The Munttoren is a historic tower standing on the busy Muntplein square in Amsterdam.
Munttoren (mint tower) is a remnant of the Regulierspoort which was a gateway into the city. The tower was part of the old medieval city wall built between 1480 and 1487. It had two towers separated by a gate & guardhouse. After the city expansion this city defence was no longer needed and lost its function.
With the exception of a glass works the wall right of the gate was demolished in 1613.
In 1616, a guardroom was placed on the other side, Two years later, the city gate caught fire. It was suspected that the fire originated in the glass house, but the fire may have originated in the tower where the guard was staying
In 1620, the tower was rebuilt. It was designed by Hendrick de Keyser (the town stonemason) in a Amsterdam Renaissance style. The base was an octagonal structure and the upper part featured a graceful open spire. The clock at the top had four clock faces and carillon of bells. The tower is approximately 40 meters (130 feet) tall.
Due to the war with France and England in 1672, it was not possible to safely transport silver and gold from the mints in Dordrecht and Enkhuizen. Coins were then produced in this tower in Amsterdam leading to its present name Munttoren. The coins were made in the guardhouse.
In in 1865 and 1877, the so-called English houses built in 1624 on the site of the glass house, were demolished. This allowed the widening of the bridge over the Singel canal. making it decided disappeared Sheep Square. The new square was named Sophia Square, the deceased first wife of King William III, but was soon called La Monnaie or simply Currency popularly. It was only in 1917 that the official name of the square.
The guardhouse was replaced in 1877 by the present building in neo-renaissance, conducted under the direction of W, Springer. The tower which used to dominate the area became increasingly overshadowed by surrounding buildings, such as the Carlton Hotel in the Vijzelstraat.
Munttoren is one of the five towers in Amsterdam that hold carillons made by the brothers Francois and Pieter Hemony. The other bells can be found at the Oudekerk, Zuiderkerk, the Westerkerk and the dome of the Royal Palace. The carillon in Munttoren now consists of 38 bells, 11 more than the original number. On Saturdays, between 2 and 3 p.m., Gideon Bodden, the Amsterdam city carillonneur gives a live concert on the bells.
Scale models of Munttoren Amsterdam are exhibited at Madurodam in The Hague and at Mini-Europe in Brussels.
Why Visit Munttoren?
- It's a nice reminder of the old city for those interested in the history of Amsterdam.
- It's a good opportunity to hear carillon bells playing some tunes.
- The Delftware gift shop will appeal to those looking for the better than average quality souvenirs.
Munttoren stands on the busy Muntplein square, where the Amstel river and the Singel canal meet, near the flower market and the eastern end of the Kalverstraat shopping street.
1012 WR AMSTERDAM