If you like big chunky books packed with illustrations and odd bits of information you can’t do better than the English language version of the Atlas of Amsterdam.
This weighty tome contains over 250 pages of full colour maps, photographs and diagrams detailing the minutiae of Amsterdam, from the number of bikes to a map of Zorgvlied cemetary, from property values to a guide to the city in Rembrandt’s time. Want to know about protected trees, the location of gay bars, where murders and gangland killings take place or simply where you can find a specialist book shop? It’s all there.
The atlas is divided into clear topics focusing on key aspects of the city’s development, from its evolution to the make up of the population, its industries and culture. The final section zooms in on the eight borough regions.
It’s a coffee table book to pick up and put down rather than something to read in bed. But there is a fascinating fact on every page.
The translation is deft if a little clumsy in places, but given the main focus is on the visuals, the odd convoluted sentence is easy to ignore. And at just under €30, the atlas would be a great gift for any Amsterdamophile.