Amsterdam is known for many things, from an extensive history to its relaxed reputation and red-light district; however, did you know that when you land at Schiphol Airport you are four meters below sea level? Amsterdam is a unique city that has many well-known attractions, but it also has several very strange features.
Who’s Riding All of These Bikes?
Many statistics regarding Amsterdam simply make you wonder. For example, there are over one million bikes within the city limits, yet there are only about 700,000 people in Amsterdam. This leads us to the top 10 weird facts about Amsterdam.
1. Amsterdam Is One of the Capitals with the Most Museums in the World — When measured by museums per square metre, Amsterdam has more museums than most other capital cities of the world. It boasts 51 well-known museums that are dedicated to a many varied topics from the history of sex to the use of marijuana to the life of a famous painter.
2. Amsterdam May Soon Disappear —The majority of Amsterdam is below sea level. At its lowest point, it is 6.7 metres below sea level. If climate change causes even a small increase in global sea levels, Amsterdam may go the way of Atlantis.
3. Amsterdam’s Engineers Are Levy Masters — This weird fact may help keep Amsterdam on the map, even if the sea level does increase. Amsterdam’s engineers are world-renowned for their ability to prevent the sea from taking over their city. In fact, several of Amsterdam’s engineers were called in to help repair New Orleans’ levies after Hurricane Katrina.
4. Amsterdam Supplies Most of the World’s Bacon —Many people around the world enjoy bacon. It has become so popular that the mention of the word can incite a craving. Next time you fire up the stove, see where your bacon is from. 70 percent of the world’s bacon comes from the Netherlands. To be confirmed….
5. Amsterdam Was Built on Stilts —The entire city of Amsterdam was built on piles — massive stakes that are driven into the ground. These piles laid the foundation for every building in the city. This means that if you stay at one of the many Amsterdam hotels, you are actually staying on stilts. Over 6,000 piles are used to hold up Central Station. Regular maintenance keeps these piles in load-bearing condition.