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From allotments to zoos: The Atlas of Amsterdam is packed with weird facts

Atlas of Amsterdam for feature

Discover Amsterdam from the comfort of your armchair with the Atlas of Amsterdam – a new book which contains hundreds of maps, graphs and photographs that bring the city to life.

Curious about how many bikes are in the city or the main reasons for murder? Or perhaps you’re interested in the city’s international make-up or the fact the number of cannabis-selling coffee shops has halved to 176 in 20 years? Here’s a selection of random facts

  • There are 6,000 allotments in Amsterdam and its surrounding areas, and 3,000 people are on the waiting list for a space to grow their own veg.
  • There are 3,800 cafes, bars and restaurants in Amsterdam, most of which are in the centre and Zuid.
  • The Vondelpark was created for the Amsterdam elite who lived in the nearby mansions. Today the park is used by 10 million people every year.
  • There are 145 football pitches in and around the city – yet Amsterdam only has one professional football team.
  • Ajax players earn around €400,000 a year on average, excluding bonuses. Not much when you consider a player at FC Barcelona might pick up a cool €5.5m.
  • Prostitutes used to mainly ply their trade in the De Pijp district in Zuid. Today’s main prostitution zone, De Wallen, only started to turn red in the 1960s.
  • Amsterdam is home to 83 choirs, 50 orchestras and 39 theatre companies which benefit from some sort of official subsidy.
Photo: Robert Scarth via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Robert Scarth via Wikimedia Commons
  • The Royal palace on the Dam was first built as a town hall on 13,659 wooden piles.
  • Amsterdam has the most national heritage sites in the Netherlands: 7,500
  • The oldest building still in existence is the Oude Kerk (1306) and the oldest home is at Warmoesstraat 90. It dates from 1485.
  • There are 2,823 houseboats on the waters of Amsterdam and the city has 417,096 homes
  • Around 70 of the city’s shops have been open for more than a century. The oldest is the W H van der Meulen pharmacy on the Geldersekade, where pharmacists have prepared potions and pills since 1696.
  • Every day 1,259 trams cross the Leidseplein.
  • Every day 15 people die in Amsterdam and 30 people are born.

    For more information about the Atlas visit the Noordhoff Uitgevers website. Or buy a copy directly from the ABC.

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