Munttoren - Mint Tower, Amsterdam
the munttoren, (mint tower) was originally a gate in the medieval city wall. the clock tower was added in 1699. the tower acquired it's name in 1673 when the city mint was housed there. not open to the public
The "Munttoren" is a part of the "Regulierspoort" (poort = gate) and was built around 1480 and 1487 as a part of the Amsterdam city wall. This entrance gate had two twoers, with in between the gate itself. After the expansion outside the gates started (1585) the wall and entrance gates lost their function. It became a glas blowing factory and in 1613 the wall alongside the building was demolished. One suspects that a fire that started in the factory destroyed one of the tower and the gate. Around this time the tower became a kind of police checkpoint and later even an inn. In 1672 (in The Netherlands known as the disastrous year) silver and gold was stored in the tower to be transported to Enkhuizen and Dordrecht where coins were made. Later Amsterdam got - for a short period - also the right to make coins (munten). Here's the explanation for the present name of the tower. In the tower houses one of the five famous "Hemony"carrillions (bell organs). The brothers Hemony, were the first that could make clocks in various (clear) tones. Carrillions are a very Dutch and especially Amsterdam thing. The sounds of them belong to the towns atmosphere as no other.
Back before the contruction of the ring canals, the outer margin of the walled city was at the Singel Canal. At its intersection with the Amstel River one of the three main gates into the city was at what today is Muntplein at the junction of the shopping streets Rokin and Kalverstraat. In the 15thC the square was named Sheep Square and the gate was comprised of two towers and a guard house. After the 1618 fire, only a portion of one gate and the guard house remained - these would be rebuilt are revamped over the centuries. The guard house dates from the 19thC.
In the late 17th C, during war with France and England, minting facilities were moved to this tower, hence the name.
Today the upper part of the tower is octagonal, with an open spire featuring four clocks and 38 bell carillon ( chimes every 15 minutes ). The tower dominates the neighborhood, a landmark when shopping.
The Munttoren is a part of the formerly bigger Regulierspoort (built between 1480-1487), which was a part of the mediaeval brick-built city-wall (city fortification) and was one of the three city main gates. However the Regulierspoort (Reguliers Gate) was destroyed by fire in 1618. The Munttoren was the only part, which was not destroyed. Hendrick de Keyser designed the bell tower in the same year. Carillon dates from 1699 and plays every 15 minutes.
The name, Munttower (= Mint Tower) dates from 1670, when the coins were struck in this building.
The lower part of the Munt tower is one of the rare pieces left of the old fortifications. It was then called the Regulierspoort(Gate) which gave entry to the city. Like the Schreierstoren it is part of the same fortification.
In 1620 famous Amsterdam architect Hendrik de Keyser built an octagonal top for this tower.
As I am a bell ringer it interests me to know that the Munt tower has a carillon of 38 bells which are played regularly by hand.
At the Munt tower you can choose 3 directions to go to Dam square.
1) Bloemenmarkt (Flower market) - left
2) Rokin - right
3) Kalverstraat - middle
Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street but its reputation has faded. Most of the regular chain stores can be found here and the street is usually full of young peopl or tourists. I tend to avoid the Kalverstraat and to my knowledge, so do many Dutch people.
The Mint Tower makes an excellent reference point. If you followed the pedestrian shopping street, Kalverstraat, down from the central station, the tower stands where the street opens up for vehicle traffic. This is also where the Amstel river and the Singel canal meet. An finally, this is the start of Vijzelstraat which leads to the museum district.
The tower was once part of the city walls and dates from 1672. The tower gets it name from the guardhouse next door where coins were minted.
The tower was originally part of the Regulierspoort, one of the main gates in Amsterdam's medieval city wall. The gate, built in the years 1480-1487, consisted of two towers and a guard house. After the gate went up in flames in a 1618 fire, only the guard house and part of the western tower remained standing. The tower was then rebuilt in Amsterdam Renaissance style in 1619-1620, with an eight-sided top half and elegant open spire designed by Hendrick de Keyser, featuring a clockwork with four clockfaces and a carillon of bells.
La torre fue originalmente parte de la Regulierspoort, una de las puertas principales de la muralla medieval de Amsterdam. La puerta, construida en el año 1480-1487, constaba de dos torres y un cuerpo de guardia. Después de la puerta ardió en llamas en un incendio de 1618, sólo el cuerpo de guardia y parte de la torre occidental permaneció de pie. La torre fue reconstruida en estilo renacentista en Amsterdam 1619-1620, con una mitad superior de ocho lados y la torre elegante abierto diseñado por Hendrick de Keyser, con un reloj con cuatro clockfaces y un carillón de campanas.
“I am to have a meeting next Sunday with some burgomasters of Amsterdam, for those I have consulted here dare not agree to what I propose, unless I can persuade them to approve of it.”
— from a letter writen by the Duke of Marlborough to Lord Godolphin, dated 19.April.1706
Munttoren, or Mint Tower, dates from 1620 (see photo #2 to see the date of the tower at its top). For two years, Amsterdam served as the country’s mint when French troops occupied Utrecht, where coins had been minted.
Originally part of Regulierspoort, one of Amsterdam’s main gate in its Mediaeval wall, Munttoren was one of two towers at this gate, built in 1480; a guardhouse was also part of the gate.
The gate was destroyed in a 1618 fire, only the guardhouse and part of the one tower remained. Two years later, the tower was rebuilt in Amsterdam’s version of the Renaissance style. Hendrick de Keyser designed the new tower with an octagonal upper part, an open spire of elegant design, featuring a four-faced clock and a carillon of bells.
The tower gives its name to the broad, busy square, Muntplein, that stretches out in front of it (see photo #4). At street level, a shop selling Delftware is housed.
The Mint tower stands on the busy 'Muntplein' Square where the Amstel River and Singel canal meet in the city centre.The tower was originally part of the 'Regulierspoort' one of the main gates in Amsterdam's medieval city wall.The gate built in 1480 consited of two towers and a guard house.After the gate went up in flames in a 1618 fire,only the guard house and part of the western tower remained standing.The tower was rebuilt in Amsterdam's Renaissance style in 1620 with an eight sided top half and elegant open spire designed by'Hendrick de Keyser' featuring a clockwork with four clockfaces and a carillon of bells.
The name of the tower refers to the fact that it was used to mint coins in the 17th century.An underpass was added to the building during a 1938-39 renovation.
The lower part was part of the Reguliersgate in the medieval city-walls. The gate burned down in 1618, but this part remained. A year later a clock tower was added.
During the French occupancy (round 1673), coins were made here, so that is how it got its name.
The Munttower : (Munt = coin)
At this place you are very near the flower market.
This large tower was built in 1620, by the architect Hendrick de Keyser, on the place where one of the oldest gates of Amsterdam used to stand.
Today it houses a Delft ceramic shop, ‘De Porceleyne Fles.’
The tower in the background was once part of one of the Medieval City Gates of Amsterdam and in the 17th century was a mint, thereby giving it's current name. At the Eastern end of the Floating Flower Market, also near Kalverstraat. Also located on the largest bridge in the city, crossing the Singel canal where it flows into the Amstel River. Very cool looking when lit up at night.....
At the Munttoren (the former Regulierspoort) foundations, pieces of the old city wall can be seen.
Next to the Munttower you can find the famous Flowermarket along the Singel canal.
Built in 1620, using the remains of an old city gate as its base, this tall wooden bell tower chimes a carillon every quarter of an hour. The tiny shop at ground level sells Delft ware.
A great landmark in a great location. Check the map...it leads to the flower market...to Rokin and Dam Sq...and to Rembrandtplein.