During the sixties flower power in the Netherlands was symbolized by the famous Damslapers, a 'bunch of hippies camping out on Dam square'. Nowadays the square has lost a lot of it's former easygoing charm but it's still one of the focal points of the city. Not surprising, as Dam square is the physical center of the city ever since the dam was built to keep the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) out. In the midst of the square is the National Monument, dedicated to the Dutch soldiers and members of the resistance who died during World War Two. To the west the square is flanked by the Royal Palace.