The buildings that stand around the Dam Square (De Dam) bear their testimony also to the past history and present power and influence of the city. One angle of the Dam is occupied by the New Church, which, notwithstanding its name, dates from the beginning of the 15th century, and is only new in relation to its more ancient comrade, the Old Church, hard by.
Next to the church, and forming one side of the square, is what is now called the Royal Palace on The Dam, but which ought really to be called the Town Hall and used for the purposes to which it was originally applied. It is honoured by the presence of the King and the Court for one or two brief visits during the year, but it was never designed for a palace, and hence both in situation and appointments it is unfitted to be the abode of royalty.
It would be a graceful act on the part of the King to be content with his other royal residences, and let what is really a noble and appropriate Town Hall for a great commercial capital revert to its proper use.
The building was erected by the architect J. van Campen, in the palmy days of the Dutch Republic, having been begun in 1648 and finished in 1655, at a cost of 600,000.