Wednesday, June 16, 2010

in Amsterdam

Day 1: the Amsterdam canal house! A fascinating study of 4 extraordinary 5-bay houses, and the evolution of the city and its architecture. The day began at the Burgemeester's House (or mayor's residence), moving on to the Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, the Museum Willet-Holthuysen, and the Museum Van Loon (the latter retaining its original garden and coach house, albeit somewhat altered in the 18th century). The day ended with dinner and drinks in the garden of a private residence (a typical 3-bay canal house).

What became clear very quickly is that nothing in Amsterdam is static. While all of the houses we studied have occupied their plots since they were first built in the 17th century, they have evolved over time to reflect the changing tastes and lifestyles of the intervening centuries.

For some history the development of Amsterdam and its canal ring, see:

* Paul Spies, The Canals of Amsterdam (1991) ~ currently out of print, but due to be revised and reprinted in 2013

* and Amsterdam's Canal Belt: The Expansion of Amsterdam in the Golden Age, on view at the Rijksmuseum, 1 June - 6 September 2010

(above: a 17th-century leaded glass window in the collection of the Willet-Holthuysen)

P.S. I started a Netherlands set on flickr. . . ahhh, slowly, slowly.


BWS said...

Excited to see them all, especially Paleis Het Loo & Slot Zuylen. Friends have very recent photos from museums Willet-Holthuysen & Van Loon,, but I have not seen Geelvinck Hinlopen Huise. Barbara

Blue said...

We lived along the canal, direction of the Leidse Straat, from the Museum van Loon. I know it well. A friend, now dead, had a similar garden a few doors away. Willet-Holthuysen is beautiful - big blue chimney breast if I remember rightly. I'm so looking forward to your photos on flickr - tonight when I have time.

Anonymous said...

watching your flickr slide show of the netherlands with a cup of coffee and handle's water music is righting my wrong morning. KDM

Emile de Bruijn said...

Those gardens at the Geelvinck Hinlopen and Van Loon houses are amazing aren't they - give you a sense of the inner life of the city.

Janet said...

Emile ~ I was so struck by the gardens that survive. They really are part of the layeredness of the city. To see the canal houses from the front, one would never guess such enchantment lies behind!