Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city bursting with culture and boasting a rich collection of art. The city is rampant with photography exhibitions, dance performances, theater shows and museums housing some of the world's most storied masterpieces. The city of Amsterdam uses the arts to bind communities and people together, drawing travelers from all over the world. Amsterdam experienced an influx of religions and cultures after the Second World War, and today it is one of the world's most multicultural cities, with at least 177 nationalities represented.
Visitors in Amsterdam are notably drawn to the 17th century city center where they can encounter an Old World charm. Tree-lined canals and narrow streets are more reminiscent of a village rather than the largest historical inner city in Europe. 165 waterways create a seemingly floating city connected by 1,281 bridges. In the 16th century, wooden buildings were razed and replaced with brick ones that remain today. During this period, many buildings were constructed in the architectural style of the Renaissance. Buildings of this period are very recognizable with their stepped gable façades, which is the common Dutch Renaissance style. Amsterdam quickly developed its own Renaissance architecture.
The most important museums of Amsterdam are located on the Museumplein (Museum Square), located at the southwestern side of the Rijksmuseum. It was created in the last quarter of the 19th century on the grounds of the former World's fair. The northwestern part of the square is bordered by the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience and Coster Diamonds. The northeastern part of the square is bordered by the very large Rijksmuseum, which possesses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art. Its collection consists of nearly one million objects. The artist most associated with Amsterdam is Rembrandt, whose work, and the work of his pupils, is displayed in the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch is one of the top pieces of art in the museum. It also houses paintings from artists like Van der Helst, Vermeer, Frans Hals, Ferdinand Bol, Albert Cuyp, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Paulus Potter. Aside from paintings, the collection also consists of a large variety of decorative art ranging from Delftware to giant 17th-century doll-houses.