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The former Jewish quarter, in the eastern portion of the old town, is the location of the Portuguese Synagogue (1671) and the Rembrandt House (Rembrandthuis), which is now a museum.

The old town’s three main squares are the Dam, the Leidseplein (Leiden Square), and the Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square).

In the early 20th century new suburbs were built, several in the Amsterdam school of architectural style; their imaginative, asymmetrical motifs broke up the monotony associated with suburban public housing units.

Sint Nicolaas Church (1886), the Beurs (Stock Exchange; 1903), and the Shipping House (1916) date from this period, as do the Rijksmuseum (1876–85), the Concertgebouw (Concert Hall; 1888), the Stedelijk Museum (1895), the Olympic Stadium (1928), and the Amstel Station (1939).

Amsterdam has been a home to immigrants since the 16th century.