The Royal Palace on Dam Square is a magnificent 17th century building that was constructed as a City Hall

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Amsterdam Royal Palace, Amsterdam

The Royal Palace on Dam Square is a magnificent 17th century building that was constructed as a City Hall.

The Royal Palace on Dam Square is a magnificent 17th century building that was constructed as a City Hall. Used as a royal palace first during the reign of King Louis Napolean, it is today one of 3 palaces in the Netherlands which are at the monarch’s disposition. It is used for official functions during state visits and other official receptions and entertainment. The Royal Palace is open to visitors, except during royal events. Explore the elegant premises of the historic building on a tour, and learn about the symbolism behind its art and architecture. Audio guides in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Russian are available.

Built during the Dutch Golden Age, the Classicist yellow sandstone building was designed by architect Jacob van Campen, partly as a monument to the signing of the Munster Treaty which ended the 80 Years War between the Dutch Republic and Spain. It stands on pliable soil, reinforced by 13,659 wooden poles made from Norwegian spruce. The stately façade is 79 metres wide and 53 metres high, separated into 2 horizontal sections each of which have rows of larger lower windows and smaller upper windows. Corinthian pilasters delineate the windows on each section. The central gable has fine bas-reliefs by Artus Quellin, depicting an allegorical figure of Amsterdam as a maiden with a shield in her right hand and a staff in her left hand, surrounded by Nymphs offering garlands and fruits. Neptune and his tritons blowing shells are also depicted. The gable to the back also depicts an allegorical figure of Amsterdam, surrounded by all kinds of naval instruments and apparatus. The façade is surmounted by a bronze statue of Peace holding an olive branch and a staff of Mercury. The posterior gable is surmounted by a bronze figure of Atlas, bending beneath the weight of the globe.

The palace is topped by a tower with a large dome surmounted by a weather-vane in the form of a ship, which is a symbol of Amsterdam. The tower has windows which offer views of ships at the harbour. It also houses the famous carillon by François and Pieter Hemony cast in 1664.

The opulent interiors feature Empire furniture, chandeliers and clocks, paintings by renowned masters from the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust, and marble sculptures. The Burgerzaal or Citizen's Hall is dominated by the image of Atlas to the west. Across the hall is the figure of Peace, and the sculpture of Amsterdam flanked by Strength and Wisdom. There are also sculptures of Prudence (south-east), Justice (north-east), Watchfulness (south-west) and Temperance (north-west). The elements Earth, Water, Air, and Fire are represented in the arches leading to the galleries. The floor is inlaid with 3 circles featuring maps of the eastern and western hemisphere and a star chart, denoting that the whole world and the heavens were at the feet of the citizens.

The Schepenzaal is another highlight, with several important paintings - Ferdinand Bol's ' Moses descends from Mount Siniai with the Ten Commandments', and Jürgen Ovens' 'Justice with Peace and Prudence'.


Hours

Sun

10:00

17:00

Mon

10:00

17:00

Tue

10:00

17:00

Wed

10:00

17:00

Thu

10:00

17:00

Fri

10:00

17:00

Sat

10:00

17:00

About Amsterdam Royal Palace

 Dam, 1012 KB Amsterdam, Netherlands

 +31 20 522 6161

 www.paleisamsterdam.nl

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