Roof on Dam square palace will have golden eagles once more

Photo: Robert Scarth via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Robert Scarth via Wikimedia Commons

Maintenance work on the roof of the palace on Dam square is expected to start in 2023, with a glittery surprise in store for Amsterdammers.

The palace, which began life as the capital’s town hall in the 17th century and evolved into its present state in the 18th and 19th centuries, is used by the royals mainly as a place to receive foreign dignitaries and to host exhibitions.

Over the years the roof has sprung a number of leaks and the sculptures, including the famous Atlas sculpture, have been damaged by moisture, architect Hans Vlaardingerbroek told local broadcaster AT5.

When the restoration work is completed, the two eagles bearing the crown on each corner of the roof, now green and almost invisible, will be restored to their former lustre. ‘These sculptures will be covered in gold leaf, as they were before. That will completely change the image. The corners will be shining in golden splendour,’ Vlaardingerbroek said.

No estimate of the costs of the renovation has been provided by royal real estate management Rijksvastgoedbedrijf as yet. The royal family’s private residence, Paleis Huis Ten Bosch, underwent extensive renovation in 2019, costing the tax payer some €63m instead of the earlier estimate of €59m.

The renovation of the Dam palace roof is estimated to take three years. The palace will remain open for functions for the duration.

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