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Amsterdam may be famous for its "signature buildings" - the colorful 17th century merchants' mansions along the canals - but its range of architecture is actually much broader. For architecture in Amsterdam from the last 3 centuries, please see our other page about Amsterdam architecture.As a consequence of the two Great Fires that have destroyed major parts of the city in 14, only a small part of Amsterdam's medieval architecture has survived till today.Its small square is dominated by the English Church (Engelse Kerk), built in the 15th century.The oldest remaining building of the city is the Oude Kerk (Old Church).Among those, the majority are stone built edifices.Following the 1452 destructive blaze, the authorities prohibited the use of wood as a material in constructions.Public dissections were performed here in the 17th century.The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), situated at Dam Square (next to the Royal Palace) was erected in 1380 in order to replace the Oude Kerk.
Since its inauguration in 1306 by the Bishop of Utrecht the church has been subject of many extension works, the most radical of them occurring during the Reformation of 1578.The Old Church's tower offers a spectacular view of the city and can be visited from April until September.Opening hours and entrance fees: to the Wallen, the Waag, a massive medieval building that dominates the Nieuwmarkt square, is reminiscent of the old city wall for which it served as a gateway. It is worthy of a visit because of its hidden attractions, such as the old surgeon's theatre "theatrum anatomicum" on the upper floor.The New Church also hosts exhibitions and concerts throughout the year and the remembrance ceremony that precedes the commemoration of Liberation Day (May 5th).Opening hours and entrance fees: of the 16th century architecture in Amsterdam is located in the vicinity of de Wallen.