If you look at a map of Amsterdam, you can see channels spread out in semicircles from the Central Station, located on the banks of the outgoing sea strait IJ. It is hard to believe that previously the sea started right at the Dam Square.
Hundreds of years of painstaking work allowed workers to push the sea back and create new or reclaimed land. Amsterdam itself lies four meters below the sea level. Canals and bridges are everywhere, and water traffic does not concede to the intensity of the ground-based traffic.