The Dylan Hotel tributes to the foundation of Amsterdam
An important part of the Amsterdam History has taken place where The Dylan Hotel is now located.
The history reaches back to 1613, when construction workers began excavating the fifth canal, the “Keizersgracht”.
Five years later a doctor, named Samuel Coster, bought this plot of land and a wooden building was constructed. As a man of letters, Doctor Coster was greatly interested in Dutch plays and poetry and he founded a theatre in the building, called the “Duytsche Academie”. To placate the church authorities, who disapproved of the immoral character of the theatre, it was decided to donate most of the profits to the city's orphanages.
In 1632 the architect Jacob van Campen was commissioned to build a stone theatre. In the following years, many Dutch plays where performed on stage, as well as plays by writers such as Shakespeare, Moliere, Voltaire and Corneille.
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 King of Poland, the Russian Tsar and the Elector of Brandenburg.
Monday, the 11th of May 1772, turned out to be a black day in history. During a performance the building caught fire and completely burned down. 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 a luxury boutique hotel, in 1999.