Nieuwmarkt 4 · interesting places nearby
The multi-turreted Waag dates from 1488, when it was part of the city's fortifications. From the 17th century onward it was Amsterdam's main weigh house, and later a spot for public executions. A bar-restaurant (open 9am-1am) occupies it today. Out the front, Nieuwmarkt square hosts a variety of events, including a Saturday farmers market and a Sunday antiques market.
In its early days the Waag looked more like a castle, fronted by a moat-like canal and built into the old city walls. By the 17th century it was home to various guilds. The surgeons' guild, which occupied the upper floor, commissioned Rembrandt's famous The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp (displayed in the Mauritshuis museum in Den Haag). The masons' guild was based in the tower facing the Zeedijk; note the superfine brickwork.