National Monument on the Dam

The National Monument in the centre of Amsterdam’s Dam Square serves as a daily reminder of the atrocities of the Second World War. The imposing 22-metres high monument was designed by Dutch architect J.J.P. Oud and unveiled on 4 May 1956 by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.

On 9 May 1945 just a few days after the liberation of the Netherlands, the first Remembrance of the Dead ceremony took place at the Dam in Amsterdam. To remember those who had fallen a minute of silence was held. Quickly afterwards two former Dutch soldiers came with the proposition of establishing a National Monument. Awaiting the definitive monument, a temporary colonnade with eleven urns with earth of the fusillade places of the eleven provinces was set up in 1947. Later an urn with earth from the Dutch East Indies would be added. The definitive monument was revealed by Queen Juliana on 4 May 1956. Designed by architect J.J.P. Oud the monument consisted of a 22-metres high column made out of white stone. This column is surrounded by a relief and several statues. Behind the column, a half round remembrance wall can be found. The different urns with earth were placed in the niches of this wall. Ever year during the National Remembrance of the Dead on 4 May the national remembrance takes place on the Dam in Amsterdam. Traditionally the King and the Queen lay the first wreath on behalf of all the citizens in the Netherlands. Nowadays not only Dutch victims of the Second World War are commemorated, but all the Dutch war victims since the outbreak of the Second World War.
Dam, 1012 JL Amsterdam, Netherlands
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