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Amsterdam by Night

Welcome at Amsterdam by Night, the place for a refreshing view of the city. The unique nightphotos show Amsterdam as you have never seen before. Where we usually pay little attention to the beauty of the night, Amsterdam by Night takes its time to get a bit more acquainted with the "dark side" of the city. The darkness conceals a spectacular abundance of colors, making the quietness and beauty of Amsterdam stand out on the photographs.

Amsterdam by Night is however more than a collection of nightphotos. The city has a rich history that wants to be told. Especially since this history is visible everywhere, the nightphotos lend themselves as the perfect storyboard to tell the tales. By going deeper into the backgrounds Amsterdam by Night offers almost two journeys of discovery: one through the nightly city and one through its rich history. Come along and treat yourself to a renewed acquaintance with Amsterdam.

Below you can read a very short summary of the history of Amsterdam. Afterwards you can take a look in the Spotlight, where sections of nightly Amsterdam are regularly exposed. Also take a glance at the News to keep up to date with the latest developments of Amsterdam by Night. Do you want to enjoy nightly Amsterdam , even during the day, or are you looking for a special present? Go to the Prints page, where you can order high quality prints, postcards and the calendar.

NOW AVAILABLE: ORDER the photobook "Amsterdam by Night" (PREVIEW in PDF)

If you want to stay up-to-date you can subscribe to the Amsterdam by Night Newsletter at the Contact page. You can also follow the project on Facebook.



Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. It counts little over 800.000 inhabitants and is therefore a relatively small city. The city achieved world-fame during the Golden Age and still maintains its characteristic historic city center with canal belt.

The Origins of Amsterdam

AmsterdambyNight Oude Kerk Old Church Amsterdam NightThe turbulent history of Amsterdam goes back till the beginning of the 12th century. In those days, the first dykes were constructed to protect the hinterlands against the sea. A small fishing community called Aemstelredamme was founded on the estuary of the river Amstel in the IJ. The village was bound for greatness. The start in these treacherous lands is however difficult, and relatively little is known about the early history of Amsterdam.

The Medieval Town

The city grows steadily during the middle ages, particularly due to the absence of a traditional noble class. This creates a entrepreneurial atmosphere with a high regard for personal, as well as religious, freedom. Therefore, the city attracts many immigrants and focusses mainly on sea trade. Trade flourishes and Amsterdam grows.

Revolution and the Golden Age

AmsterdambyNight Scheepvaartmuseum Admirality Amsterdam NightDuring the revolution against Spain, Amsterdam joins the rebellion in 1578, mainly on economical grounds. It turns out to be a good decision as sea trade increases quickly. The city counts almost 200.000 inhabitants in the 17th century, making it one of the largest urban centers of that time. This is the golden age, and Amsterdam is able to initiate some great public works, among which the construction of the characteristic canal belt. After this, the growth of Amsterdam temporarily stagnates .


The Industrial Revolution

The city receives a new impulse with the industrial revolution, and around 1900 the population grows to more than 500.000. New neighbourhoods like the Tuindorpen (early suburbs) and the Pijp are laid out to provide housing for all these new citizens. Because the city is on the border of bankrupcy, large renovation plans are abandoned, a feat that fortunately preserved the historic canal belt.

Amsterdambynight Canal Belt Grachtengordel Amsterdam Night

Modern Amsterdam

Nowadays, Amsterdam is a financial and touristic center, with about 800.000 inhabitants and more than 3,5 million visitors yearly. The 20th and 21st century saw a large increase in population that was housed in new neighbourhoods in Amsterdam Noord, Zuid-Oost and West. Although the historic center was designated a UNESCO World heritage site in August 2010, the city is constantly growing and developing.

Want to read more about the history of Amsterdam? Have a look at the Spotlight.