Ye olde travel guide: Amsterdam, 1648

In the latest instalment of our historical holidays series, in which experts imagine they're writing a travel guide in the past, Russell Shorto recommends a city that, with the threat of invasion lifted, has become the emporium of the world

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This article was first published in the March 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

After centuries as a pokey little place famous only as a centre of pilgrimage, Amsterdam has morphed into the global hub of art, commerce and science. And what better way of navigating the city than on its staggeringly efficient waterways.

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