POINTS OF INTEREST
A towering, white obelisk-shape object on the Damrak opposite the Royal Palace, the National Monument was erected in 1956 as a memorial to those who died in World War II. Designed by architect J.J.P. Oud, who thought that De Stijl minimalism was in keeping with the monument's message, it's the focal point for Remembrance Day (May 4), when Dutch losses in wars and peacekeeping missions around the world are commemorated. The monument contains 12 urns: 11 are filled with earth from all the Dutch provinces, and the 12th contains earth from the former colonies (Indonesia, Surinam, and the Antilles). Oud designed the steps to be used as seating, and today it's still a favored rest spot and a great place to watch the world go by.