Eventually, economic growth slowed and “the Venice of the North” lost its market dominance and was replaced by a new economic power: London. But in the wake of the surprising Brexit vote in the U.K., the long arc of history is moving forward again — and bending back — as several European cities, including Amsterdam, jostle to replace London as Europe’s financial capital. Tesla, Uber and Netflix are among the growing number of companies that have recently established European headquarters in Amsterdam, and the city already has a thriving tech scene that the 2015 European Digital City Index ranked as the second best in the Continent for startups (behind London) — not bad for a city with a population of around 800,000 that is less populous than Columbus, Ohio.

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