Hotel Die Port van Cleve

Amsterdam, Netherlands | C.1870

Photo Credit: Juncal Roig

The historic Hotel Die Port van Cleve, situated in downtown Amsterdam behind the Royal Palace on the Dam Square, dates back to the 16th century. The structure was established as the De Hooiberg brewery in 1592, when Weyntgen Elberts purchased to property to house the business of her late husband.

Business boomed at De Hooiberg for centuries until the building was purchased by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in 1863, who used the site to brew his award-winning beer for a few years before the canal was filled, forcing Heineken to relocate his operation. He retained ownership of the brewery, however, and commissioned the construction of a new beer house. Workers discovered a metal sign reading “Die Port van Cleve” while working, and the name was adopted.

King William and Queen Emma were set to assume the throne in 1879, and a party was planned at the beer house as a celebration. The event was eventually cancelled, but its main attraction eventually came to fruition as the Die Port van Cleve became the first building to be lit with electricity, attracting crowds from all over Europe.

In 1888 the building’s facade was completely renovated in the Dutch neo-renaissance style with sand stone, brick and high windows. This design came from Amsterdam architect Isaac Gosschalk who was famous for crafting the Central Station of Groningen.

The property changed hands once again in 1996 and was repurposed as the Hotel Die Port van Cleve. While it has undergone structural changes, many of its authentic interior features remain unchanged. The building now houses a bar called De Blauwe Parade, which bills itself as “the most fascinating bar of Amsterdam”.

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