Royal Palace of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Royal Palace is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. The palace was built as the Town Hall of the City of Amsterdam and was opened as such on 29 July 1655 by Cornelis de Graeff, the political and social leader of Amsterdam. It is now called as the royal palace and used by the monarch for entertaining and official functions during state visits and other official receptions, such as New Year receptions. The award ceremonies of the Erasmus Prize, of the Silver Carnation, of the Royal Awards for Painting, and of the Prince Claus Award are also held in the palace.

The palace was built by Jacob van Campen, who took control of the construction project in 1648. It was built on 13,659 wooden piles and cost 8.5 million gulden. A yellowish sandstone from Bentheim in Germany was used for the entire building. The stone has darkened considerably in the course of time. Marble was the chosen material for the interior.

Jacob van Campen was inspired by Roman administrative palaces. He drew inspiration from the public buildings of Rome. He wanted to build a new capitol for the Amsterdam burgomasters who thought of themselves as the consuls of the new Rome of the North. The technical implementation was looked after by the town construction master Daniël Stalpaert. The sculptures were executed by Artus Quellijn.

On the marble floor of the central hall there are two maps of the world with a celestial hemisphere. The Western and Eastern hemispheres are shown on the maps. The hemispheres detail the area of Amsterdam's colonial influence. The terrestrial hemispheres were made in the mid-18th century. They replaced an earlier pair made in the late 1650s. The originals showed the regions explored by the Dutch East India Company's ships in the first half of the 17th century. This feature may have been inspired by the map of the Roman Empire that had been engraved on marble and placed in the Porticus Vipsania, a public building in ancient Rome.

On top of the palace is a large domed cupola, topped by a weather vane in the form of a cog ship. This ship is a symbol of Amsterdam. Just underneath the dome there are a few windows. From here one could see the ships arrive and leave the harbour.

Paintings inside include works by Govert Flinck (who died before finishing a cycle of twelve huge canvases), Jacob Jordaens, Jan Lievens and Ferdinand Bol. Rembrandt's largest work, The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis was commissioned for the building, but after hanging for some months was returned to him; the remaining fragment is now in Stockholm.

In its time the building was one of many candidates for the title of the Eighth Wonder of the World. Also, for a long time it was the largest administrative building in Europe.

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Details

Founded: 1655
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Netherlands

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

S Dew (6 months ago)
beautiful inside and outside,. well worth a visit, its in the heart of amsterdam, so lots of old beautiful buildings all around you!
Liam Van Dijk (6 months ago)
Very beautiful place in the city center, but there is too many people walk around in this area. Nearby Red Light District.
Lily Chan (7 months ago)
Fantastic and beautiful palace, open only summer, this year from 29 June to 13 September and 16-22 September 2019. You can reserve the online ticket for entrance or buying at the counter while opening around 10 am., ticket price 10 Euro, including audio guide for exploration every opening places and rooms by yourself. The staff are very friendly and helpful for all tourists. If you carry a large bag or jacket, there's a place for storage. It may be better to come earlier, before opening time because of crowded people and limitation of self-audio guide instruments. The toilet is very clean and comfortable. In the afternoon, there's many peoples gathering in front of Royal palace and having many activities. Be careful about thieves and pick pockets!
Michael Arbuck (9 months ago)
Very nice and quick visit. Interesting history and beautiful rooms. It’s a fast tour. Maybe 30-45 minutes. It it’s so close and convenient hard not to go. Nice to see how the royalty hosts :). Enjoy!
Michael Arbuck (9 months ago)
Very nice and quick visit. Interesting history and beautiful rooms. It’s a fast tour. Maybe 30-45 minutes. It it’s so close and convenient hard not to go. Nice to see how the royalty hosts :). Enjoy!
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Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

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17th through 19th centuries

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20th century

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Today

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