Amsterdam Sights

Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping House)

This beautiful corner building built by architects of the Amsterdam School is now a luxury hotel.

The Scheepvaarthuis is a typical corner building that was built from 1911-1916 in the Amsterdam School style, the Dutch version of expressionism in architecture.

It was the office of five Amsterdam shipping companies. The pointy corner of the building symbolises the prow of a ship, with Neptune, the God of the sea, on the top and his wife Amphitrite holding a ship's wheel.

The location of this former office was planned to be nearby the Central Station in Amsterdam's Maritime Quarter at the IJ, from where the first VOC ship departed towards the Dutch East Indies.

The ship-shaped building is beautifully decorated. The intention was to indicate the character of each ocean, they had to represent, in the figures: the mystique of the Indian Ocean, unlike the more sunny and smiling character of the Mediterranean sea; the turbulence of the Atlantic and the loneliness of the South Pacific.

The interior

The entire interior has the atmosphere of the sea and shipping: the large marble steps, wrought iron and even the floor covering show the waves of the sea, Neptune's trident, seahorses and signs of the zodiac. The many stained-glass work showing images of ships and company symbols.

Lastage neighbourhood

It is situated in the so-called Lastage (the shipping neighbourhood of that time) that carries many reminders of the glorious past of the East India Company (VOC).

Until the city's expansion in 1585 the Lastage was located outside the city walls. The idea was to keep the shipping and lumber wharfs, roperies and leather and tar workplaces outside of the city because they were a fire hazard.

In the 17th century, the Lastage, as a result of the increasing shipping to the East, became a wealthy neighbourhood (this still shows itself in the beautiful houses that belonged to shipowners). Even now you can find stores specialising in nautical articles here.

Luxury hotel

The Scheepvaarthuis is nowadays one of Amsterdam's best and most luxury hotels: Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam

In the former boardroom at the peak of the Scheepvaarthuis are the largest suites, in which monumental detail, beautiful old furniture and modern amenities are combined. Some bathrooms are full of glass.

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Prins Hendrikkade 108
Amsterdam (IJ Waterfront)