Fodor's Expert Review Het Koninklijk Paleis

Centrum Castle/Palace/Chateau
Het Koninklijk Paleis, Amsterdam, Holland

From the outside, it's a bit hard to believe that these ponderous premises were declaimed by poet and diplomat Constantijn Huygens as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." The palace was built between 1648 and 1665 and was the largest secular building in the world when it was completed. From the inside, the magnificent interior inspires another level of disbelief—that it was actually built as a mere city hall. Golden Age giants like Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck, and Jan Lievens were called in to decorate (Rembrandt's sketches were rejected). In the building's Burgerzaal, or public entrance hall, there are two maps inlaid in the marble floor: one with Amsterdam as the center of the world, the other as the center of the universe.

Dutch schoolchildren once had to learn the number of piles (13,659) on which the Royal Palace was built, by using a nifty trick: the days of the year (365) with a 1 before and a 9 after. This number has since changed, because two piles were removed during... READ MORE

From the outside, it's a bit hard to believe that these ponderous premises were declaimed by poet and diplomat Constantijn Huygens as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." The palace was built between 1648 and 1665 and was the largest secular building in the world when it was completed. From the inside, the magnificent interior inspires another level of disbelief—that it was actually built as a mere city hall. Golden Age giants like Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck, and Jan Lievens were called in to decorate (Rembrandt's sketches were rejected). In the building's Burgerzaal, or public entrance hall, there are two maps inlaid in the marble floor: one with Amsterdam as the center of the world, the other as the center of the universe.

Dutch schoolchildren once had to learn the number of piles (13,659) on which the Royal Palace was built, by using a nifty trick: the days of the year (365) with a 1 before and a 9 after. This number has since changed, because two piles were removed during recent renovations.

The building has remained the Royal Palace ever since King Louis Napoléon (Napoléon's brother) resided there from 1808 to 1810, and it's one of three palaces at which today's Dutch monarch hosts official receptions and state visits. The Palace also hosts exhibitions and displays on the history of the building itself. Official occasions mean opening times can vary.

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Castle/Palace/Chateau Building/Architectural Site Flight Centre Government Building Historical

Quick Facts

Dam
Amsterdam, North Holland  1001 AM, Netherlands

020-620–4060

www.paleisamsterdam.nl

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €10, Closed during royal events (check website)

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