Anonymous: The Handboogdoelen, Voetboogdoelen and the weapons warehouse in Amsterdam (1606 - 1672)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

A drawing by an unknown Dutch artist. This print gives a view on the buildings on the Singel canal. From left to right:

- the 'handboogdoelen' ('longbowmen's shooting range'): today singel 421 in Amsterdam. This building served as the headquarters of the archery guild of the civic guard of Amsterdam. It was first build around 1517-1532 but was extended thoughout the years. Originally behind the building were the shooting ranges of the archery guild which extended to the kalverstraat but in the late 17th century houses were build on that spot. The headquarters of the archery guild was the largest and grandest of the three civic guard headquarters and also served as a hotel for prominent visitors and as an inn. In the 18th century the building got a new facade which still stands today. Today lectures, meetings, receptions are held in this building and is part of the complex of the university of Amsterdam. The building is also known as the 'garnalendoelen or 'shrimp's shooting range' as the shrimp market was held near it.

- the weapons warehouse of the city: today singel 423 in Amsterdam. Also known as the gunpowder house, this building stored cannons (the two large doors were used to transport the cannons), swords and muskets to be used in the city's defense when attacked. Already in the 17th century the upper floor was used as a 'silkhouse' (poor children had to fold raw silk). Later in the 18th and 19th century the building was used by the militia and as a stable. Today the building is used by the university of Amsterdam

- the 'voetboogdoelen ('crossbowmen's shooting range'): today singel 423 in Amsterdam. This building served as the shooting range for the crossbowmen's civic guard and was first build around 1458. As with the nearby longbowmen's shooting range, the actual shooting range was behind the building. From 1672 on the building was used by other organisations: as the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company, by the Society of Suriname and as barracks,. The building was demolished in 1816 and the Roman Catholic St. Catherine's Church was building in its place. This church was demolished in 1939 and in the 1960s the main building of the Amsterdam University Library was build on the spot which still stands today.

Print from 1606-1672.