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Taking a look at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam

The Royal Palace is Amsterdam began its life in 1648 as a Town Hall of the City of Amsterdam, and it was completed and opened as such in 1655. The architect was Jacob van Campen, and it cost 8.5 million guilders to build. A yellow sandstone from Germany was used, which has considerably darkened over time.

Photo by Moniek Bloks

The central hall is 120 feet long, 60 feet wide and 90 feet high. The floor is marble and has two maps of the world with a celestial hemisphere. On the top of the palace is large domed cupola with a weather vane in the form a cog ship, which is the symbol of Amsterdam.

Photo by Moniek Bloks

Louis Napoleon became King of Holland in 1806, and he converted the Town Hall into a Royal Palace for himself and his wife, Hortense. He did not enjoy his new palace for very long as he abdicated on 2 July 1810. He was succeeded by his son, but the Netherlands were annexed by France jus ten days later. The Royal Palace became the home of the French governor, Charles François Lebrun.

In 1813, the son of Prince William V of Orange returned to the Netherlands to become its first King, and he became King William I of the Netherlands and Amsterdam was made the official capital of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Palace is used by the monarch for entertaining and for official functions during state visits. The balcony is also used often, for example after the wedding of then Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima, when the two greeted crowds and shared a kiss.

By Looi from nl CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Palace underwent renovations between 2005 and 2009 and has been open to the public since June 2009, although it can be closed at a moment’s notice for official functions.

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