Dam Square, locally known simply as the Dam, is the spot on which Amsterdam was founded in 1270's. The principal feature of the Dam is the National Monument. This impressive white stone obelisk, built in 1956 by John Rädecker and his sons Han and Jan Willem Rädecker, is a memorial to the Dutch victims of the Second World War and the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. Designed by J.J.P. Oud, the National Monument is decorated with allegorical figures. The structure contains twelve urns, each of which hold earth from one of the eleven regions of the Netherlands, plus one from Dutch Indonesia.
The pillar of the monument carry an inscription in Latin: "Hic ubi cor patriae monumentum cordibus intus quod gestant cives spectet ad astra dei", which freely translated means: "Here, where the heart of the fatherland is, may this monument, which citizens carry in their heart, gaze at God's stars". The National Monument is considered a shrine by the Dutch nation, and it is one of the most photographed sites in Amsterdam.
For more visiting sites, the Neoclassical Royal Palace is on the west side of the Dam. Next to it are Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the 15th century New Church. For shopping there is the upscale De Bijenkorf department store.
Address: Dam 27, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 624 1111
Architect: J.J.P. Oud