In the mid-17th century, the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis), which dominates the city skyline. It was originally built as a town hall for the judges of Amsterdam. Originally a town hall, it was transformed into a royal palace 150 years later by Louis Napoleon, the brother of Emperor Napoleon, during his short reign. It has functioned as such ever since: it was the venue for the investiture of Queen Beatrix, for example, and is legally owned by the queen. The building is still open to the public.
The palace is an architectural masterpiece inside and out. Its 13,000 wooden piles support the sandy floor, and its sandstone façade depicts sea gods and symbols of Amsterdam. The interior is not so dark: a profusion of snow-white marble, colonial-era marble maps, globes, paintings, sculptures and wall decorations tell the story of the city.
Today, the Royal Palace on the Embankment is one of three palaces made available to the king by the state through an act of Parliament. It is used for royal events such as the reception of foreign heads of state during their visit to the Netherlands, the King’s New Year’s reception and other official receptions. Every year it is the venue for various official and royal awards.
How to get to the Royal Palace
The palace is open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, admission is €10, free for children under 18. The ticket price includes a guide in several languages. When visiting the palace, check for days when it is closed for official events, and there may be several such days each month.
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands