De Waag

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De Waag

Built in 1488, the Waag functioned as a city gate, Sint Antoniespoort, until 1617. It would be closed at exactly 9:30 pm to keep out not only bandits but also the poor and diseased who built shantytowns outside the city's walls. When Amsterdam expanded, the structure began a second life as a weighing house for incoming goods. The top floor of the building accommodated the municipal militia and several guilds, including the stonemasons who did the evocative decorations that grace each of the seven towers' entrances. One guild housed a teaching hospital for the Surgeons' Guild. The Theatrum Anatomicum (Anatomy Theater), with its cupola tower covered in painted coats of arms, was the first place in the Netherlands to host public autopsies. For obvious reasons, these took place only in the winter. The building is now occupied by In De Waag restaurant and the Waag Society (institute for art, science, and technology).

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