Geelvinck Hinlopen House

Geelvinck Hinlopen China Kamer

Geelvinck Hinlopen House: , Amsterdam

The City Palace

Museum Geelvinck has a first floor with an exuberant interior, in which style elements from the 18th and first half of the 19th century refer to the residents’ history. Together with the extensive garden and the former coach house, this is a historic Amsterdam city palace.

In the period rooms you can experience how wealthy Amsterdammers lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. How did they combine different interior styles? And how was home furnishings influenced by their trade contacts with other cultures?

Period Rooms

The city palace consists of the coach house, the landscaped garden, a reception hall and four period rooms on the first floor, each with its own style, characteristic of a specific period. The Red Room is a rich Rococo-style drawing room from the Louis XV period, which was given a romantic and much darker overpainting in the 19th century.

The Blue Room has a Neoclassical style, characteristic of the period of the French King Louis XVI. The Arcadian wall hangings, painted by Egbert van Drielst (1745-1818) in 1788, are typical of Romanticism. The Blue Room and the Red Room were mainly intended for receptions. The rich decoration and furnishing are evidence of fortune and a cultivated lifestyle, which distinguished the inhabitants from the ‘common’ people.

The Chinese Room is located on the other side of the reception hall. This intimate garden room, inspired by the design language of porcelain from China and Japan, was one of the private living areas.

The fourth period room is a neoclassical library with an Adam Style ceiling and a Roman-looking female figure by Johannes van Dreght (1737-1807) above the mantelpiece. This was a much-loved style in patriotic circles.


In the Golden Age, Amsterdam grew into the most important trading city of the then Western world and the most influential city in the Republic. Within a few generations an elite of regents developed. Families that had become very wealthy from international trade and investment together formed the municipal council. They divided the lucrative administrative and government functions among each other. The enormous increase in population and activity prompted the urban expansion: the canal belt.

The wealthy regents preferred to build their new city palaces on the Herengracht between the Gouden Bocht (the Golden Corner) and the Amstel. This would remain the financial center of the Netherlands for three and a half centuries. Museum Geelvinck tells the story of the Amsterdam regent families from the end of the Golden Age, when their power and wealth are unparalleled, up to and including the social structural break brought about by the French Revolution in the 18th century. This was when the foundation of modern society was laid.


From its construction in 1687 by order of Albert Geelvinck to the liberation from French rule in 1813, the house was inhabited by one family group of Amsterdam regents with well-known names such as Geelvinck, Hinlopen, Bicker, Trip, Graafland and Van der Poll. In 1813, Albert Geelvinck’s heirs sold the city palace to a heir of the wealthy Asschenbergh trading family, who lived there for almost 45 years. In 1867 the house and coach house came into the hands of a banker, who not only lived there with his family, but also had an office there. In 1920, Hagemeijer & Co. turned the function of the house entirely into office space. The coach house was then converted into a private home. In the late 1990s, the Buisman family had the city palace restored and opened it to the public.

For many years, the Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen House Foundation made this impressive ‘city palace’ accessible to the public. The yearly highpoint was always Amsterdam Open Garden Days, when almost two thousand people came to take a look at the fantastic formal gardens, which at the time of creation was the largest private garden in Amsterdam. The Museum maintained its activities there until the end of 2016, with wonderful concerts and successful special exhibitions. At the beginning of 2017, the organisation and a portion of the collection moved to Geelvinck Music Museum, Zutphen, and the name Geelvinck or ‘Goldfinch’ came too.