Herengracht 502 and 507

Herengracht 502 This house from 1672 has been the official residence of Amsterdam’s mayors since 1926. Herengracht 507 This, the second or third last house on the odd side before Vijzelstraat, depending how you look at it, was built in 1668 and was in 1691 sold to Jacob Boreel. He was Mayor of Amsterdam 4 […]

Amsterdam’s Golden Bend

Herengracht 470 The exterior of the house is largely authentic, but its historical interior is gone. In 1945 something remarkable happened in this house: the forger Han van Meegeren (1889 – 1947) was instructed in this house to proof that he had imitated paintings by Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hoogh. The Golden Bend On the […]

The house Sweedenrijck

Herengracht number 462 from 1670 is called Sweedenrijck after the man who built it: Guilliam Sweedenrijck. It has not really been changed since then and in 1749 it was sold to the timber merchant Braamcamp. He was an important art collector and when he died in 1771 there were 318 paintings in his collection. 8 […]

Herengracht number 458

 This house has an interesting history as well. It was built in 1875 and in 1926 it was bought by an antiquarian, art lover and art collector named Jacques Goudstikker for the nice amount of 250,000 gulden. He turned the house into an art and culture center. When the Germans marched into the Netherlands in May […]


 The Cromhout houses are the 4 in the middle  The Cromhout houses at Herengracht 364-370 were built in 1662 and they look pretty much the same as they did then. In part this also applies for the interior. One of the houses for example has a beautifully decorated ceiling depicting the goddess Ceres with sickle […]

De Van Brienens, Herengracht 182 and 284

Herengracht 182 was one of Amsterdam’s first houses build in Louis the sixteens style. Until 1772 there had been another house here, and the owner of the land, Aernout Jan van Brienen, had it torn down, to give space for this house. Van Brienens son Willem Joseph later became rather contentious even so he was […]

Herengracht 77, 168 and 170-172

Those of Amsterdam’s canals we know best today, those we see in pictures in magazines, books and on television, are the canals that were dug in connection with the expansion of the city in the 17th century and are parts of what’s called grachtengordel in Dutch or canal ring in English. It’s alongside the ring […]

There used to be 70 canals more in Amsterdam

The canals are Amsterdam’s landmarks and it’s hard to imagine the capitol of the Netherlands without them. Nevertheless, in recent centuries strong voices have been raised from time to time that the city should drain one canal and then another. One time it was out of considerations for the health of the inhabitants. Another time […]

The 20est century was the century of the Dutch queens

Queen Wilhelmina ruled from 1898, Queen Juliana from 1948 and Queen Beatrix from 1980. Queen Wilhelmina (1880 – 1962)   Queen Wilhelmina When King Willem III died in 1890 his only daughter was still too young to rule, and therefore Queen Emma ruled on behalf of her daughter Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina ruled the country for 50 […]

Which Willem are we talking about (2)

Until now there were quite a few Willems, but in the following we’re really getting somewhere.     King Willem I and Queen Wilhelmina of Prussia King Willem I (Willem Frederik, son of stadthouder Prince Willem V) (1772 – 1843) married his cousin princes Wilhelmina of Prussia, sister of Frederik Willem III, King of Prussia. They […]