City Life

Around 1700, Amsterdam has grown into the richest city in Europe. Traders have made way for bankers who invest their capital. Such prosperity goes hand in hand with exploitation. Amsterdam patricians not only invest in the international slave trade, but they are also shareholders in the plantations of colonized Suriname.

Little of that is apparent in the city itself. Here freedom reigns, and writers and philosophers from all over Europe find their way to Amsterdam publishers. The quality of printing is high, and books printed in Amsterdam are read throughout Europe.

Culture and science flourish as never before among the elite, with society gatherings held in the monumental mansions that line the city canals, in the magnificent city theatre (Schouwburg) on Keizersgracht, and in the many summer residences around the city.