Palaces on the canals

Today Nadia and Theo are about to visit two houses in one of the most beautiful areas of Amsterdam: De grachtengordel.

The 'grachtengordel' is a system of canals, streets, quays, bridges and houses on fairly identical plots of equal length and width with closed courtyards. The 'grachtengordel' is part of the inner city that along the four main canals: is Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. Gracht means canal.
Many of the houses at the canals witnesses the wealth of the Golden Era (16-17th century) but there are many houses from the 18th century as well. Because many of the properties are restructured several times over the centuries you can spot many different architectural styles and facades. This makes a stroll along the canals a very thilling getaway!
The grachtengordel since August 1, 2010 is on the World Heritage List.

Since we live in the Oud-West part of Amsterdam, mainly build in the 20'th century we were curious how the people lived in the grachtengordel and fortunate it's not an insurmountable hurdle since there are a few of those house turned into a museum.
Our outing started at museum Geelvinck Hinlopen huis, Keizersgracht 633. This private city palace, dating from 1687 once was the the home of one of the wealthiest oligarch families of the Dutch Republic.

The entrance is in the former 'koetshuis'; a coach house is a building in which the carriages are parked, especially during the winter. The barn can be seen as the forerunner of the garage.
The coach house is followed by a beautifully garden....

On the other side of the garden there is the residence.
Not only loaded with impressive furniture, paintings and wallpaper, this museum houses a unique collection of keyboard instruments as well. Every Sunday you can visit a concert. Check out the excellent website!

Many things to spot for the curious visitor....

Again the beautiful garden from another angle. Not exactly wild nature but still the home of many birds! Just in the middle of a busy city, how about that?

After the Geelvinck Hinloopen huis we go for another one! First we have to cross the Keizersgracht to the other side to explore Museum Van Loon, Keizersgracht 672.
This museum is the house of the former Amsterdam regent family Van Loon: Willem van Loon co-founded the Dutch East-India Company in 1602.

Also here the palace consists of a carriage house, garden and living area. But different from the Geelvinck Hinloopen huis the garden of the Museum Van Loon houses a small cafe with a good quality coffee and delicious apple pie.

Ah! The kitchen.

Many beautiful paintings of the Van Loon family.

Paintings just everywhere..... This one you can literally walkthrough :)

Impressive staircase.

Both musea has their own charm, the Van Loon with his excellent apple pie and the many paintings, the Geelvinck Hinloopen museum with his collection of piano fortes and splendid tapestries... Actually you should do like we did: Visit them both, really a recommendable outing!

Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis Keizersgracht 633: http://geelvinck.nl/english/

Museum Van Loon Keizersgracht 672: http://www.museumvanloon.nl/eng/home.php

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