The town of Weesp is officially part of Amsterdam from Thursday, following a decision to merge in 2018, backed by 56% of the population in a referendum that year.
Weesp, with a population of some 20,000, was granted city rights in 1355.
The decision to incorporate Weesp into Amsterdam means the capital now has eight borough councils – Noord, Zuid, West, Oost, Nieuw-West, Zuidoost, Centrum and Weesp.
The merger was marked at a modest ceremony in the fortified town on Wednesday evening.
‘Tomorrow we will wake up in a different local authority but in the same city,’ outgoing mayor Bas Jan van Bochove said. ‘We are a proud city on the Vecht river and we will remain so. Weesp is the prettiest city within Amsterdam.’
Despite the doubts about the wisdom of the move by many, city councillors say the merger was inevitable because Weesp missed the ‘administrative power to properly carry out its duties’.
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