Jan Abrahamsz. Beerstraten: The Paalhuis and the New Bridge in Amsterdam in Winter (1640 - 1666)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

The paalhuis was a building which stood at the new bridge in Amsterdam (today the Prins Hendrikkade). The paal-money was a form of a tax which ships who sailed from the North-sea to the Zuiderzee had to pay. Every ship which entered the harbour of Amsterdam was registered here. The building also functioned as some sort of a post-office as merchants and sailors could leave their post here as the new bridge was a favorite meeting point were people exchanged the latest news. The posters on the paalhuis contain all kind of news from other countries. The building was demolished  at the end of the 17th century. Painting from 1640 - 1666.