Architect Jacob van Campen was commissioned to build a stone theatre on the Keizersgracht in 1632. Celebrities and crowned heads that visited the theatre over the years included the Prince of Orange, the King of Poland and the Tsar of Russia. 

Monday 11th May, 1772 was a black day in the theatre’s history, the site burned down completely. Only the present-day doorway and the hall were spared. Today the doorway with all its pride represents The Dylan Amsterdam. The gate will always be a reminder of the buildings’ past history as a theatre and the gold letters still emblazon the top with ‘Schouburg’, which is the old Dutch word for ‘theatre’. The following quote is also present on the gate:

“The world is a play on stage, everyone plays his role and gets his part”

This is a quote by Joost van den Vondel, at that time one of Holland’s best known poets. He wrote it for the opening of Amsterdam’s first theatre.

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