NH Barbizon Palace

Prins Hendrikkade 59-72
G. de Klerk
5 Minuten lopen van CS
Marlies Buurman & Flora van Gaalen, Room Service, Amsterdam 2007, p. 18-19.

The saviour of the Zeedijk

The construction of NH Barbizon Palace in the nineteen eighties was an important springboard for the rehabilitation of the run-down Zeedijk. The city council, together with the local business community, sought to halt the decline of this street by buying buildings, restoring them and renting the commercial premises to bona fide entrepreneurs.

The hotel is a good example of urban renewal while preserving theurban fabric.The integration of old buildings and newbuild is striking. On Prins Hendrikkade, a modern facade forms the hotel’s face, but next to it and behind it is a complex of nineteen monumental sixteenth- and seventeenth-century buildings, which are ingeniously interconnected. Together they contain 269 rooms. These historic monuments, including the oldest timber dwelling in Amsterdam, have been renovated and can be seen in all their glory. An underground street connects the hotel with the chapel St. Olofs, or Oudezijdskapel, on Zeedijk. This chapel is one of the oldest churches in Amsterdam. In 1440, a chapel dedicated to St. Olof was built on this site. After various additions, in 1644 two chapels were joined together, giving rise to a hall church with pointed barrel vaults on four sandstone pillars. The chapel was damaged by fire in 1820 and in 1966 it burned to the ground. After more than one and a half centuries, the building was reconstructed and in 1993 it reopened as the hotel’s conference room. A new roof was added, with a reconstruction of the spire that had been present up until the nineteenth century. The elegant turret was also reinstated. (ARCAM/BU/FG)