This palace, occasionally used by the queen for ceremonial functions, was actually built as the city's town hall between 1648 and 1665 and designed by Jacob van Campen. But it became a palace in 1808 when Napoleon installed his brother as king of the Netherlands.


In April 2008 Amsterdam city council realised it had forgotten to celebrate 200 years of being the Dutch capital. A deeply embarrassing event.

The palace, which is being renovated as I write this (May 2008), is sometimes open to the public. For a virtual tour, check out the royal family website