The Dam in 2012 with a view of the Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk.
National Monument, with the Hotel Krasnapolsky on the right.
Dam Square lies in the historical center of Amsterdam, approximately 750 meters south of the main transportation hub, Centraal Station. It is roughly rectangular in shape, stretching about 200 meters from west to east and about 100 meters from north to south. It links the streets Damrak and Rokin, which run along the original course of the Amstel River from Centraal Station to Muntplein (Mint Square) and Munttoren. The Dam also marks the endpoint of other well-traveled streets, Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat and Damstraat. A short distance beyond the northeast corner lies the main red-light district, de Wallen.
On the west end of the square is the neoclassical Royal Palace, which served as the city hall from 1655 until its conversion to a royal residence in 1808. Beside it are the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The National Monument, a white stone pillar designed by J.J.P. Oud and erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II, dominates the opposite side of the square. Also overlooking the plaza are the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and the upscale department store De Bijenkorf. These various attractions have turned the Dam into a tourist zone. The square abounds with city pigeons, popular for birdfeeding.