The Dutch Golden Age, which lasted just three generations, was 400 years ago. And still, there after-tremors of it are being felt today. The buildings, the canals, the engineering, all the amazing works, the contents of Rijksmuseum — these are the fruits of those generations.
When asking myself why Amsterdam is such a beautiful and well-run city, that was where my explanation stopped. And indeed, this was my answer when asked why any place of grandeur and splendor is grand and splendid.
If a place goes through a Golden Age and accumulates great works of culture, engineering, building, puts up universities and establishes a great tradition of scholarship, and so on — there are permanent gains to that. You could call it capital accumulation.
This was my old explanation. A Golden Age or Imperial Period meant capital accumulation.
The Turks have changed my opinion on this.