckland is the Bay of Islands. This group of over 200 islands played an important role in New Zealands history and contains several interesting towns. It is also a place where you can enjoy sea life. Go sailing or take a scenic flight through one of the bluest skies in the world.
We also have a travel blog. Enjoy our story called A hike in the Colli Euganei Regional Park (Italy).
As tempted as we were by the idea of visiting the Museum, being parents of a then one-year-old going for a hike with the baby carrier pack seemed far more pleasant for us as well as for our daughter. Besides, some fresh air would do us good. We parked our car at the visitors center of the park and from there we started walking.