"Koninklijk Paleis" Koninklijk Paleis - Royal Palace Tip by mightywease

  Koninklijk Paleis
by mightywease

The Koninklijk Paleis was built in the mid-17th Century when Amsterdam and the Netherlands were at the height of the countries trading power. It was not built to be a Royal Palace but was commissioned to be the grandest Stadhuis (Town Hall) in Europe. The intention being that it should be a representation of the power and influence enjoyed by the city at that time.
It is certainly an impression building, in sheer bulk as much as anything else. Detail on its exterior includes statutes representing peace, war, prudence and justice and, at the rear Atlas holding up the world. Also at the rear is a wonderful triangular carved relief which shows Amsterdam, represented as a woman, surrounded by the personifications of the continents with which she trades and also the goods that are being traded. For example Asia ? a women in long robes ? holds the reins of a camel while children offer spices and jewels, there are also elephants and other exotic animals from Africa and sugar cane and tobacco from America. If you are wondering how my eyesight is so good at spotting all those details high up on the building I didn?t! There is a wonderful model of the relief in the Rijksmuseum. You can also see pictures ? contemporaneous with its building - of the Town Hall in both the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Historical Museum and which give a feel of how proud the city was of its new Town Hall.
In 1808 when Louis Bonaparte ruled as monarch during the French occupation he changed the Town Hall into a Royal Palace, as which it has continued since.
Unfortunately the opening times vary and I have never been inside the palace but a walk round the outside allows you to see how imposing the building must have been when first built , and still remains now.

Address: Dam 1
Phone: +31-20- 6204060
Website: http://www.koninklijkhuis.nl

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 14, 2005
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