Is the city of Amsterdam below sea level? How was the city originally founded?
Yes, on average Amsterdam is two meters below sea level, and is surrounded by large and intricate dams in order to ensure the prevention of flooding. The city was originally founded on the banks of the Amstel river by fisherman who either built their homes on higher ground or were unconcerned with flooding due to their lifestyle.
The location of the town on the river made it a hub of trade and commerce within the region which meant that expansion was necessary. This led to the widespread construction of dams and canals within the region in order to create more construction land and also to prevent flooding.
This form of construction and expansion then continued on a gradual basis over the course of a number of centuries to create the city of Amsterdam today.