On this architectural tour we will discuss the way the central authority in Amsterdam, the Council of 40 (Veertigraad), built themselves the largest and most impressive civilian building in Europe which epitomized their power and wealth. Within The Republic of the 7 United Provinces, Amsterdam was dominant and within world trade, The Republic and therefore Amsterdam was again dominant.
When people had dealings with the central city government, they could either go to these offices for arranging permits etc or they could go and speak to one of the four Lord Majors (Burgemeesters) who can be seen als the daily top level managers of city affairs.
The ownership of this building was handed over to the Royal Family after the days of Napoleon. It is now used by Queen Beatrix a couple of days a year and is open to visitors most of the time. See the official palace web site for current opening days and times.
We will be able to visit:
Dam Square with its history.
The entrance at ground level
The marble Court hall intended for the ultimate punishment: capital sentencing
The stairway to the main floor
The ultimate WOW-moment entering the Main central hall
Exploring the hallways to the Town Hall offices such as the Marriage office, Mariage problem office, Bankrupcy office etc...
History of Power balance in Holland in periods of Princes/Stadholders and in eras having no Princes/Stadholders
The Napoleon years, in which Holland became part of the French sphere of influence. Resulting in the best set of Empire style palace furniture outside France.
The era of socialism, World war II and postwar years.
The function and influence of royalty now.
Finally, outside: the weird design of the World war II monument across the square.
Spotting the Rich & Famous inhabitants in the Golden Age.
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Amsterdam, North Holland. Above is the Aerial photo shows Amsterdam, North Holland. To the left you see the square grid of the Jordaan district, built in the early 17th century for artisans and the poorer souls. Next to it you see the four grand, major tree-lined curving canals: counting from the outside to the inside they are named Prinsen (Princes) gracht, Keizers (Emperors) gracht, then the most important one, the Heren (Gentleman's) gracht and finally the Singel. Thus the order is PKHS, Please Kiss Her Softly.
Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands. The beauty of the city center is the result of many centuries of careful city planning. It boasts the most wonderfully preserved group of canals and ancient canal houses found anywhere in the world. In the center we find the headquarters of the United East India Company, pivot of international trade and source of great wealth in the 17th century. Dutch painter Rembrandt, prince of painters, and prolific etcher, draughtsman also made his home here and catered to the wealthy merchants.
A number of important museums including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum are also located here. A dozen of other museums are well worth visiting, including the Rembrandt house.
On Dam square, from which this town on the Amstel river originally got its name, is the former Town Hall, now Royal Palace. Next to it stands the late mediaeval New Church, now mainly serving as an exhibition hall. A five-minute walk going east takes us to the large Old Church in the middle of the Red Light District.
As a reference manual I use the famous d’Ailly historical handbooks during the Amsterdam walks.
As an art historian based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I can meet you in Amsterdam for a personalized guided tour of art museums and the historic center.
Together we will experience the beauty and history. Enjoy yourself and learn about history while strolling and discussing the country's history, art and culture. In doing so, we may touch a number of bases - spanning not only fine art and architecture but also the city's history and current social issues. See client testimonials.
Read a biography.
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Starting at your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural walking tour of your choice. My guided itinerary offers you accessable informative conversation in English, Dutch, or German (my French and Italian are more limited).
See Amsterdam in 1842 (Map with dots indicating where the high and mighty lived in Amsterdam, in the seventeenth century)
You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. Our cultural tour organisation office will take care of a unique and memorable experience.
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours" *.
*Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, p. 182.
Please contact me for time and fees of the tailor-made tour you ar interested in.
These tailor made tours are available upon request - please contact me to book a date. Minimum group size: 1 person. Maximum group size is limited to about 10 persons. With a megaphone I can also manage larger groups on the streets.
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Photo by Dick Martin.
Visit a large architectural cultural site on Amsterdam at Startamsterdam.com
The Rijksmuseum has done me the honor of linking the main Rijksmuseum site to my website. Start at www.rijksmuseum.nl and select Collection. Then choose 'Digital Collaboration' and the 'Digital Vermeer House'.
I conduct Rembrandt walks in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London and New York City offices. Their clients include important journalists.
The travel site www.luxurytraveler.com has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.
Read further client testimonials.
Read a biography.
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV and Radio Netherlands World Service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Delft artists by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Delft, on Vincent van Gogh and on other art history topics.
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".
Further information is available on his encyclopedic web site: www.johannesvermeer.info
Drs. Kees Kaldenbach , email@example.com
Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs
1058 JS Amsterdam
telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)
cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)
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Open seven days a week.
Research presented in November 2014 about Mannheimer: he almost bought the best Vermeer: The Art of Painting (now in Vienna)
Member of the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).
Email responses and bookings to art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.
This page forms part of the 2000+ item Vermeer web site at www.xs4all.nl/~kalden
Launched April 15, 2006. Updated 14 february, 2017.