Like the Willet Holthuysen museum, another way to get a look inside one of Amsterdam's grandest canal houses. The Van Loon's are another of Amsterdam's important families and the house has remained pretty much intact over time since it was built in the 17th century.

Keizersgracht 672

Designed by Adriaen Dortsman, the house was originally build for a Flemish merchant Jeremias van Raey as was the house at number 674. Van Raej had four sculptures placed along the parapet, which symbolised his trade: Mars and Minerva the war gods for weapons, Vulcanas for fire (and therefore iron) and Ceres for agriculture (grain).

The house exterior has remained pretty much as when it was build and only the entrances and windows have been changed. Van Raey himself lived at number 674 and let out 672 to the painter Ferdinand Bol.

These double canal house were symmetrically designed with the hallway or stairs as an axis. This obsession with symmetry has lead to the creation of a dummy door in the bedroom on the second floor, with the real door disguised in the panelwork.

The interior was radically changed in 1752 when it came into the hands of Dr. Abraham van Hagen and his wife Catharina Elisabeth Trip. Indeed, they literally left their signature on the house, having his initials (VH) and her surname are incorporated into the copper staircase railing.

In 1884 Hendrick van Loon bought number 672 for his son Willem when he married Thora Egidius. She continued to live in the house until she died in 1945 and was its last resident. Thora was Dame du Palais of Queen Wilhelmina for forty years. In 1974, after 11 years of restoration, the house was opened to the public.

The collection consists of some 50 family portraits dating from the 17th and 18th century to Thora Egidius herself. The period rooms have a fine display of furniture, porcelain and sculpture, and trompe de oeil paintings, known as Witjes, after their most famous creator Jacob de Wit.

The formal rose garden, which was restored between 1960 and 1970, and looks onto the coach house is also worth visiting.