Exhibition at Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam

Exhibition The Universe of Amsterdam

In the Citizens’ Hall, marble reliefs with the four elements (Earth, Water, Fire, and Air) and garlands of flora and fauna together make up the terrestrial microcosm. Statues of Roman gods in the corners of the surrounding galleries symbolise the planets of our solar system, the macrocosm. Enthroned at the centre of this universe is the Maid of Amsterdam, above the entrance to the hall. The world and the night sky are literally spread out at her feet. This was an unequivocal statement. 


Burgerzaal Paleis
The majestic Burgerzaal with impressive maps in the flooring. 


In the former town hall, nowadays the Royal Palace Amsterdam, three spectacular maps were inlaid in the floor. Even today, they are still the largest maps ever made. This is not surprising, when we recall that Amsterdam was then the world’s leading cartography centre. The best and most ambitious cartographers worked in the immediate vicinity of the town hall. 

An unimaginable number of maps and atlases were published here, containing a treasure trove of knowledge. They brought the world within reach of the interested general public.

In this exhibition you will learn the story behind the maps in the Citizens’ Hall and see the most beautiful maps and atlases made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This exhibition was produced in partnership with Allard Pierson│ The Collections of the University of Amsterdam.

On show from 29th of June until 22 September 2019.

About the Royal Palace

In the middle of the capital stands the Royal Palace Amsterdam, King Willem-Alexander’s official reception palace. The Palace plays a major role during state visits, but also other royal occasions, such as New Year’s receptions, gala dinners and award ceremonies. In addition, the Palace is open to visitors as much as possible. A living building where you can follow in the footsteps of royal guests through its imposing rooms and halls.

The Palace is the largest and most prestigious building from the Golden Age, making it one of the Netherlands’ most important monuments. It was originally built, not as a palace, but as Amsterdam’s town hall. Architect Jan van Campen designed a building which would reflect the power and wealth of Amsterdam in the 17th century.

In the heart of the building, the grandeur of the Golden Age is still alive in the Citizen’s Hall and marble galleries. Sculptures and paintings by famous artists—such as Rembrandt’s students, Govert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol—tell the story of Amsterdam as the centre of the universe. They remain impressive to this day.