Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

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Discover the history of the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, which has hosted European dignitaries as early as the 16th century.

Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam was constructed between the 14th and 17th centuries, in which novel approaches to art and science spread throughout Europe.

The history of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam dates all the way back to the early 15th century. In 1411, two convents began residing in the structure that is now The Grand Amsterdam. Convents and monasteries lined the Oudezijds Voorburgwal during the late Medieval Age, as Amsterdam emerged as a bastion for Western Catholicism. As such, the two convents continued to use the site for the next couple hundred years. However, as the Protestant Reformation spread throughout the city during the 1500s, government officials confiscated the buildings for more civic-minded purposes.

Thus, in 1578, the city allowed for the location’s transformation into a hotel called the “Lodgement voor Princen en Groote Heeren” (Lodging for Princes and Gentlemen of Standing). Later renamed the “Princenhof,” the buildings hosted some of the most esteemed guests in European society for the next 69 years. Dutch royalty lodged at the Princenhof frequently, including Prince William the Silent, as well as his sons, Prince Maurice of Nassau and Prince Frederik Hendrik. A French queen named Maria de Medici also stayed at the Princenhof, while she worked to resolve a familial dispute with her son, King Louis XIII.

The city briefly abandoned the Princenhof in 1647, when it built a new royal lodge called the Oudezjds Herenlogement (Old Side Hostel for Gentlemen). But the buildings served as the temporary City Hall from 1652 to 1655 after the first one burnt down. At the same time, the Dutch Admiralty had long desired to use the buildings as their headquarters. So once the city vacated the buildings again in 1655, the Admiralty moved in and remained at the site for the next two centuries. The Dutch Admiralty heavily renovated the buildings during this period, adding new brick walls and a wide façade to the front of the location.

When the armies of Napoleon occupied the Netherlands during the Napoleonic Wars, the buildings changed hands again. Several years into the French occupation of the country, Napoleon Bonaparte installed his brother, Louis, as the reigning monarch of the Netherlands. Louis fell in love with the City Hall in Dam Square, seizing it for his personal palace. City officials returned to the now abandoned Princenhof, using it as City Hall once more. After the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, city officials decided to keep City Hall at the Princenhof. City Hall then remained at the Princehof buildings for the next 180 years.

During the late 20th century, city officials moved City Hall for a final time to a new building in Dam Square. As such, the Princenhof site remained vacant for the next several years. However, in 1992, the buildings obtained a new lease on life. Sofitel acquired the location, which it transformed into The Grand Amsterdam hotel. Upon completing a series of significant renovations during the late 2000s, Sofitel relaunched The Grand Amsterdam under its premiere Legends brand. In 2017, The Grand celebrated its 25th anniversary to great acclaim: the hotel won 26 different awards that year for its renowned hospitality and service.

  • About the Location +
    The history of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam dates all the way back to the early 15th century. In 1411, two convents began residing in the structure that is now The Grand Amsterdam. Convents and monasteries lined the Oudezijds Voorburgwal during the late Medieval Age, as Amsterdam emerged as a bastion for Western Catholicism and then Protestantism. A number of religious structures from the era still reside next to the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, including the Agnietenstraat and the Agnietenkapel, as well as the Old and New Nuns.
  • Famous Historic Guests +
    William I, Prince of Orange (1544 – 1584) Maurice of Orange (1618 – 1625) Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange (1625 – 1647) Queen Marie de’ Medici of France (1600 – 1610)

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