Capital of Netherlands, originally a fortress, built 1204. Passing to the Counts of Holland, it was raised to the rank of a city, 1301; after the fall of Antwerp in 1585 it became the center of the world's trade. In spite of the uprising of the Anabaptists, 1535, destruction of holy images, 1566, and Utrecht Union, 1575, the cruelties of the Reformation were modified here through recognition of the need of not antagonizing the traders of Catholic countries. In 1660 all public exercise of the Catholic religion was forbidden, and in 1708 all religious houses were closed. Under Napoleon Amsterdam became capital of the Kingdom of Holland, and Catholicity was recognized by the Constitution of 1843. It became a deanery subject to the Diocese of Haarlem in 1853. The chief church is called the "Holy Room."

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