The site of The Dylan is one of the most historic locations in Amsterdam. It all goes back to the year 1613, when construction workers began excavating the fifth canal, the ‘’Keizersgracht”. Five years later a wooden building was constructed and a theatre was founded in the building, called the “Duytsche Academie”. In 1632, the architect Jacob van Campen was commissioned to build a stone theatre. On the 100th anniversary of the theatre, in the year 1737, it was Antonio Vivaldi himself who conducted the theatre’s orchestra. Many well-known guests visited the theatre, including the Prince of Orange, the Russian Tsar and the Elector of Brandenburg.

The building of the theatre caught fire in 1772 and completely burned down. Only the present ’’Van Campen’s’’ doorway (main entrance gate) was spared and reminds us today of this location’s rich history. The following quote is presented 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.

In 1773 the site was sold to one of the Regents of the Roman Catholic Church charities, known as the Old & Poor People’s office. This foundation retained ownership until 1998, when the building was completely renovated and reopened as Hotel Blakes. In 2004, the luxury boutique hotel changed from name to The Dylan Amsterdam.


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