The Paleis op de Dam, or the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, is situated in the very heart of the city in Dam Square. It is one of three palaces that are at the monarch’s disposal thanks to an Act of Parliament. It is often use for Royal Events and official receptions.
Royal Palace of Amsterdam History
The palace was originally built to serve as a city hall in the 17th century. It first opened in July of 1655 by Cornelis de Graeff. It served as an administrative building until 1806 when the patriot revolution removed the House of Orange from power. Louis Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, was named King Louis I of Holland. He relocated to Amsterdam and transformed the town hall into his royal palace. The King would be abdicated in 1810 and his son would succeed him for 10 days.
Shortly after his son took his place, the Netherlands would be annexed from France and the palace would go on to become the home of the French governor. Prince William VI would return to the Netherlands in 1813 and hand the palace over to its original owners, but it would not be long before the building would once again be used as a royal palace.
Constructing The Royal Palace
The palace was built by Jacob van Campen and cost 8.5 million gulden. Jacob used Roman administrative palaces and public buildings as inspiration.
The Royal Palace is both stunning and impressive in size. The central hall of the building is 120 feet long, 90 feet and 60 feet wide. Marble was the material of choice for the interior. On the marble floor of the hall, there are two maps of the world with a celestial hemisphere. A domed cupola is situated on the top of the palace with a cog ship shaped weather vane sitting atop the cupola. As you may have guessed, the ship symbolizes Amsterdam. Several works of art from famous artists such as Rembrandt, Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck and Jacob Jardaens are displayed inside.
For many years, the palace was the largest administrative building in Europe and was once a candidate for the Eighth Wonder of the World title.
Exhibitions and Tours
In addition to touring the palace, several exhibitions are also held throughout the year. The Palace is open to the public throughout much of the year. Before planning your trip, however, you should visit the Royal Palace website to find the latest information on opening days. Opening hours are from 11AM until 5PM.
Guided tours are available for groups of 10 to 20 people and can be given in Dutch, German, English, French and Spanish.
- Children 18 and under: Free
- Adults: € 10,00
- Adults 65+ and Students: € 9,00