Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Amsterdam Sights

Het Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace)

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 05/14/2013

Fodor's Review

From the outside, it is somewhat hard to believe that these ponderous premises were declaimed by poet and diplomat Constantijn Huygens as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." It was built between 1648 and 1665 as the largest secular building on the planet. From the inside, its magnificent interior inspires another brand of disbelief: this palace was actually built as a mere city hall. Golden Age artistic greats such as Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck and Jan Lievens were called

in for the decorating (Rembrandt's sketches were rejected). In the building's public entrance hall, the Burgerzaal, the world was placed quite literally at one's feet: two maps inlaid in the marble floor show Amsterdam as the center of the world, and as the center of the universe.

The building has remained the Royal Palace ever since Napoléon's brother squatted there in 1808, and it's one of three palaces at the disposal of Queen Beatrix, who hosts official receptions and state visits here. Royal memories of Amsterdam are probably a bit mixed. Her wedding in 1966 was disrupted by a radical student group throwing smoke bombs at her carriage, and in 1980 her coronation was derailed by riots on the Dam. And at the 2010 Dodenherdenking (Remembrance of the Dead) ceremony by the National Monument, a man screamed during the two-minute silence prompting a panic and stampede among the crowd, who no doubt feared a rerun of the 2009 Queen's Day tragedy, when a gunman drove through the route of the royal procession killing seven. The Palace hosts art exhibitions and displays on the history of the building itself. Official occasions mean opening times can vary.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

Dam, Amsterdam, 1001 AM, Netherlands

Phone:

020-620–4060

Sight Details:

  • €7.50
  • Daily 11-5 (closed during royal events; check website for details of current opening hours).

Updated 05/14/2013

Advertisement

What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Amsterdam

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

Advertisement