25th Open Monument Day celebrated in Amsterdam

Today I joined the opening of the 25th Open Monument Day in Amsterdam at the Westergasfabriek. There was a nice interview setting with Dutch tv-host: Matthijs van Nieuwkerk and all sorts of formal officials, leading up to the opening itself. And it was all very well organised awith the band (Bruut !) playing solid as well. So many cheers for all that.

The icing on the cake however was the tour to De Waag. I had the pleasure of visiting de Waag in one of the special rooms: de Chirurgijnenkamer. The anatomic theather. Which was the place where the medics at some point in time opened up bodies of deceased criminals in a small theatre setting (people could buy tickets and come watch). I listened to a brief but very clear and inspiring presentation by Jacqueline de Graauw who has done research into the older history of the Waag (the full article is just published in KNOB Bulletin).

Important findings of her research are that while from an inscription in the building it might appear that 1488 is the year in which de Waag (former Anthonispoort) was built, it is actually older. And close inspection of archives as well as the building itself reveals that de St Anthonispoort probably dates from 1462 or earlier, with a later addition in 1488. For example, if you really take a close look at the St Eloystower on the south side you can see battlements, being filled with masonry in bricks.

As the pouring rain prevented us from closely inspecting the towers and outside, I'll be back there again one of these days to have a look in detail.