Johannes Lingelbach: The Dam Square in Amsterdam with the New Town Hall under Construction (1656)

(Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Another Cityscape, this time of the Dam Square in Amsterdam. The Dam Square looked somewhat different in the 17th century. On the left you can see the new Town Hall (today the royal Palace in Amsterdam). Construction of this building was started in 1648 and was opened on 29 July 1655. It replaced the old medieval Town Hall which stood on the same site. Next to the new Town Hall you can see the Nieuwe Kerk and the Weigh house of Amsterdam (demolished by Louis Bonaparte in 1808 because the building 'ruined' his view from the royal Palace). On the right you can see the Damrak which used to be a canal and the seafish-market. The Dam Square itself is filled with merchants, wealthy burghers and foreign traders (on the right there are some Polish/ Russian traders). A nice detail; in front of the town Hall under contruction you can see some officers of the law, recognizable by the staffs of justice they are carrying, reading some pamflets on a wall. This painting was done in 1656.

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