The UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Defence Line of Amsterdam (in Dutch named Stelling van Amsterdam) is a 135 km long ring of fortifications around Amsterdam, consisting of 42 forts located between 10 to 15 kilometers the centre, and lowlands that can easily be flooded in time of war. The flooding was designed to give a depth of about 30 cm, insufficient for boats to traverse. Any buildings within 1 km of the line had to be made of wood, so that they could be burnt and the obstruction removed.
The Stelling van Amsterdam was constructed between 1880 and 1920. The invention of the aeroplane and tank made the forts obsolete almost as soon as they were finished. Many of the forts now are under the control of the town councils and the nature department, and may be visited. Monuments Day, on the second Saturday in September, is the ideal day to visit as entrance is free.
Famous quotes containing the words amsterdam and/or van:
“The Jew is neither a newcomer nor an alien in this country or on this continent; his Americanism is as original and ancient as that of any race or people with the exception of the American Indian and other aborigines. He came in the caravels of Columbus, and he knocked at the gates of New Amsterdam only thirty-five years after the Pilgrim Fathers stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock.”
—Oscar Solomon Straus (18501926)
“Ouch is not independent of social training. One has only to prick a foreigner to appreciate that it is an English word.”
—Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)