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Explore Amsterdam's Eastern Canal Belt - Amsterdam Walking Tour


7 of 10

Sixth Leg: Keizersgracht and its Impressive Museums
Museum van Loon on the Keizersgracht

Museum van Loon on the Keizersgracht

© 2008 Shannon McAllister, licensed to About.com
Follow the even side of Reguliersgracht. Just after you cross Kerkstraat (named for the Amstelkerk) look across to see the houses at Reguliersgracht 57, 59 and 63, three ornate 19th-century designs by Dutch architect Isaac Gosschalk. Turn left on the near (even) side of Keizersgracht. Also take note of the building at 710; the warehouse from 1670 is rare for a canal of stately homes.

  • Keizersgracht translates to "emperor's canal."

  • This eastern stretch of the Keizersgracht (like the Herengracht) features many double canal houses that were once home to Amsterdam's wealthiest families (and some still are). One of these, now the Museum van Loon, stands at 672.
  • The last residents of this sandstone mansion were the Van Loon family, who gave it (and most of its contents, including dozens of historical family portraits) to the city of Amsterdam in 1973.

  • The palatial double canal house dates to 1671. Its first resident was Ferdinand Bol, a famous Dutch painter and student of Rembrandt.

  • The extravagant interior now reflects how the home looked in the 18th century (see photos of Museum van Loon). Further Directions
    Turn right on the near side of busy Vijzelstraat to cross over to the far (odd) side of Keizersgracht. The coach house at 607 dates to 1672 and belongs to the house that backs up to it at Herengracht 502, the home of the mayor of Amsterdam. At 609 is another Amsterdam museum, FOAM.

    FOAM (Photography Museum)
    • The name of this museum is a play on the abbreviation for Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.

    • The museum displays rotating photography exhibitions of all disciplines, from historical to contemporary and documentary to fine art.

    • The former coach house became a museum in 1861, by order of the deceased owner, a coal magnate named C.J. Fodor.
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