NH Doelen

Nieuwe Doelenstraat 24
J.F. Hamersveld
Tram 4, 9, 14, 16, 24, 25 (halte Muntplein)
Marlies Buurman & Flora van Gaalen, Room Service, Amsterdam 2007, p.36-37.

Sleeping in a defensive work

The Doelen hotel stands on the site of the medieval tower ‘Swych Utrecht’. This defensive work was part of the Kloveniersdoelen, part of Amsterdam’s city wall, and for many years it functioned as a training area for the Kloveniers civic militia. The tower, which resembled the Schreierstoren, was demolished in 1882 in order to make way for the Doelen Hotel.

A commemorative plaque on the north elevation recalls the old tower and part of the Kloveniersdoelen has been preserved on the first storey. Another tangible reminder is Rembrandt’s famous painting of the Kloveniers: The Night Watch. In 1833, on the occasion of the World Exhibition of 1883, the hotel was radically redeveloped and the present hotel was built, to a design by the architect J.F. van Hamersveld, in neo-Renaissance style. The building was listed as a national monument in 2005. Although the entrance to the hotel is in Nieuwe Doelenstraat, the building is most impressive on the Binnen Amstel side. From the bridge over Kloveniersburgwal, the hotel is an imposing sight. Here, the narrow north side rises from the water. On the side of the Amstel, a triangular projecting domed tower crowns the building.

Inside, the central hall is well preserved, with veined marble stairs and a balustrade with two candelabras. The decorative paintings are by G.H. Heinen, famous for his decorations in the royal waiting room in Amsterdam’s Central Station. Famous guests have stayed at the hotel, including the Beatles and empress Sisi. Her visits to the hotel were quite spectacular: she reserved forty rooms for herself and her retinue and her bath was filled with water from the North Sea. (ARCAM/BU/FG)