The vast rooms of this regal residence are home to one of the world’s most well-preserved collections of Empire-style furnishings.
Amsterdam’s Royal Palace, also known as Koninklijk Paleis, was described by Dutch poet Constantijn Huygens as the “Eighth Wonder of the World." Although the palace is still in use by members of the Dutch Royal family, it’s usually open for visitors to explore. Take a look inside the building’s elaborate interior, which features an impressive collection of 17th- and 18th-century furniture, sculptures, paintings and other precious antiques.
When the palace was first constructed in the 17th century, it was said to be the largest secular building in Europe. It was initially designed as a town hall, before later being converted into a palace in 1808. Admire the building’s neoclassical sandstone façade, which dominates Dam Square. Look for a statue depicting the Greek titan Atlas set on the building’s roof.
Notice the floor as you step inside the palace’s public entrance hall. The gleaming marble flooring is inlaid with two maps, one of which depicts Amsterdam as the center of the world and the other showing the city as the center of the entire universe.
Many of the palace’s rooms, halls and galleries were decorated by well-known 17th-century artists like Jan Lievens and Ferdinand Bol. A number of the historic pieces you can see today were left by Louis Napoleon, brother of the infamous French Emperor, who briefly served as King of Holland.
In the Burgomasters’ Cabinet, it’s impossible to miss the brass chandelier; it’s over 9.8 feet (3 meters) high and weighs 1,587.3 pounds (720 kilograms). Try to spot a mahogany desk that once belonged to King Louis Napoleon in the Chamber of the Commissioners of Petty Affairs. Other highlights include a painting by Ferdinand Bol depicting Moses descending from Mount Sinai found in the Magistrates’ Chamber and a 17th-century marble sculpture of Apollo found in the South-West Gallery.
The Royal Palace is located on Dam Square in central Amsterdam. It’s occasionally closed for official ceremonies, so be sure to confirm its opening hours before your visit. The palace can be reached by tram and there is an admission fee. Free audio tours are available in several languages.