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Royal Palace in Amsterdam
Although the exterior leaves much to be desired, some of the interior rooms are outstanding (see photo).
The bad and the beautiful
The once winsome pale-yellow sandstone front facade became uninvitingly sooty over the centuries. The sandstone desperately needs a thorough cleaning.
The paintings, statues, and marble-surfaced halls and chambers are impressive. And the Empire-style furnishings left behind by King Louis I (Napoleon Bonaparte's brother) lend more refinement.
History in brief
The building was designed in 1655 as a city hall (which explains why the facade doesn't look very palace like).
153 years later, King Louis kicked out the bureaucrats and converted the place into a palace.
Today, the Royal Palace in Amsterdam is one of the several used in the Netherlands by Queen Beatrix. She stays at the Amsterdam venue only for entertaining and official functions such as ceremonies, receptions, and state visits.
Because the city hall was heavy and built upon land reclaimed form the sea, an astonishing total of 13,659 tall wooden pilings were implanted into the ground.
Self-guided and guided tours are available when the royal family is away.
Location in Holland
Photo ©Stichting Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam