A Guided visit to the Royal Palace, Amsterdam

(Koninklijk Paleis), on Dam Square, Amsterdam.

Town Hall, now called Royal Palace, on Dam Square, Amsterdam

Join me to better appreciate and understand this huge building. The building now known as Royal Palace started out its life as Town Hall, the largest Town Hall ever, built on a massive scale. It was showing the world how wealthy and mighty the Dutch Republic had become in the Golden Age (c. 1600-1670). Learn about the inner workings of this largest and most boastful of 17th C town halls, and about the transfer of property to the Royal Family around 1800. With hindsight, handing it over to the Royal family protected the building from too many architectural changes. For day-to-day affairs municipal offices of the Town Hall were moved out to another address in Amsterdam and therefore little damage was done during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Business card. The logo refers to Vermeer.

Aficionados and fans of French Empire style furniture will find the world’s biggest and best coherent collection of that French Empire style here. It was ordered directly from French manufacturers during the time when Napoleon’s brother was head of state here and wanted to make a splash.

Back to the extravaganza of the 17th century: Inside the 4 Lord Mayors (Burgemeesters) and the Council of 36 (Vroedschap) convened and decided on city policy but also about European and World affairs as Amsterdam was the greatest military and trade power from about 1600 – 1660. The city’s functioning needed many types of offices: finance, building permits, marriage, bankruptcy, policing, law and order, military troops.

I will show you the marble room in which judges could pronounce capital punishment. In those days the chance of getting caught was small but the punishment was harsh.

Interior of the main upstairs hall. It was open to all inhabitants and visitors.

The present day interiors show paintings and furniture of many ages. Troughout the year, is is sometimes reserved as the formal setting of state occasions like State Visits, State Dinners, Welcoming the new head of State, and other public functions. The building is however open to the general public on more than 250 days in a year. Please check the Palace web site for opening days and hours, as they may be in flux.

 

 

Tour by professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Amsterdam social and economic history. VIP entrance.

 

Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.