The Houses of the Seven Nations
Just off the Vondelpark, in the Roemer Visscherstraat, you can find a curious architectural gem: seven adjacent houses, with each house representing an architectural style from a different European country.
In Dutch it is called “Zevenlandenhuizen” (Houses of the Seven Nations).
The street itself is named after Roemer Visscher (1547–1620), a successful Dutch merchant and writer. He was active in the cultural scene of his age — his house on the Geldersekade was a place where many famous poets, writers and painters gathered regularly.
Client & Architect
Sam van Eeghen (1853-1934), a Dutch merchant and politician in Amsterdam, commisioned the build of the seven houses to architect Tjeerd Kuipers (1857-1942), who finished the build in 1894. The wealthy Van Eeghen family also played a big part in the creation of the Vondelpark.
In 19th century architecture so-called exotism or exoticism (“the charm of the unfamiliar”) played a big role: the romanticizing of anything foreign, far-away and exotic. The seven houses show the architectural styles of seven nations in their fronts:
Number 20 – Germany
Romantic style from the late 18th early 19th century, with gothic arch windows and tower.
Number 22 – France
Inspired by the Renaissance style of castles in the Loire valley.
Number 24 – Spain
Inspired by islamic Moorish influences from Granada, with pink glazed stone and horseshoe shaped windows. The window shape can still be found in Andalusia.
Number 26 – Italy
Inspired by an Italian palazzo in neo-classic style.
Number 28 – Russia
Inspired by a cathedral with onion-shaped dome, with traces of the Kremlin in Moscow.
Number 30 – Netherlands
House in Dutch Renaissance style, with dark red bricks and white ornamentation above the windows.
Number 30A – England
English cottage style, with classic woodwork.
The country names are above the entrance doors. The houses are Dutch National monuments.
Most houses are private residences, and can not be visited. Number 30A houses the Quentin Hotel.
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