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4/26.- Amsterdam, Dam square: the Koninklijk Paleis and the Nieuwe Kerk

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The Royal Palace in Amsterdam (Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam or Paleis op de Dam) is one of three palaces in the Netherlands that is at the disposal of Queen Beatrix by Act of Parliament. In the 17th century, the palace was built as city hall and became the royal palace of king Louis Napoleon and later of the Dutch Royal House. The Palace is open to the public but has been closed for renovations since 8 September 2005. It will reopen in June 2009.

Right next to the Palace is De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), a very famous exhibitions hall. With hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, the church is one of the most attended exhibition locations in the Netherlands. It presents large-scale exhibitions on treasures from other countries, cultures and religions (recent exhibitions include treasures of Turkey and Afghanistan). The coronations of the Head of State as well as the national Remembrance of the Dead (see next page) service take place in this church. Important royal events that took place in the Nieuwe Kerk include the inauguration in 1980 of Queen Beatrix and the wedding between the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima in 2002.

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