West-Indisch Huis

Historic Building in Western Canal Ring

Built in 1617 as a meat market and militia barracks, this historical building was rented by the Dutch West India Company (Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie; GWC) as its headquarters in 1623. It was here that the GWC's governors signed off on the construction of a fort on the island of Manhattan in 1625, establishing New Amsterdam (now New York City).

The booty of naval hero Admiral Piet Heyn was stored here in 1628 after his men captured the Spanish silver fleet off the coast of Cuba.

Today this landmark on the Herenmarkt is used as a conference venue and houses offices including the John Adams Institute, which fosters cultural ties between the USA and the Netherlands. You can enter the courtyard to see the statue of Peter Stuyvesant (c 1612–1672), the final Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland until its British acquisition.

The Oostindisch Huis, the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC) is in Nieuwmarkt.