January 31, 2023
Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam

How to treat heartburn Dam Square is the robust portion of Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace); however, the name is misleading, considering that the massive sandstone structure was constructed as an urban stadhuis (town hall), which was its first royal patron in the year Louis Bonaparte moved in during the French occupation (1795–1813).

The palace’s exterior is a great symbol of the place: twin tympana depict Amsterdam as an important port and trading centre, and the one at the front is presided over by an image of a woman representing Amsterdam, adorned with Neptune and a huge herd of unicorns standing at her feet.

The tympana above are the symbols of the values which the council of city officials believed in and emphasized – in the front, Prudence as well as Justice, Peace, and to the rear, Vigilance and Temperance, on either side of a muscular globe-bearing Atlas. A deliberate step to protect the city was the lack of a central doorway to ensure that the crowd never got violent (as it was prone to do) and swarmed the area.

The interior

The palace’s interior reflects the confidence and pride in Amsterdam’s Golden Age, principally in its extravagant Citizen’s Hall, an extraordinarily beautiful, marble-arcaded chamber. The throned statue of Amsterdam sits in the heavens and the earth, laid out in three circular marble maps. One map is of the western and eastern worlds, and the third is of the northern sky.

Other figures of mythology ram home the message of the city The figures flanking “Amsterdam” on the right and left are Wisdom and Strength, while reliefs on either of the two sides are a symbol of good governance. To the left is the god Amphion, who plays the lyre to convince the stones to pile themselves to form a wall. On the right, Mercury tries to put Argos to sleep by invoking the need to remain alert.

This is all part of the witty and funny symbolism that runs through the hall as well as its adjacent galleries. In the top right gallery left, two cocks battle in front of the entrance to the Director of Petty Affairs, while in the gallery on just to the left side of the main room over the doorway of the Bankruptcy Chamber, the medallion depicts that of Fall of Icarus under marble carvings that depict hungry rats running through an empty cash chest and gnawing on bills that are not paid.

Visit https://www.paleisamsterdam.nl/ for more information