the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The city, which had a population of around 1 million (with suburbs) on 1 January 2008, comprises the northern part of the Randstad, the 6th-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of around 6.7 million. Its name is derived from Amstel dam,[7] indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel where the Dam Square is today. Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds.[8] In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were formed. »

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