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The buildings

The buildings in the Netherlands are quite unique. They are right next to each other like any other city buildings. But instead of them being all the same style they are different. The architecture of the first republic in Northern Europe was marked by sobriety and restraint, and was meant to reflect democratic values by quoting extensively from classical antiquity. It found its impetus in the designs of Hendrick de Keyser, who was instrumental in establishing a Venetian-influenced style into early 17th-century architecture through new buildings like the Noorderkerk ("Northern church", 1620-1623) and Westerkerk ("Western church", 1620-1631) in Amsterdam. In general, architecture in the Low Countries, both in the Counter-Reformation-influenced south and Protestant-dominated north, remained strongly invested in northern Italian Renaissance and Mannerist forms that predated the Roman High Baroque style of Borromini and Bernini. Instead, the more austere form practiced in the Dutch Republic was well suited to major building patterns: palaces for the House of Orange and new civic buildings, uninfluenced by the Counter-Reformation style that made some headway in Antwerp.

The Golden Age

The Golden age was a time of commercial success in the city of Amsterdam. It started in 1582 and ended in 1672. During this time Amsterdam was the staple market of the world. During this period the characteristic Amsterdam cityscape developed. Also this is the time that the most historic building is built in Amsterdam the Royal Palace But it is not yet called that. In 1568, the Seven Provinces that later signed the Union of Utrecht (Dutch: Unie van Utrecht) started a rebellion against Philip II of Spain that led to the Eighty Years' War. Before the Low Countries could be completely reconquered, a war between England and Spain, the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585-1604, broke out, forcing Spanish troops to halt their advances and leaving them in control of the important trading cities of Bruges and Ghent, but without control of Antwerp, which was then arguably the most important port in the world. Antwerp fell on 17 August 1585, after a siege, and the division between the Northern and Southern Netherlands (the latter mostly modern Belgium) was established. The United Provinces (roughly today's Netherlands) fought on until the Twelve Years' Truce, which did not end the hostilities. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Eighty Years' War between the Dutch Republic and Spain and the Thirty Years' War between other European superpowers, brought the Dutch Republic formal recognition and independence from the Spanish crown.
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